BEAR Deadline Approaching for FY 2019 & FY 2020 Recurring Services

September 23, 2021

Attached: Form 472 BEAR Filing Guide 2021 (1)

Attached: FY 2019 No Disbursements as of 9-23-2021

Attached: FY 2020 No Disbursements as of 9-23-2021

~ File in One Portal, Before Entering EPC (new) ~
~ Impacted FRNs Attached ~
~ BEAR Filing Guide Attached ~

The last day to receive FY 2020 recurring services was June 30, 2021 and therefore the deadline is October 28, 2021 to submit the Form 472 — BEAR — to USAC for services in which you paid vendor bills in full from July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.  In addition, the invoicing deadline for FY 2019 (services delivered 7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020) also is October 28, 2021 because the FCC extended the deadline for a year due to COVID.

How do you know if you need to submit a BEAR?  The easy answer is that if you received discounted bills from your vendor, you do not need to submit a BEAR (your E-rate discounts were applied to your bill).  If you did not receive discounted bills, then you likely will have to file a Form 472 BEAR to collect your reimbursement.  Attached are lists showing the FY 2019 and FY 2020 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.

Note:  If you applied for additional E-rate internet access funding in the 2nd FY 2020 COVID window (last October), depending on when the increased internet began, USAC may have created an additional FRN and reduced/adjusted the dates of the original FRN to handle this request.  Be sure to check the attached spreadsheet and file using the correct FRN numbers, amounts and number of months on your BEAR.  I highlighted C1 service start dates that were later than July 1 as a heads-up.


  • Where to File BEARs:  BEARs (Form 472s) are now filed under the One Portal umbrella which you access at: and proceed through the multi-factor authentication steps.  When you reach the One Portal Dashboard, you should see three links in this order:  EPC, BEAR, ECF.  If you don’t see the BEAR link, it means you are not set up with BEAR access credentials.  Simply complete the BEAR Access Template at: and then upload it into EPC by creating a Customer Service Case.  USAC will then provide you with BEAR access in a few days.


  • BEAR PINs:  The requirement to enter a BEAR PIN has been removed because you will be logging in under One Portal.  However, whenever you click on the BEAR link, you will still be required to enter your Billed Entity Number (BEN) before seeing the BEAR system.  BENs can be found on the attached spreadsheet.
  • Requesting an Invoice Deadline Extension Request:  If you cannot file your BEAR by the due date listed on the attached spreadsheets (for any reason), request an Invoice Deadline Extension which is done in EPC.  Applicants will be granted a 1-time, 120-day extension to file the BEAR.  See for more information on filing the IDER.
  • 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).

A few important 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) Am I required to have the service provider approve the BEAR before it’s submitted?
A. No.  Your BEAR will be submitted directly to USAC for processing.

3)  How long will it take for my BEAR reimbursement to arrive?
A.   BEAR reimbursements will be directly deposited to the bank account that was listed on the Form 498 as soon as a few days of BEAR submission.  However, USAC often requests additional information, such as a copy of the vendor invoice(s), as part of an invoice review (common with C2 BEARs) and the invoicing review process often takes several weeks to complete.

4)  How will I know when the BEAR reimbursement amount has been deposited into my bank account?
A.  The General Financial Contact and 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.

5) 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.

6) I spent more than what was committed on my funding commitment letter (my cap). What should I list on my BEAR — the cap or the actual amount spent?
USAC would like you to complete the BEAR with the actual figures of what you spent for the service, and not just list your funding cap amount. For example, if you spent $10,000, and had a 50% discount, you would list $10,000 in Column 14 and $5,000 in Column 15, even if you were only committed $4,000. The reason is that USAC would like to show how much applicants are actually spending on services and also so they know that you are not just listing the funding commitment amount (the cap), but have actually added up how much was actually spent in each of the 12 months using the actual vendor bills. Unfortunately, they will only reimburse you up to the amount that you were committed.

7) 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.

8) 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 from what you originally listed on your Form 471, you should first seek a “correcting service substitution request” from USAC by using the Service Substitution link in the upper right side of the EPC Landing Page.

9)  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 filing the BEAR or invoicing deadlines, please contact me at

– Julie

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

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