Lifeline

Verify Subscriber Eligibility

State Eligibility Verification Processes

The process to verify Lifeline eligibility varies by state.

In most states, service providers are responsible for verifying whether a subscriber is eligible for Lifeline before providing the benefit, and recertifying eligibility annually. In other states, service providers must use a state-specific process to confirm eligibility.

A Tool for Lifeline Service Providers

This list is maintained by USAC to inform service providers about state application processes and available eligibility databases. It is not official, and is not a replacement for state and FCC rules. For the most up-to-date information about eligibility verification processes and available eligibility data sources for each state, speak to the state regulator or Lifeline administrator directly.

If a state does not appear on this list, USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database. Help us keep this list up-to-date! If you believe this list is inaccurate or have new information to add, contact us at LifelineProgram@usac.org.

List Key: State-Specific Eligibility Processes

  • Application Process shows the process consumers follow to apply for Lifeline.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification shows who is responsible for verifying that the consumer has a qualifying income or participates in a qualifying program, and verifying that they are claiming only one benefit per household.
  • Form Requirements, including whether consumers should use the Lifeline universal consumer forms or a state-specific form, and state-specific requirements.
  • State Data Sources available to service providers. If a data source is available, service providers are required to query it to verify eligibility prior to conducting a manual eligibility review.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria shows the status communicated to USAC or the FCC of whether the state's Lifeline eligibility systems and process were updated in time to align with the streamlined federal eligibility criteria.*

* If a state's eligibility verification database or process is not updated, service providers cannot rely on it to determine a subscriber's eligibility from December 2, 2016, until it is updated. The FCC granted a temporary waiver to some states, which allows service providers to continue using the database for the duration of the waiver or until the database meets the FCC's rules (whichever is sooner). More information is available in the Order released December 1, 2016.

Skip to: States A - C, States D - I, States K - M, States N - N, States O - T, States U - Z

States A - C

Alabama

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Alaska

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

American Samoa

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Arizona

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Arkansas
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the Lifeline Verification Database, which is administered by the DHS and validates participation in SNAP and Medicaid. To request access, contact the DHS.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
California
  • Application Process: For voice or bundled service types, consumers contact California Lifeline to begin the application process. For broadband-only service, consumers apply through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers are responsible for using the state's process to verify eligibility for voice or bundled service types. Service providers must verify the eligibility of broadband-only subscribers, and enter broadband-only subscribers in NLAD.
  • Form Requirements: TBA - pending final confirmation.
  • State Data Sources: Not available to service providers.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Received a temporary waiver from streamlining eligibility programs until October 31, 2017; received an extension of the temporary waiver until April 30, 2018.
Colorado
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers, until the National Verifier initial launch.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Not available to service providers.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Not applicable.
Connecticut
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the ImpaCT Database, which is administered by the Dept. of Social Services and validates SNAP and Medicaid participation. For access, contact the DSS.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.

States D - I

Delaware

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

District of Columbia
  • Application Process: For landline voice service, the consumer calls 800-253-0846 to apply through the DC utility discount program administrator. For other service types, the consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: The district's administrator for landline voice service; service providers for other service types.
  • Form Requirements: Use the DC forms for landline voice service. For other service types, Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Not available to service providers.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Florida
  • Application Process: Consumers can apply through a Lifeline service provider, visit the Lifeline Florida website, apply through the DCF (SNAP/Medicaid recipients only), or through the Florida OPC (if qualifying based on income).
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers. Service providers should also be prepared to receive eligibility information from the Florida PSC, DCF and OPC.
  • Form Requirements: TBA - pending final confirmation.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the Lifeline Database, which is administered by the FL PSC and validates SNAP and Medicaid Participation. To request access, contact Greg Fogleman at (850) 413-6574.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Georgia
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the GATEWAY database, which is administered by the DHS and validates participation in SNAP and Medicaid.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Guam

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Hawaii

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Idaho
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the Partner Data Access Portal (PDAP) database, which is administrated by the Dept. of Health and Welfare and validates participation in SNAP and Medicaid.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Illinois
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the LEVS database is available to some service providers, however the DHS is not accepting new requests for access.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Eligibility system/process was in compliance as of January 17, 2017. Service providers could not rely on the system/process for eligibility determinations between December 2, 2016 and January 17, 2017.
Indiana

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Iowa

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

States K - M

Kansas

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Kentucky
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must querythe KYHBE database, which is administered by the CHFS DFS, and validates participation in SNAP and Medicaid. Call the CHFS DFS at (502) 564-3440 to request access.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Eligibility system/process is compliance as of May 1, 2017. Service providers could not rely on the system/process for eligibility determinations between December 2, 2016 and May 1, 2017.
Louisiana

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Maine

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Maryland
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the Tel-Life database, which is administered by the DHS and validates participation in SNAP and Medicaid. To request access, contact the MD DHS.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Aligned with Federal Criteria? Received a temporary waiver from streamlining eligibility programs until October 31, 2017; eligibility system/process is in compliance as of July 31, 2017.
Massachusetts
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the universal Lifeline consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018. Massachusetts requires wireless ETCs to include the DTC's Consumer Division contact information on their application form, which wireless ETCs can add as a separate page to the universal forms. For more information, review the DTC's Notice 13-4, released on April 2, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the BEACON3 database, which is administered by the Dept. of Transitional Assistance and validates participation in SNAP.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Michigan
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the MI Lifeline Eligibility Database, which is administered by the DHS and validates participation in SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, TANF, and LIHEAP.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Received a temporary waiver from streamlining eligibility programs until December 31, 2017, and waiver extension until June 30, 2018.
Minnesota
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: TBA - pending final confirmation.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - the DHS can supply eligibility data to validate participation in SNAP and Medicaid for recertification (cannot be used for initial eligibility verification).
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Mississippi
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers, until the National Verifier initial launch.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Not available to service providers.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Not applicable.
Missouri
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: No.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Montana
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers, until the National Verifier initial launch.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: No
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Not applicable.

