The Address Confidentiality Program

Ernest Warhurst

March 1, 2023

If you’ve been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) may help you keep your new address confidential. It offers victims two important services: a substitute mailing address and a mail-forwarding service.

ACP participants receive a legal substitute address accepted by all State and local agencies. They can use this address on driver’s license and school registration forms.

What is the ACP?

The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) helps victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking get mail and documents delivered to a confidential address. This may help them to escape the abuse they are experiencing and prevent their attackers from finding them.

The UK Health Professions Council has looked at regulating ACPs but has not come forward with any proposals. This is a significant disappointment to ACPs who were keen to see their status protected and regulated to protect their reputation and ensure their clinical contribution and higher-level skills are recognised.

In the UK this is not an easy task. The main problem is that ACPs do not have a regulating body like other healthcare professionals and cannot be regulated similarly. This impedes them from being recognised as a stand-alone profession within the healthcare system, particularly in the UK.

Who is eligible for the ACP?

Suppose you are a victim of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault and have moved to a new location. In that case, the Address Confidentiality Program may help protect you from being found by your abuser. Anyone who has been a victim of these crimes, including adults and minors, is eligible for the program.

ACP participants are issued a certification card by the Secretary of State that lists their name, a unique ID number and a substitute address. This address is a post office box in Hartford, Connecticut, unrelated to the participant’s residential or school address.

When a program participant presents his/her certification card, all public agencies (state and municipal) must accept the ACP substitute address as the person’s legal address of record. This is a valuable tool in preventing abusers from locating a survivor and to help survivors implement safety plans.

How does the ACP work?

The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) may help you get more affordable internet service if you struggle to pay your bills. It works with broadband providers to offer a one-time discount of $30 on monthly service for qualified households.

The ACP also protects participants from being locked out of broadband services that participate in the program if they have past balances due or debt. This allows consumers to switch service plans and reduces emergency bills or other financial harm.

Households can qualify for the ACP based on income or participation in government assistance programs, including Lifeline. They can also be eligible if they receive Pell Grants, Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income.

Federal agencies that administer these programs will coordinate efforts to reach out to households that qualify for the ACP. They can include mailings or phone calls in their outreach efforts.

What is the cost of the ACP?

The ACP provides a monthly discount to qualified households on their internet service bills. The credit can be applied to any broadband plan.

Eligible households can receive up to $30 per month. The amount is based on their monthly Lifeline benefit and any additional discounts they receive from their service providers.

Homeless shelters, school districts, and libraries may also qualify for the ACP as bulk purchasers of services. These organizations can help their community members understand and enrol in the program.

ACP enrollment can be complicated, and local leaders must support their communities. They can help overcome common barriers such as lack of awareness, trust in government or service providers, and a lack of information in an accessible language.