If you are eligible for a Lifeline Program benefit (check your eligibility), there are three steps to applying for and receiving the benefit.
Contact your phone/internet company and ask if they participate in Lifeline. You can also see if it participates using this interactive map of Lifeline providers.
Or, find a new participating Lifeline provider in your state using this interactive map of Lifeline Providers.
Contact your company to request a Lifeline Program application form. This application form will require your:
As part of your application, you'll need to provide proof that you are eligible for the Lifeline Benefit.
If you are using a qualifying program to prove your eligibility, bring proof of participation such as a SNAP card, Medicaid card, or your public housing lease agreement.
If you are using your household's income (at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines) to prove your eligibility, bring proof of income such as:
Once you submit the application to your company, they will verify your identity and make sure your household is not already receiving a Lifeline Program benefit.
In most cases, your identity will be verified, you will be enrolled in the Lifeline Program, and receive your benefit soon thereafter.
Sometimes, your company may not be able to verify your identity. In this case, your company will let you know of the issue (called a third-party identity verification or TPIV failure) and may ask for additional proof of identity. Submit these items to your company as soon as possible.
Here are some examples of items your company may ask for to help prove your identity:
If your identity is verified, you will be enrolled to receive a Lifeline Program benefit. If your identity cannot be verified, you will be denied a Lifeline Program benefit.
After you are enrolled in the Lifeline Program, your new company may supply a phone, and your benefit should start as soon as you receive it.
If you are applying the Lifeline benefit to an existing service, contact your company to ask when your benefit will begin.