Lifeline

Recertify Subscribers (FCC Form 555)

USAC-elected Recertification

Service providers may elect USAC to conduct the rolling recertification process on their behalf. There is no fee to elect USAC.

USAC’s process will comply with the Lifeline recertification rules and the 2016 Rolling Recertification Public Notice.

Elections Renewed Automatically Each Year

If you are a service provider that elected USAC for the 2017 calendar year, your election will be renewed automatically. Only resubmit an election spreadsheet for 2018 if your contact information has changed.

Not sure if your company has already elected USAC? Check out the list of participating SACs .

How to Elect USAC

USAC is accepting elections for the 2018 calendar year recertification until June 30, 2017. The first recertification batch will be for subscribers with January 2018 anniversaries and this process will be initiated in September 2017.

To elect USAC, complete the recertification election spreadsheet and return it to USAC via email. Service providers may limit the SACs for which USAC performs the recertification process.

The election is considered final, that is, it will be renewed automatically every year until the service provider officially revokes its election. If a service provider does not elect USAC by the deadline, it is assumed that the service provider will conduct its own recertification process.

Before electing USAC, take some time to review USAC’s process and contact us if you have any questions.
Note: Service providers who did not previously elect USAC for the 2017 calendar year are still responsible for recertifying subscribers with anniversary dates prior to January 2018.

Deadlines

  • June 30, 2017: Elect (or revoke) USAC to perform the 2018 recertification process
  • January 31, 2019: File FCC Form 555

The Process

USAC will conduct rolling recertification in monthly batches throughout the year. In accordance with Lifeline Rules and the 2016 Public Notice  , USAC will begin each batch no earlier than 150 days prior to the last anniversary date in the batch and will complete the batch in time to provide service providers with sufficient time to process the results and conduct de-enrollments prior to the first anniversary date in the batch.

The exact schedule will vary for each batch; USAC will publish the timeline and schedule information on our website in advance of each batch. It is the service provider’s responsibility to stay informed of these dates and to complete any required action as indicated.

Step 1: USAC Retrieves Subscriber Data
USAC will use the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) to retrieve subscriber information, including anniversary dates, for use during the recertification process. USAC will recertify every subscriber listed in NLAD for the participating SAC; no partial lists are permitted.

Carriers are responsible for updating NLAD within ten (10) business days of receiving any change to an existing subscriber’s information contained in NLAD. The accuracy of information within NLAD is essential to USAC’s ability to efficiently manage recertification efforts.

Note: Do not email subscriber lists to USAC, as they contain sensitive, personally identifiable information about your subscribers.

Step 2: Letter and Call/Text to Subscriber
USAC will send a letter (in both English and Spanish) to each subscriber via U.S. Mail informing them that they are required to recertify their eligibility to continue receiving Lifeline-supported services.

The letter explains the recertification process, how to confirm continued eligibility, and that a response is required within 60 days or the subscriber will be de-enrolled (lose their discount).

USAC will also send subscribers several automated call or text message reminders to prompt a response during the 60-day period.

Step 3: Subscriber Responds
The subscriber must then respond to the letter by completing their recertification one of three ways:

    1. Phone: Call a toll-free number and complete the prompts from an automated voice response system.
    2. Online: Complete an online form using the USAC-maintained recertification website.
    3. Mail: Complete, sign, and return a hard-copy recertification form via U.S. Mail.

Any subscriber that does not respond within the 60-day period will be considered ineligible and must be de-enrolled. If the subscriber fails to respond, USAC will notify them (via phone call) that because they failed to recertify, their service provider is in the process of de-enrolling them from the Lifeline Program.

Step 4: De-Enroll Ineligible Subscribers
Once the 60-day recertification window ends for each batch, USAC will email the results to each service provider. This will include a list of subscribers that successfully recertified, as well subscribers that did not recertify.

Service providers must de-enroll the customers that failed to recertify within five (5) days of receiving the recertification results. The service provider must then use the recertification results to complete the FCC Form 555, and submit to USAC by January 31.

Additional Information

  • Obligation to Check Databases: Some states require service providers to first attempt confirming Lifeline eligibility via a database before contacting the subscribers directly. Currently, USAC does not have access to any databases and as such, will not be checking databases prior to mailing the recertification letters. It is the carrier’s responsibility to determine if this situation puts the company in violation of the respective state's law before electing USAC.
  • Waiver States: Some states received a temporary waiver from Lifeline's streamlined list of eligibility programs, and USAC will honor state eligibility waivers (more details in FCC Order 16-1324 ). Until the approved deadline, subscribers in these states will receive a modified version of the recertification form that still includes the retired eligibility programs.
  • It is your company's responsibility to provide customer support during the recertification process. USAC does not have a customer support number for Lifeline recertification.
  • USAC does not have the ability to provide live recertification status updates during the 60-day response window to either service providers or subscribers. After the conclusion of the 60-day response window, service providers will receive a file containing the results of the recertification, and the subscribers will receive a de-enrollment notification if they failed to recertify.

How to Cancel your Election

To cancel your election for the 2018 calendar year recertifications, complete the recertification election spreadsheet  (choose "revoke") by the election deadline, and send the completed spreadsheet to USAC via email by June 30, 2017.