Lifeline

What is Lifeline?

Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone or internet service for eligible low-income subscribers.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

To be eligible for Lifeline assistance, you must meet income-based criteria currently defined as at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (see below) OR participate in ONE of the following programs:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension Benefit

135 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines (As of January 2019)

  • 1 person: $16,862
  • 2 people: $22,829
  • 3 people: $28,796
  • 4 people: $34,763
  • 5 people: $40,730
  • 6 people: $46,697
  • 7 people: $52,664
  • 8 people: $58,631

*For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $5,967 for each additional person.

Lifeline Rules

  • If you qualify, your household can get Lifeline for phone or internet service, but not both.
  • If you get Lifeline for phone service, you can get the benefit for one mobile phone or one home phone, but not both.
  • If you get Lifeline for internet service, you can get the benefit for your mobile phone or your home connection, but not both.
  • Your household cannot get Lifeline from more than one phone or internet company.
  • You are only allowed to get one Lifeline benefit per household, not per person. If more than one person in your household gets Lifeline, you are breaking the FCC’s rules and will lose your benefit.

Additional Information

  • A household is a group of people who live together and share income and expenses.
  • Lifeline is non-transferable. You cannot give your Lifeline benefit to another person, even if they qualify.
  • You must give accurate and true information on all Lifeline-related forms or questionnaires. If you give false or fraudulent information, you will lose your Lifeline benefit (i.e, de-enrollment or being barred from the program) and the United States government can take legal actions against you. This may include (but is not limited to) fines or imprisonment.
  • If the Lifeline Program Administrator is not able to prove you or someone in your household qualify using the Lifeline form and electronic databases, you may need to show an official document from one of the government qualifying programs or to prove your annual income.
    • If you qualify through a government program: copies of your state ID card and an official document from the programs you are qualifying through. The document must contain your name.
    • If you qualify through your income: copies of your state ID card and pay stubs for 3 consecutive months or other accepted documents.
    • Visit www.LifelineSupport.org to see the full list of accepted documents.

HOW TO APPLY FOR LIFELINE

Option 1: Apply Online

Visit the consumer portal, CheckLifeline.org, and create an account. You can fill out a Lifeline Application online. You will find out if you are eligible for Lifeline through the consumer portal immediately after applying online. If the National Verifier cannot prove your eligibility automatically, you will need to upload more documents to the consumer portal.

Option 2: Apply by Mail

Mail in your completed Lifeline Application, Household Worksheet, and copies of your proof of eligibility to:

USAC

Lifeline Support Center

P.O. Box 7081

London, KY 40742

USAC will contact you by email from LifelineSupport@usac.org or mail from the Lifeline Support Center to let you know if you qualify for Lifeline. If the National Verifier cannot check your eligibility, you will need to mail in more documents to the Lifeline Support Center.

RENEW EACH YEAR

You must recertify every year. If the National Verifier cannot recertify you, USAC will contact you with instructions to recertify. If you do not respond, you will lose your benefit.

If you have any questions, please call (800) 234-9473 or visit www.LifelineSupport.org.