U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez announced today that residents of licensed nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, and assisted living facilities will be eligible to request coupons from the TV Converter Box Coupon Program. The rule change takes effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. “Allowing nursing home residents and households who rely on a post office box for their mail to request coupons helps those most in need to make the switch to digital television,” Gutierrez said. “Ensuring that no one is left behind is our top priority and I encourage those who need a coupon to apply soon, and buy a converter box when their coupon arrives in the mail.” Applicants living in licensed nursing homes, intermediate care facilities and assisted living facilities will be required to provide their name, address of the facility and whether they receive television exclusively with an antenna, or through cable, satellite or other pay television service. A family member or a representative from the licensed facility may apply for one coupon for a nursing home resident, but the coupon will be mailed directly to the nursing home resident. A special application will be made available for nursing home residents to fill out once the rule becomes effective.
To address the possibility of waste, fraud and abuse, the Coupon Program will be vigilant and will deny applications that appear to be fraudulent. The address of each applicant will be checked against a third-party database to assist in validating eligibility.