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"Good Samaritan" Solution for Certain Applicants

In situations where the original service provider (as indicated on the Form 486) has gone out of business or has filed for bankruptcy protection before processing BEAR payment(s) for applicants, the SLD may now assist applicants in obtaining such BEAR payments through a "Good Samaritan" service provider.

The role of the Good Samaritan is simply to receive the BEAR payment from the SLD and pass the reimbursement through to the applicant within 10 days of that service provider receiving the check from USAC.

The role of the applicant is (1) to confirm that the service was provided, that the service was paid for in full, and that the original service provider is now out of business or in bankruptcy and (2) to designate a Good Samaritan service provider. The SLD can assist applicants in such designation, if necessary.

There are three guiding principles to the Good Samaritan situation. These are:
· Verification
· Good Samaritan Election
· Good Samaritan Protection

Verification

The applicant will be asked to provide proof that the services have been rendered and paid for, such as invoices from the original service provider and cancelled checks. The SLD will confirm that the original service provider is unwilling or unable to process the BEAR payment.

PLEASE NOTE: If USAC has already issued a check to the original service provider and that check was cashed by that service provider but the reimbursement of that amount was never received by the applicant, the situation is NOT a Good Samaritan situation. In such cases, SLD and/or the applicant would have to pursue legal remedies against the original service provider in order to claim the reimbursement. However, an applicant may still be able to seek a Good Samaritan solution for that portion of its eligible services for which a BEAR Form has not yet been fully processed.

Good Samaritan Election

The applicant will be asked to identify a telecommunications service provider with whom it has an E-rate relationship. If the applicant is unable to do that, the applicant will be directed to the Technical Client Service Bureau, which has guiding principles for identifying a substitute service provider. Those principles include: being a telecommunications provider, having a history of prompt BEAR reimbursements, not being delinquent on contributions to the Universal Service Fund, being certified for the appropriate funding year, and other indicators deemed important.

Good Samaritan Protection

The substitute service provider (the Good Samaritan) will get an acknowledgment from the SLD that the Good Samaritan did not render the service, that the Good Samaritan did not receive any payment for the service and that the Good Samaritan is willing to accept the BEAR payment solely as a pass-through mechanism and not as part of the Good Samaritan's revenue stream. These certifications will be confirmed in the BEAR Notification Letter that is generated in these instances prior to USAC issuing the BEAR check.

Requesting a Good Samaritan

Applicants who are in need of a Good Samaritan should contact the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at 1-888-203-8100 and request assistance with a Good Samaritan situation. The CSB representative will take down the information necessary to initiate the process, including the applicant's name, address, Form 471 number, FRN(s), the original service provider name, original SPIN, and the amount of reimbursement sought. Again, if the original service provider has already cashed a BEAR check and the applicant is seeking the reimbursement of that amount, the situation does not qualify for a Good Samaritan.

Written requests may be sent to:

Good Samaritan Request
Schools and Libraries Division
Box 125 - Correspondence Unit
80 S. Jefferson Road
Whippany, NJ 07981

  Content Last Modified: July 31, 2002