Update to Temporary Online BEAR Shutdown
July 22, 2013
Please note: On the first bullet of the message below, it should have said "July" and not "January."
The official new paper BEAR (dated July 2013) is available at: http://www.usac.org/_res/documents/sl/pdf/forms/472.pdf, but it doesn't contain the functionality to type-in the fields. A type-in version of the July 2013 form is attached to make it easier for you.
Also, several schools have asked how long the Online BEAR system will be down. USAC won't give an exact date, but I believe it will be a few weeks. As soon as the Online BEAR system is operational again, I will let you know.
If you drafted an online BEAR last week but didn't hit submit, it has been removed from the system. You will now have 2 choices: 1) Create a new paper BEAR using the one attached, or 2) Wait until the new Online BEAR is available in a few weeks.
Please let me know if you have any questions!
From: Julie Tritt Schell [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, July 19, 2013 4:53 PM
To: E-rate Listserve - PA
Subject: Changes to BEAR/SPIs - Online Forms to be Down Starting Monday
Changes to BEAR/SPIs - Online Forms to be Down Starting Monday
Due to newly approved changes to the Form 472 (BEAR) and Form 474 (SPI), USAC will be shutting down the online versions of the forms on Monday, July 22 to begin the IT coding work needed to reflect the form changes. We were just notified of this shut-down this afternoon, so I apologize about the last-minute notice. Please read the following important information about the old and new form procedures that will be in place over the next few weeks.
• If you submit an Online BEAR before Monday, January July 22, your service provider may certify it AFTER January July 22. So for those of you who want to do BEARs online and want paid quickly, you may wish to file it this weekend to beat this deadline.
• If you submit a paper BEAR using the old form (dated April 2007), and it is postmarked on or before Saturday, July 20, it will be accepted by USAC. If it is postmarked after this date, USAC will return it and require you to submit a BEAR using the new form.
• On Monday, the new paper BEAR form (and SPI) - dated July 2013 - will be available on the USAC website for downloading. You will be able to complete the paper form, have your vendor complete Page 4, and then either mail, fax or e-mail to USAC. To e-mail, send a scanned version of the fully completed form to 'email@example.com' and put 'BEAR Form' in the subject line. Faxes should be sent to: 1-888-276-8736. The mailing address will be the same as normal and is listed on the form. After the online form is available again, the fax and e-mail options will no longer be available.
• I don't think the new BEAR will have type-in capability, but I know of someone who is working to create this functionality and I will share a link to that user-friendly form when it's available.
• There are two major changes to the form:
1) The discount rate must be included in Block 2; and
2) On page 4, the applicant now must include the BEAR check remittance information so vendors know exactly where to mail the BEAR reimbursement checks. (Vendors: this also means that you must use this information to mail the check.)
• BEAR and SPI payment checks will continue to be mailed as normal during this time period.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 - o
717-730-9060 - f