How To Determine Eligibility for the Lifeline Phone Program
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for maintaining the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure. The Communications Act mandates the FCC to ensure that all Americans have access to telecommunications services and facilities.
The FCC has delegated the administration of the Lifeline program to the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), which administers the program on its behalf. The Lifeline program is available to eligible customers in landline and wireless voice and broadband internet services.
While the requirements to participate in the Lifeline program are the same for all service providers, certain states have adopted their verification protocols.
The National Verifier
The majority of states use the National Verifier application system. This system is a web-based application that allows the customer to verify their eligibility for the Lifeline program, apply for the discount, and even help the user find participating service companies in their area. For example, once qualified for cell phone assistance Oklahoma citizens can use the “Companies Near Me” feature to find a participating cell phone provider.
Three states have their own verification systems. California uses its application system for phone service but uses the National Verifier for broadband internet services. Texas and Oregon have their own verification systems for all Lifeline services.
Things to Keep In Mind
Lifeline is only available to low-income customers. To qualify for the program, you must be verified by the database or submit documentation that proves your eligibility. Only one Lifeline discount can be applied to each household. If you are eligible for Lifeline, you must recertify your eligibility every year.