By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Struggling residents in Los Angeles County can get a discount of up to $50 a month off their internet bills – but only if they apply by Dec. 30.

Recently graduated High School senior Johanna Lopez, 18, sits with laptop in her bedroom in Los Angeles, California on June 7, 2021. – The twin health and economic crises caused by the pandemic in the United States have forced some teenagers to take on odd jobs, mostly in the fast food industry, while trying to keep up with the demands of virtual schooling.
Educators say many students have fallen off schools’ radar, and may not return to classrooms when in-person learning resumes as the pandemic ebbs. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

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An estimated 822,000 households in Los Angeles County may be eligible for the discount, particularly if one member is already receiving benefits from Cal-Fresh, Medi-Cal, SSI, Lifeline, or is a student with a Pell Grant.

The discount is made possible by the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit, which was put in place last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic to help households get online, save money, and access digital services for critical resources such as housing, food assistance, and telehealth.

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The program has recently been made permanent, but county officials say households should apply before Dec. 30 to receive the maximum benefit. The benefit drops to $30 in January.

The program, which is focus of Los Angeles County’s “Delete the Divide” campaign, is a chance to make broadband internet accessible to everyone regardless of income, Supervisor Hilda Solis said.

“So many of our opportunities and resources are accessible online, and yet, so many of our residents and small businesses do not have access – especially those in Black and Latino communities,” she said in a statement.

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To apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, LA County residents can call (866) 696-8748 or apply online at internetforallnow.org.