Watch this video to learn about the Lifeline program, including how to qualify and what the benefit can be used for.
Watch this introductory presentation for community advocates (originally aired November 17, 2016) to learn about the Lifeline Program and how to support qualifying customers.
Or, skip to Getting Started with Lifeline to learn more.
Consumer advocacy groups, social service agencies, and other organizations that support Lifeline customers are welcome to print and distribute these publications in their communities:
Lifeline: How to Apply – Click to View
Lifeline: Manage Your Benefit – Click to View
Lifeline: Tribal Flyer – Click to View
Tribal Advocate Training – Click to View
Join USAC, the FCC, and other partner organizations for various training and awareness events throughout the year, including:
- NARUC’s Lifeline Awareness Week, held annually in September
Getting Started with Lifeline
Who Can Get Lifeline
Households that participate in certain federal assistance programs or earn 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for a Lifeline benefit. Visit the Do I Qualify? page to learn more.
How to Enroll Customers
Customers should ask their current phone/internet company if they offer Lifeline, or find a company that does. The company will provide an application and ask for proof of eligibility (such as a SNAP card).
If the application is approved, in most cases the benefit will begin right away. Visit the How to Get Lifeline page to learn more.
State Lifeline Benefits
The federal Lifeline benefit is $9.25 per month, but some states offer additional support amounts (for example, Texas Lifeline offers up to $12.75 per month and Pennsylvania Lifeline offers up to $11.75 per month). Participating phone/internet companies can help you determine the amount available in your state.
Additional Support for Tribal Lands
Residents of Tribal lands can receive an additional $25 per month, and up to $100 to cover the cost of service installation/activation. Learn more on the Tribal Lands page.
Who Manages Lifeline
Lifeline is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Program administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Most customer interactions occur through the customer’s phone/internet company. Each state has a Public Utility Commission or Public Service Commission that regulates the phone/internet companies, and these commissions can assist in cases where a phone/internet company is uncooperative or unresponsive to the customer.
Lifeline Program Rules
Visit the Lifeline Rules & Rights page to learn about the program’s rules for consumers.
Help & Customer Support
Phone/internet companies can answer most customers’ questions about Lifeline. But if the customer is having trouble working with their company, they can contact their state’s Public Utility Commission or USAC for help. Learn more on the Help page.