Timelines for 2020 have yet to be announced. Listed below is the 2019 timeline for reference
Timeline for Funding Year (FY) 2019
USAC Timeline in chart form
For purchases made between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019
July 1, 2018 through February 2, 2019 (estimated): File Form 470s
Form 470 is a public request for bids or quotations that are posted on the USAC site. You can file a Form 470 for the upcoming funding year as early as July 1 of the prior funding year.
January 10, 2019 through March 20, 2019 (estimated): File Form 471s
Form 471 is a request for funding for specific equipment and services at a specific price, based on the outcome of the Form 470 bid process. It cannot be filed until 28 days after the establishing Form 470 has been filed. The 471 filing window for FY 2018, which sets the first and last day that Form 471s can be filed, has not yet been set.
April 2019 until any time prior to funding notification: Submit RAL (if necessary)
A RAL (Receipt Acknowledgement Letter) lets you modify or cancel a funding request that you made in Form 471. This process is done through EPC. Once you have received an FCDL it is too late to modify the Form 471 request. (Thanks to Julie Tritt Schell of Pennsylvania for providing the information linked above.)
April 2019 through December 2019 - PIA Review
PIA (“Program Integrity Assurance”) reviews are requests for clarification or additional information about Form 471s. In most cases, once you have answered PIA’s questions you will be funded. In some cases, however, your funding request will be denied. In the 2016 funding year, 88% of all applications were funded, and 12% were denied.
April 2019 through December 2019 - FCDLs Issued
The FCDL (Funding Commitment Decision Letter) is USAC’s official notification that it has, or has not, approved the funding request that you made in your Form 471. If your request is denied, you have the option of filing an appeal within 60 days of receiving the FCDL. If you plan to appeal a decision, we recommend that you contact DPI for guidance before you begin.
July 1, 2019: Start of Funding Year
File Form 486 to inform USAC that funded services have begun or funded equipment has been received.
During the FY 2019 Funding Year
File Form 472s (“BEAR forms”), including provider or vendor invoices, to request direct reimbursement from USAC. This can be done at intervals of your choice throughout the funding year, or at the end of the funding year after all services have been received. OR
Ask your vendor or provider to file a Form 474 (“SPI”).They will then send you a discounted bill. Form 474 is the vendor’s request for reimbursement from USAC, to cover the discounted amount of your bill