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Each year, a study of participation rates is conducted in the Lifeline Program for each state.
The study compares the eligibility criteria used by each state against government and other publicly-available data to determine the number of eligible households under each program. Many states include income as a criterion, including those that use the federal default criteria. The study uses the federal poverty guidelines to determine the number of eligible households based on income in these states. The study relies on data published for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Food Stamps to calculate an average number of households that receive assistance through more than one program. This amount is subtracted from the total number of eligible households in states that included multiple programs in their eligibility criteria. The study then compares the number of eligible households in each state against our data on Lifeline Program participation to calculate an estimated participation rate for each state. Included in the study is the eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) with the most Lifeline Program subscribers in each state.