The Lifeline program of the federal universal service low-income program provides a benefit of $9.25 toward qualifying services.
Are you eligible?
To participate in the Lifeline program, a consumer must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines (see chart below) or participate in one of the following assistance programs:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veteran’s Pension and Survivors Benefit
If you reside on tribal lands and participate in any of the federal or state assisted programs listed below:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribally – Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Tribal Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met)
A consumer may be eligible if his or her household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines as indicated in the chart below. These amounts may change and you are required to provide proof of all sources of income. The person applying for eligibility must be the same person listed on the telephone bill.
Federal Rules prohibit eligible low-income consumers from receiving more than one Lifeline benefit per household. An eligible consumer may receive one benefit on either phone service (home or wireless) or internet (home or mobile), but not both.
A household is defined, for the purposes of the Lifeline program, as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address as one economic unit. An “economic unit” consists of all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of the household. A household may include related and unrelated persons. A household is not permitted to receive Lifeline benefits from multiple providers. Violation of the one-per-household limitation constitutes a violation of the FCC’s rules and will result in de-enrollment from the program. Lifeline is a non-transferable benefit and you may not transfer your benefit to any other person.
A consumer whose household currently is receiving more than one Lifeline benefit must select a single Lifeline provider and contact the other provider to de-enroll from their program. Consumers violating this rule may also be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.
|Household Size||48 Contiguous States, DC, and Territories||Alaska||Hawaii|
|For each additional person, add||$5,967||$7,466||$6,858|
Are there any restrictions?
The Lifeline program is available for one service per “economic unit” so that separate low-income families living at the same address can get connected. You must establish service prior to applying for the Lifeline benefit. The name on the billing statement must match the name of the household member participating in the eligible program.
Being a Lifeline customer does not protect you from being disconnected if you fail to pay your telephone bill.
The Lifeline benefit cannot be applied to an outstanding balance owed to Telemedia.
How to Apply with the National Verifier: Customers have two ways to apply for Lifeline on their own using the National Verifier. If a customer wants more support in applying, simply ask Telemedia to help submit an application on your behalf.
Apply Online: You can apply online by going to the National Verifier consumer portal at CheckLifeline.org/lifeline and creating an account. You may find out if you qualify for Lifeline through the website immediately after applying online. If the National Verifier cannot prove your eligibility automatically, you will need to upload more documents to the consumer portal.
Apply by Mail: To apply by mail, you will need to send in your completed Lifeline Application (English or Spanish), Household Worksheet, and copies of your proof of eligibility to the Lifeline Support Center. The Lifeline Support Center’s mailing address is:
Lifeline Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742
If you apply online, USAC will contact you by email from LifelineSupport@usac.org with your qualification result. If you apply by mail you will receive a letter from the Lifeline Support Center to let you know if you qualify for the program.
Once you have successfully qualified for Lifeline and you have phone and/or internet service with Telemedia, simply provide us with your eligibility decision letter to be enrolled in the program. Regardless of the application method you choose, you will need the following information:
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Last 4 digits of your Social Security number (or Tribal identification number)
Recertification: Every year, you have to show that you still qualify for Lifeline. The National Verifier will first try to confirm your eligibility automatically. If the National Verifier cannot recertify you, USAC will contact you with instructions. You must follow these instructions, otherwise you will lose your Lifeline benefit. USAC will also send you reminders.