BEAR Deadline Tomorrow (10/28) for FY 2021 Recurring Services FRNs

October 27, 2022

Attached: FY 2021 BEARs Due as of Oct 26 2022 – urgent

~ FRNs w/Approaching Deadlines Attached ~

~ Request Extension if Your Entity is on the Attached List ~

There are 78 recurring services funding requests (FRNs) from Funding Year 2021 that have quickly approaching invoice deadlines.  The last day to receive FY 2021 recurring services was June 30, 2022 and therefore the deadline is October 28, 2022 to submit the Form 472 — BEAR — to USAC for services in which you paid vendor bills from July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022.

A BEAR Filing Guide is available at:

Attached is a list showing the FY 2021 FRNs where no disbursements have been made by USAC (meaning that 100% of the commitment amount remains), and where the invoicing deadline is tomorrow – Friday, October 28, 2022.  (Many applicants already have been approved for invoice deadline extensions and do not appear on this list.)  If your name is on this list, I strongly encourage you to request an invoice deadline extension (IDER) by tomorrow, just for good measure, even if you submitted your BEAR and it’s pending.  IDER requests will be automatically granted for 120 days, but must be requested by the invoice deadline, which is Friday, October 28.  See below for more information on filing the IDER.

Note:  If Column P (disbursement amount) shows $0.00 instead of being blank, it could mean that a BEAR was submitted, but was denied.  If you’re in this situation, call USAC at 888-203-8100 to understand what was wrong on your BEAR, then resubmit by the deadline.

  • 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.   Be sure to request an IDER extension while you’re waiting for this credential to be granted.


  • BEAR PINs – No More!  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.
  • How to Request Invoice Deadline Extension (IDER):  The IDERs are requested in EPC, not in the BEAR system.  Log into EPC > Click on Name of School/Library (under Welcome) > Related Actions > Invoice Deadline Extension Request.  Use this Guide to understand how to complete the form:
  • 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 submit a Form 486, a school or library official (not a consultant) complete the 498 (guide at:  Note:  After you submit the 498, you must then upload a copy of a voided/cancelled check at or e-mail to:  USAC will then reach out via phone to confirm the application and to be assured that the information you entered on the 498 is accurate.  Next, USAC will issue an approval of your 498 via e-mail to the General Financial Contact.  After receiving that approval, you can THEN submit the BEAR.   If you already have a 498 on file but need to modify any of the information on the form, log into EPC > Records > Form 498s > Click on the 498 > Modify Form 498 (upper right corner of form).

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

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. Vendors no longer certify BEARs.  Your BEAR will be submitted directly to USAC for processing.

3)  How long will it take for my BEAR reimbursement to arrive?
A.   Because service providers have been removed from the BEAR approval/reimbursement process, 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).

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 equipment and want the C2 funds returned to my C2 budget for use in future years?
A.  File a Form 500 and reduce or 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 2021 Invoice Deadlines or completing the BEAR, please contact me at

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell

Pennsylvania E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o

Site graciously hosted by the Capital Area IU 15 | Site designed and maintained by Silver Penny Studio