Attention everyone – USAC’s summer deferral period for application review and problem resolution ended last Friday (September 7). If USAC stopped processing or reviewing your funding request because it was unable to reach you during the summer, be prepared to answer USAC’s questions when they resume attempts to contact you. (This year, USAC’s summer deferral period ran from May 25 to September 7, 2012.)
USAC generally requests additional information in the following two situations: (1) USAC needs to resolve a problem, such as missing or inconsistent information in a program form; or (2) USAC needs more information to review an application and initiates a Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review.
USAC initially utilizes an applicant’s or service provider’s preferred mode of contact to ask questions or request additional information. If USAC does not hear back within 7 days, it will attempt to make contact again, and also will inform the state E-Rate coordinator that it is trying to contact you. If USAC still has not heard from you within 15 days after the first attempt to contact you, it will use the information available to complete the processing of your application – in other words, incomplete paper forms may be returned or funding requests may be reduced or denied.
Remember, though, if USAC’s first attempt to contact you was after May 25, 2012 (the beginning of the summer deferral period) and it could not confirm that you were available to respond to questions, USAC will resume its efforts to contact you starting September 10. However, if USAC made contact with you before May 25, the 15-day response clock started and USAC may have acted on the information available if you did not respond within 15 days. (If your application is still under review, you always can ask for more time to respond if you are unable to meet the 15-day response deadline.)
For more information about communications with USAC or other E-Rate topics, please contact the Troy Law Group (www.troylawgroup.com).