June 25 Deadline for Several FY 2019 Recurring Services’ FRNs

June 8, 2021

Attached: FY 2019 BEAR Status as of June 8

~ List of Impacted FRNs Attached ~
~ Request BEAR PIN ASAP if You Don’t Have One ~
~ No Additional Deadline Extensions Available ~

Due to the pandemic, the FCC extended the FY 2019 BEAR Form 472 reimbursement deadline for recurring services from October 28, 2020 to February 25, 2021.   Several applicants then requested a one-time only, 120-day extension of this deadline, thus making their new – and final – deadline June 25, 2021 – a date that is fast approaching.  Attached is a list showing the FRNs where no disbursements have been made by USAC (meaning that 100% of the commitment amount remains).  If your entity’s name is on this list, please continue to read this message.  I also included in the list the non-recurring FRNs that have had no reimbursement (most of these BEAR deadlines are 1/28/2022).

Very Important Notes – Please Read:

  • If you don’t yet have a BEAR PIN, request one ASAP.  To request a BEAR PIN, complete the short PIN Request Template and then upload it into EPC by creating a Customer Service Case.  USAC will then e- mail you a new PIN within 7-14 days.  A BEAR PIN Request Guide is available at: http://e-ratepa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Form-472-BEAR-PIN-Request-Guide.pdf.  If it is requested by Wednesday afternoon, the BEAR PIN should be e-mailed by the following Wednesday.
  • Where are BEAR Forms filed?  BEARs (Form 472s) are filed under the One Portal System umbrella, not in EPC.  When you log into One Portal (click ‘Sign In’ from www.usac.org/sl) and validate your identity, you will see a screen that has both EPC and BEAR links:


Click on the BEAR link and then enter your BEAR PIN/credentials.  If you do not see the BEAR link after logging into One Portal, it means you do not have a BEAR PIN associated with your e-mail address/EPC log-in.  A BEAR Form Filing Guide is available at:  http://e-ratepa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Form-472-BEAR-Filing-Guide-2020.pdf.

  • Having trouble logging into One Portal?   See: http://e-ratepa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/One-Portal-MFA-Set-Up-Guide.pdf.
  • Form 498 ID:  When completing the BEAR, be sure a Form 498 ID is showing.  If the Form 498 ID is blank, it means that USAC does not have your school or library’s banking information in their systems which means that your BEAR cannot be processed because reimbursements can be directly deposited into your account.  The Form 498 is only submitted one time and the only time it must be modified is if your school or library changes banks, band account numbers, and/or BEAR remittance contacts within your institution (the remittance contact receives the BEAR approval e-mails).  To modify your Form 498, log into EPC > Records > Form 498s > Click on the 498 > Modify Form 498 (upper right corner of form).
  • If Column H (Vendor 473 SPAC Filed?) on the attached spreadsheet shows ‘NO’, you must contact your vendor prior to submitting the BEAR and tell the vendor they must submit the FY 2019 Form 473 SPAC to USAC ASAP.  This is an annual form that every vendor must submit and without it, no BEARs that list that SPIN will be paid.  Direct the vendor to: https://www.usac.org/e-rate/service-providers/step-3-winning-the-bid/fcc-form-473-filing/ for more information.
  • If Column I (Form 486 Filed?) shows ‘NO’, file the 486 immediately, then contact Julie for instructions on how to appeal to seek a Form 486 deadline waiver and have your service start date reinstated to July 1 so you don’t lose any funding.

A Few Q & A’s:

1) Can I put all of my reimbursement requests on a single BEAR?
A.  No, a separate BEAR must be completed for each separate SPIN (vendor). For example, if you have 2 FRNs that list Comcast, and one FRN that is for AT&T, you can submit both Comcast FRN reimbursement requests on a single BEAR, but the AT&T reimbursement request must be filed on a separate BEAR.

2)  How will I know when the BEAR reimbursement amount has been deposited into my bank account?
A.  The Remittance Contact listed on your Form 498 will both receive an e-mail containing a statement with the date the reimbursement amount was transferred and the amount.  About two weeks after that, the Form 486 contact will receive a paper (by mail) BEAR Notification Letter that outlines whether the BEAR was approved, denied, or partially paid.

3) I was committed more funding than I actually spent. Can I request reimbursement for the full amount that was originally committed?
A.  No. Applicants may only seek reimbursement for the exact amount paid for the service instead of just listing the full funding cap (for example, if you were committed $10,000, but then only spent $6,000, you can only request E-rate reimbursements based on the $6,000).  Please know that USAC has increasingly been requesting copies of invoices when they review the BEARs as proof that you are requesting the accurate amount.

4) What if I receive my BEAR Remittance Letter and it lists that $0 was approved?
A. This typically means that there was an error made on the BEAR Form and the applicant must correct the error and resubmit to USAC.  Typically there is an explanation on the BEAR explaining what was incorrect to help identify the error.  If not, call CSB at 888-203-8100 and they can give you a more detailed explanation.  A list of invoicing error codes is available at: https://www.usac.org/wp-content/uploads/rural-health-care/documents/handouts/Invoice-Status-Codes.pdf.

5) What if I actually received a slightly different service/equipment than what was originally listed on my Form 471 application?
A. USAC has increased scrutiny of the BEARs to make sure that reimbursement requests are for exactly what services were approved for on the FCDLs.  If you changed services/equipment from what you originally listed on your Form 471, you should first submit a “service substitution request” to USAC, located in the upper right side of the EPC Landing Page.

6)  What should I do if I didn’t use the service?
A.  File a Form 500 and cancel the FRN.  The Form 500 must be filed in EPC where you will find the link in the upper right side of the EPC Landing Page.

If you have any questions about the FY 2019 or FY 2020 Invoice Deadlines or completing the BEAR, please contact me at jtschell@comcast.net.

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
Pennsylvania E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o

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