States N

Nebraska
  • Application Process: Consumers on Tribal lands apply through a participating service provider. Other consumers apply through the Nebraska PSC.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers are responsible for using the NE PSC's process to verify eligibility for non-Tribal subscribers by validating participation in all qualifying programs and income level. For consumers living on Tribal lands, service providers are responsible for eligibility verification.
  • Form Requirements: TBA - pending final confirmation for non-Tribal consumers. Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018, for consumers on Tribal lands.
  • State Data Sources: Not available to service providers.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Nevada
  • Application Process: Consumers apply through the Nevada Lifeline Administrator.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers are responsible for using the state's process to validate participation in all qualifying programs and income level.
  • Form Requirements: The Nevada Lifeline Administrator will use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Not required for service providers. However, there is an optional API service providers can use to see a Y/N eligibility response for SNAP & Medicaid, which is available from the administrator.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
New Hampshire

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

New Jersey
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the NJ Lifeline Eligibility Database, which is administered by the NJ OIT and validates participation in SNAP, Medicaid, and SSI.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
New Mexico
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers, until the National Verifier initial launch.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Not available to service providers.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Not applicable.
New York
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the Welfare Management System (WMS) is administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and validates participation in SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, Safety Net, LIHEAP, and SSI.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Received a temporary waiver from streamlining eligibility programs until December 1, 2017; received an extension of the temporary waiver until April 30, 2018.
North Carolina
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the CSDW database, which is administered by the DHHS and validates participation in SNAP.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
North Dakota

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Northern Mariana Islands

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

States O - T

Oregon
  • Application Process: Consumers apply through the Oregon PUC.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: For non-Tribal consumers, service providers are responsible for using the PUC of Oregon's process to validate participation in all qualifying programs and income level. For consumers that live on Tribal lands, service providers are responsible for eligibility verification.
  • Form Requirements: TBA - pending final confirmation.
  • State Data Sources: Not available to service providers. The Oregon PUC uses the DHS and OHA databases to validate participation in SNAP, Medicaid, and SSI.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Pennsylvania
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the COMPASS database, which is administered by the DHS and validates participation in SNAP, Medicaid, and SSI. To request access, contact the DHS.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Puerto Rico
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the database that is administered by the Department of Family and validates participation in NAP (PAN).
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Rhode Island

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

South Carolina

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

South Dakota

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Tennessee
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers are responsible for using the TPUC's process to verify income-based eligibility. Service providers are responsible for program-based eligibility verification.
  • Form Requirements: TBA - pending final confirmation.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the DHS Lifeline Verification Database, which is administered by the TPUC and validates participation in SNAP and Medicaid.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Texas
  • Application Process: Consumers apply through the Texas PUC.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers are responsible for using the state's process to verify eligibility, which validates participation in all qualifying programs and income level.
  • Form Requirements: TBA - pending final confirmation.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - the TXLAD validates participation in SNAP and Medicaid. To request access, contact the administrator at (973) 581-5052.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.

States U - Z

Utah
  • Application Process: For landline voice service, consumers apply through the Utah DWS. For other service types, consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers are responsible for using the Division of Public Utilities' process to verify eligibility for landline voice service, and service providers manage eligibility verification for all wireless and broadband services until the National Verifier's initial launch.
  • Form Requirements: TBA - pending final confirmation for landline voice service. For other service types, use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Not available for wireless service providers. For landline voice service, the DPU will use the DWS eREP database to verify eligibility, which validates participation in SNAP, Medicaid, and SSI.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Received a temporary waiver from streamlining eligibility programs until October 31, 2017; eligibility system/process was in compliance as of November 1, 2017.
Vermont
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: No.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Received a temporary waiver from streamlining eligibility programs until October 31, 2017; starting November 1, 2017, service providers are responsible for determining eligibility.
Virgin Islands

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Virginia

USAC has not received information indicating that the state has a unique application process or an eligibility database available to service providers. Complete a manual eligibility review and use the universal consumer forms.

Washington
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Not available for landline providers. Wireless providers must query the BVS database, which is administered by the DSHS and validates participation in SNAP and Medicaid.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Received a temporary waiver from streamlining eligibility programs until June 30, 2017; eligibility system/process was in compliance as of June 30, 2017.
West Virginia
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers are responsible for using the PSCWV's process to validate participation in all qualifying programs and income level.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: Not available to service providers.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.
Wisconsin
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service Providers.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018. Wisconsin requires the consumer's signed consent before using the CALER database, which service providers can add as a separate page to the forms.
  • State Data Sources: Yes - service providers must query the CALER database, which is administered by the DHS and validates participation in SNAP, Medicaid, SSI and income level. To request access, contact the WI DHS.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Received a temporary waiver from streamlining eligibility programs until December 31, 2017; eligibility system/process was in compliance as of November 4, 2017.
Wyoming
  • Application Process: Consumer applies through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers, until the National Verifier initial launch.
  • Form Requirements: Use the Lifeline universal consumer forms beginning July 1, 2018.
  • State Data Sources: No.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes - the state's eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.


Last updated on 4/3/18. This list will be updated regularly based on USAC's understanding of state processes and provider needs to remain in compliance. If you believe this information is inaccurate, please notify USAC.