Access to affordable voice and Internet service is vital to stay connected in today's world.
People need these services to connect with healthcare providers, potential employers, educational programs, and loved ones.
Yet, affordable service remains a challenge for low-income consumers living on Tribal lands. The federal Lifeline Program helps close the gap for these consumers by offering a monthly discount of up to $34.25 off a qualified household's phone or Internet bill.
A household is a group of people who share income and expenses. Consumers who live with another person already receiving the Lifeline benefit, but do not share income and expenses, may still be eligible for the discount.
Consumers may qualify for the Lifeline through their income or if they can provide proof of enrollment in one of the nine Tribal or federal Lifeline qualifying government programs.
Households with income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for Lifeline. Consumers enrolled in one of the following government programs qualify for Lifeline as well:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pensions Survivors Benefits
Consumers living on federally-recognized Tribal lands may also qualify if they take part in one of the following Tribal government programs:
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Tribal Head Start
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
Consumers have several options to apply. They may visit a Lifeline phone or Internet company in their area. Lifeline's Companies Near Me tools allows consumers to search for Lifeline companies in their area by typing in their ZIP code or city and state. Consumers also have the option to submit an online application or mail in a paper application to the Lifeline Support Center.
USAC's Lifeline Support Center serves as a resource for prospective and current Lifeline participants. Consumers may submit questions via email, or by calling 800.234.9473. More information is available on the Lifeline Support website.
The Lifeline Program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), under the oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).