What is the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program? – The Lifeline program of the Federal Communications Commission makes communications services more affordable for low-income individuals. The Lifeline program offers subscribers discounts on qualified monthly telephone, broadband Internet, and voice and broadband services bundles from participating wireline providers or wireless providers. Providing low-income families with this discount helps them access jobs, healthcare, and educational resources provided by 21st-century broadband.
What is the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program?
The federal government created Lifeline Assistance in 1985 as a response to the concerns about low-income households being unable to afford phone service independently. The Lifeline Assistance program provides free phone service to qualified consumers based on federal or state eligibility criteria.
The Lifeline program is still administered by the federal government today. Lifeline discounts are available to qualified individuals and households. Those who qualify for the Lifeline phone program can enroll in Life Wireless for free phone service and government phones. ACP (Affordable Connectivity Program) lets eligible users choose a free cell phone and free data. A reliable 5G network (where available) is available across the country with Life Wireless.
The Lifeline program offers qualified customers a discount on their monthly wireless subscriptions.
How Lifeline Works
Low-income subscribers can receive a discount of $9.25 per month; tribal lands subscribers can receive a discount of $34.25 per month. Lifeline discounts may be applied to wireline or wireless services, but not both simultaneously. Broadband Internet and broadband-voice bundles are also available through Lifeline. It is prohibited for a household to have more than one Lifeline service.
Low-income consumers who qualify for Lifeline can access the program in all states, commonwealths, territories, and tribal lands. A company called Universal Service Administrative Company manages the Lifeline program. Through an annual recertification process, USAC helps consumers apply for and understand the program, as well as helps them understand eligibility requirements for the program. More information is available on USAC’s website regarding the program, including the requirements.
Consumers can participate in the Lifeline program if they either earn at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if they qualify for some federal assistance programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefits, or certain tribal programs. Review the information available at lifelinesupport.org (click “Do I Qualify?”) to determine if you are eligible.
National Verifier for Lifeline Eligibility
Consumers generally use the National Verifier application system to apply for Lifeline. Applicants for Lifeline are verified, and their eligibility is annually recertified through the National Verifier, established by the FCC and operated by USAC. If consumers need assistance with the application, they can locate a Lifeline program service provider in their area using the “Companies Near Me” tool.
Lifeline benefits will continue to be applied for in California (except for broadband-only consumers), Texas, and Oregon through the state’s existing application process. National Verifier will verify consumers’ eligibility for broadband-only services if they apply through California’s National Verifier application system. Visit the National Verifier, choose the relevant state from the drop-down menu, and click “Get Started” for specific directions on applying for Lifeline in all three states.
Call Lifeline at (800) 234-9473 or email [email protected] with any questions about your application.
How to apply for the lifeline assistance program?
To determine if your household qualifies for Lifeline discounts, call Frontier at 1.800.794.4741. We will discuss the program and eligibility rules with you. A Lifeline application form will then be sent to you by the Lifeline Administrator. You will receive an application form in a PINK envelope and your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
To apply for Lifeline, you may use your PIN at https://nv.fcc.gov/lifeline or complete the form and mail it to the Lifeline Administrator with any required proof. You must complete and return the form along with any required documents before the response date indicated on the form. You will only receive the Lifeline discounts if you return the form or provide the requested documentation.
How to Qualify for Lifeline with Spectrum
To keep our customers connected, we are committed to helping them. Lifeline and other government-assistance programs are Spectrum‘s way of providing assistance to its customers.
Your location and financial condition determine whether you qualify for Lifeline’s free Internet or phone service. We have different requirements for participation and application by the state, so contact us if you are interested.
A person may qualify for assistance from several programs if they meet the eligibility requirements. A discount on internet service is also possible through the Affordable Connectivity Program. Qualifying households will receive a monthly service and a one-time device credit as part of this program.
Qualifying for Lifeline
If you or a member of your household meets the following criteria, you may be eligible for this program:
- Spectrum customers, whether new or existing.
- Located in an area that participates.
- Meets income eligibility requirements or is currently enrolled in a qualifying government program. To see if you qualify, visit Lifeline Support.
The availability of Lifeline assistance may vary by state for home phone and/or internet service.
We are expanding our network through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to bring service to more customers nationwide.
How do I sign up for Lifeline?
It is not possible to get Lifeline service everywhere with Spectrum. Check out the website above to see if we are available in your area, and then find your state to see if you are eligible.
Are there any restrictions?
Spectrum Mobile service is not eligible for Lifeline. One qualifying residential Internet or home phone service is available per household. There is a limit to how many Lifeline benefits you can receive from one provider at a time, but you may be eligible for other government or state programs that subsidize the cost of service. The program is only available to eligible customers.
I have Lifeline, but no longer meet the requirements. What do I do?
The program’s eligibility requirements may change anytime, so please notify us immediately by calling (800) 941-7809. In the event of a change in your eligibility, you must notify us immediately.
How long are the benefits valid?
A Lifeline benefit is valid for one year. Reconfirming your eligibility after one year is required to continue receiving Lifeline benefits.
The Public Utilities Commission of Texas administers the Lifeline program in Texas and helps qualified low-income Texas households reduce their monthly phone or broadband costs. A participating service provider in your area may offer you the following benefits if you qualify. If you qualify for Lifeline, you can reduce the monthly telephone rate by up to $12.75.