Am I Eligible?

There are two ways to qualify for the Lifeline Program.

One: Income-Based Eligibility

If your household's income is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, you may be eligible for a Lifeline Program benefit.

Look up whether your income qualifies on the federal poverty guidelines eligibility chart. If your income is at or below the amount listed for your household's size and location, your household may be eligible for a Lifeline Program benefit.

Two: Program-Based Eligibility

If someone in your household participates in one of these federal programs, you may be eligible for a Lifeline Program benefit:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps;
  • Medicaid;
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8;
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit – NEW; or
  • Tribal Programs (and live on federally-recognized Tribal lands)

Notice: As of December 2, 2016, customers can no longer use the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or the NSLP free lunch program to prove their eligibility for Lifeline.

For more information on eligible programs and acceptable forms of documentation, please visit the Verify Subscriber Eligibility page.

One Benefit per Household

Only one Lifeline Program benefit (either wireless or landline telephone, home internet or a cell phone data plan) is allowed per household. The definition of a "household" is anyone living at an address (including children, relatives, people not related to you, etc.) who share income(s) and household expenses.

Use this questionnaire to determine if you are one household.

Am I Eligible

Your company will use a Household Worksheet to determine if more than one household resides at your address. The worksheet must be completed when any new customer applies for a Lifeline Program benefit at an address where a benefit is already being received.

Tribal Lifeline

If you reside on Tribal lands and participate in one of these programs, you may be eligible for an additional $25 per month of Lifeline support, plus the Tribal Link-Up benefit:

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance;
  • Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard);
  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF); or
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.

Tribal lands include any federally recognized Indian tribe's reservation, Pueblo, or colony, including former reservations in Oklahoma, Alaska Native regions, Hawaiian Home Lands, or Indian Allotments.

How to Apply

To apply for the benefit, contact your company and ask if they participate in Lifeline, or find a company that does. You should not contact USAC to apply for the benefit. See the Apply for Lifeline page for the four steps you need to take to apply for the Lifeline Program.