Features to Consider When Looking for a Lifeline Service Provider

If you are searching for a Lifeline service provider, there are a few features that you should be aware of. These features include Income-based eligibility determination, yearly recertification, and Qualifications and Benefits. In addition, you can get discounted or free cell phone service if you are eligible for Lifeline service. To determine if you qualify for these benefits, fill out a Household Worksheet.


The Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) recently sought comment on the proposed Lifeline minimum service standards and its order and a petition for a limited waiver of the requirement to provide service over its facilities. The WCB’s announcements also included a change to the streamlined designation process for Lifeline Broadband Providers (LBPs) and a conditional designation for AR Designs, a nonprofit that offers a lifeline phone service.

The FCC has released the qualifications requirements for Lifeline service providers, and the Wireline Competition Bureau has asked ETCs to re-apply. Applicants for Lifeline service must be certified by the FCC as ETCs. The FCC also requires ETCs to submit an annual report to the FCC.

Lifeline subscribers may receive a voice-only service, a voice and broadband service package, or both. To qualify for Lifeline service, a Lifeline subscriber must meet the minimum service standards, which are reviewed annually.


Lifeline service providers offer discounted phone service and internet service to qualified consumers. This discount can be applied to home and internet services, bundled phone and internet services, or wireless. To qualify, consumers must be living at a qualifying address. Tax returns, pay stubs, or other documents can provide proof of eligibility.

Individuals must earn less than 135% of the federal poverty level to qualify. This means that if a person has an income under 135% of the federal poverty level, they qualify for a Lifeline discount. Those with lower incomes can sign up for Lifeline and receive a discounted phone service from participating providers.

The Wireline Competition Bureau has requested comment concerning a Lifeline Biennial Audit Plan. This request was made after the carrier submitted a compliance plan. This plan outlines how American Broadband plans to deliver Lifeline-supported services. The Wireline Competition Bureau has also announced that they have indexed the budget for Lifeline.

Income-Based Eligibility Determination

Consumers must know how the FCC determines eligibility for Lifeline services when trying to find a lifeline service provider. It may use an electronic process or manually review documentation. The electronic process likely utilizes existing databases, while manual verification requires consumers to provide physical eligibility documentation for Verifier review. Both methods will delay a Lifeline application. However, consumers should know each method’s potential pitfalls and benefits before deciding.

In most cases, the Lifeline service provider will require proof of eligibility, such as income or participation in a qualified program. This proof can be in the form of an official document or benefits letter. If customers do not meet these requirements, they may be disenrolled, fined, or barred from the Lifeline program altogether.

The FCC’s requirements for Lifeline eligibility have changed recently. Lifeline service providers must meet certain service quality standards to qualify for the program. While fixed broadband providers are exempt from those standards, they must offer a broadband service that offers at least four Mbps downloads and one Mbps upload to qualify for the $9.25 benefit. This new process is a positive step toward eliminating fraud and waste. The FCC has increased funding to fund the National Verifier to reduce the number of disqualified people and continue to receive the service.

Annual Recertification Form

You’ll need to complete an annual recertification form if you renew your Lifeline service. The National Verifier will run a verification process on your application to verify your eligibility. Once your application has been approved, you’ll receive a letter stating the date you need to recertify. Your Lifeline service may be terminated if you don’t complete this form.

You can choose a Lifeline service provider willing to complete an annual recertification form. This is required by law, and most providers will gladly submit it for you. However, you should ensure that the provider has a valid one before signing up.

The Wireline Competition Bureau guides eligible carriers who want to choose a Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). It also gives the Wireline Competition Bureau the authority to review and approve a Lifeline provider’s compliance plan.