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Lifeline: Phone and Internet Discount Program

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Lifeline program to help make communication services more affordable for eligible consumers. The Lifeline Program lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet services for qualifying individuals by providing a credit towards their bill.  

What does Lifeline cover? Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 monthly to put toward their bill. Lifeline can either be used for phone or internet, but not both. Individuals who qualify for the Tribal Lifeline can receive up to an extra $25 off their monthly bill, for a total Lifeline discount of up to $34.25 per month.

Who qualifies for the Lifeline Program? Individuals can qualify for the Lifeline Program based on their income, the use of SNAP, Medicaid, other federal and tribal programs, or through a child/dependent.

  • Income: If the household’s income is at 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines, individuals may be eligible for a Lifeline Program discount. The Federal Poverty Guidelines Chart can be accessed here.
  • Federal Assistance Programs: Individuals can get Lifeline if they (or someone in their household) participates in one of these federal assistance programs:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
    • Medicaid
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
    • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
    • Tribal Programs (and live on federally recognized Tribal lands)

*Individuals can sign up for Lifeline if their child or dependent participates in any of the programs listed above.

  • Tribal Lifeline: Individuals who live on Tribal lands, can qualify for Lifeline if they or someone in their household participates in:
    • Any of the federal assistance programs listed above
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • Head Start (only households meeting the income-qualifying standard)
    • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

How many people in a household can apply for Lifeline? There is a limit of one Lifeline discount (phone or internet, but not both) per household.

Where can eligible customers apply? Listed below are the three ways to enroll into a Lifeline Program.

  • Apply online: To enroll online, individuals can access the application here.
  • Apply by mail: To mail in an application, individuals may do so by downloading the application here and mailing it with proof of eligibility to the following address:
    • Lifeline Support Center P.O. Box 9100 Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773
  • Contact a qualifying phone or internet company: Individuals may also apply by contacting a qualifying phone or internet company. Individuals can find a qualifying phone or internet company near them here.

Lifeline Support Center:

For help applying to a Lifeline Program, individuals can contact the Lifeline Support Center by calling (800) 234-9473 or by sending an email to lifelinesupport@usac.org.


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