Lifeline Program

A FCC initiative called Lifeline lets lower-income consumers access communications services at a lower cost. For qualified low-income customers, the Lifeline program offers discounted telecommunications service. By providing a discount, 21st century broadband and the access it grants to resources for employment, healthcare, and education are made more affordable for low-income users.

What is Lifeline Program ?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Lifeline program in 1985, with the goal of lowering the cost of communications services for low-income consumers. Qualified users can get a discount on their monthly wireless telecommunications service through the lifeline program.

Lifeline program provides subscribers a discount on qualifying monthly broadband internet service, telephone service, or bundled voice-broadband packages purchased from participating wireline or wireless providers.

The Lifeline program offers eligible low-income Americans subsidies for both broadband and cellphone service. Customers typically utilize their broadband provider to acquire these funds, which enables them to use the National Verifier system. For eligible low-income consumers, Lifeline offers a $9.25 monthly service discount. It is possible for subscribers to get a Lifeline discount on either a wireline or a wireless service, but not both at once.

Kay Facts of FCC Lifeline Program

  • Lifeline is a federal program dedicated to making internet service and phone service more affordable for low-income households.
  • Lifeline program offers qualifying low-income customers a service discount of up to $9.25 per month, while subscribers who reside on tribal lands can receive a discount of up to $34.25 per month.
  • Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income subscribers in every state, tribal lands, territory and commonwealth.
  • Subscribers are eligible for the Lifeline discount on either landline or wireless services, but not both at the same time.
  • Broadband internet service and broadband-voice bundles are also supported by Lifeline program.
  • Subscribers must either meet the federal poverty requirements of 135% or less in income or be enrolled in specific assistance programs in order to participate in lifeline program.

How Does the Lifeline Program Work ?

Lifeline is a FCC (Federal Communications Commission) program. It enables low-income people and families to access cheaper landline or mobile phone service. Some individuals are also eligible for a free phone. With this incentive, qualified customers can receive a monthly discount of up to $9.25. Customers may receive an additional discount of up to $34.25 per month if they reside on tribal territories.

Based on household size and income, the Lifeline program offers a discount on phone or Internet service. Every state, territory, commonwealth, and tribal land in the United States offers it to qualified low-income subscribers who satisfy specific income limits.

Subscribers who use Lifeline receive a discount on their monthly phone service from participating service providers in the market. Additionally, subscribers can get broadband at a discount from participating providers. Customers who use Lifeline must first apply, join a partner phone or internet provider, recertify every year, and maintain their information.

Who is Eligible for Lifeline Program ?

The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, commonwealth, territory and on Tribal lands. Depending on your income or participation in a government assistance program, you might be qualified for Lifeline.

If you or your family meets one of the following criteria, you may be eligible for lifeline program :

Have income at 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines.

Participate in one of the following government programs :

How to Apply for Lifeline Program ?

To apply for Lifeline, you have a few choices. You can submit a paper application form by mail or apply directly through the Lifeline program's National Verifier online portal.

If a Lifeline service provider supports it, you can also apply for the program by contacting them directly through their website or in person at a store location. Find a Lifeline provider in your areaYou must apply through a local participating company.

To find out more about how to apply on your own using the National Verifier, visit

Request the company for a Lifeline application. They'll require the following details from you :
  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Last 4 digits of your Social Security number or tribal identification number

Additionally, you must show at least one of the following :
  • Social Security card
  • Prior year's tax return
  • Unexpired ID such as a driver's license
  • Other documents to prove your identity

You must provide evidence of your eligibility by :
  • Demonstrating your income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty level via a pay stub or tax return, or 
  • Showing a card or award letter as proof that you or your family participate in the government's programs.

Lifeline Program Application Form :

Print a Lifeline Application Form Online. Fill up a Lifeline application, then mail it to this address with copies of your identification documents.

Mail at :
Lifeline Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742

  • You must recertify each year in order to keep receiving your Lifeline service.
  • If you don't have access to a phone, get in touch with your state's or your city's social services department. You can locate a local emergency cell phone donation program with the assistance of local and state social service agency.

Contact Lifeline Program

It is your local phone company's responsibility to assist you with Lifeline applications. They can also assist you in resolving any problems you are having with your Lifeline service. Look up your company's contact information (Lifeline program phone number) and call them.

Contact the Lifeline Support Center, if you require additional help or if your company isn’t responding.
  • Call for assistance at (800) 234-9473
  • E-mail at

Report Fraud

To simplify reporting of potential fraud in the program, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau maintains a dedicated Lifeline Fraud Tip Line at 1-855-4LL-TIPS (or 1-855-455-8477) and an email address at

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of lifeline program?
To ensure that all Americans have the security and opportunities that phone service affords, including the ability to connect to jobs, family, and emergency services, the Lifeline program has offered a discount on phone service to eligible low-income consumers since 1985.

What is the Lifeline Program's current benefit?
For qualifying monthly broadband or bundled services that satisfy the broadband minimum service requirements, eligible users may receive a Lifeline discount of up to $9.25 per month. A discount of up to $5.25 is available to qualified subscribers for monthly service that satisfies only the voice minimum service requirements. Either landline services or wireless services are eligible for the discount.

What is the benefit amount for tribal lands?  
Eligible low-income subscribers residing on tribal lands may get up to $25 in additional support in addition to up to $9.25 for traditional Lifeline service.

What documents must I submit when I enroll for Lifeline program?
A recent statement of benefits from a qualified program, a notice letter of participation in a qualifying program, program participation documents, or any official document of a qualifying program are all acceptable documents to prove eligibility based on participation in a qualifying program. You can get more specific information about required documentation at here.

Can I receive more than one discounted service?  
No, eligible low-income subscribers are not allowed to receive more than one Lifeline discount per household, as per federal regulations. A discount can be applied to either a wireline or cellular voice service (but not both), broadband, or bundled services for eligible subscribers.

What if I have free Lifeline?  
In order to maintain your benefit if you receive Lifeline service for free, you must adhere to all other Lifeline program requirements as well as use your service once every 30 days.

Who should I contact with if I have a problem with a mobile phone or other hardware that my Lifeline service provider has provided?
The Lifeline program's accompanying hardware, such as mobile phones delivered by a service provider to a Lifeline subscriber, are not subsidized by the FCC. Please get in touch with your service provider directly if you are experiencing problems with your smartphone or any other devices connected to your Lifeline service.

Who administrate the lifeline program?
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) oversees the Lifeline program. USAC is in charge of assisting consumers with program applications, understanding eligibility conditions, and maintaining the validity of their benefit through an annual recertification procedure.

Who qualify for lifeline program?
Subscribers must either meet the federal poverty requirements of 135% or less in income or be enrolled in specific assistance programs in order to participate in the program.

How to sign up for lifeline program?
Once you are eligible, select a local phone or internet provider that provides the Lifeline benefit and sign up for service there. If your current employer provides the Lifeline benefit, you can request that it apply to a service you are already receiving.