Lifeline

Trainings & Outreach

LI Program News - April 14, 2017

April 14, 2017

USAC is pleased to share that the National Verifier build is underway and we are making progress developing the infrastructure and processes that will allow USAC to assume the responsibility of confirming eligibility of Lifeline subscribers. To ensure build out and implementation runs smoothly, USAC has enlisted the help of a systems integrator to support our state and federal partners with all technical aspects of the National Verifier implementation. We are confident that with their expertise, the process will be seamless and conducive for all involved.

 

Stakeholder feedback is important to the National Verifier development and build process. USAC will reach out shortly to set up National Verifier feedback conversations. At any time, you can share National Verifier feedback through the comments at www.LifelineNationalVerifier.org.

 

We will continue to share National Verifier updates throughout the development and build process through this monthly newsletter, on the USAC Website and on the Lifeline National Verifier blog. To receive more frequent National Verifier build updates and learn about additional opportunities to provide feedback on the process, please sign up for the National Verifier Build Update.

Service providers must now conduct Lifeline subscriber recertifications on a rolling basis starting with subscriber anniversary dates of July 1, 2017 or later. The entire recertification process (including de-enrollment from both internal company listings and NLAD) must be completed by the customer's anniversary date which is every 12 months from the customer's service initiation date or the date when their eligibility was last verified. The process is outlined below.

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1. If available, service providers must first query federal or state databases (e.g., SNAP, Medicaid) to verify a subscriber's eligibility

Service providers must first ensure their state's eligibility verification process is compliant with the streamlined Lifeline eligibility criteria. Service providers in waiver states may continue to use the retired programs until the waiver expires. 

 

2. If the database cannot verify the customer's eligibility, service providers must contact the customer directly

When doing so, service providers must give the customer no more than 60 days to respond and follow all the related program rules for recertification as outlined in sections §54.405(e) and §54.410(d)(f). Service providers are also responsible for obtaining the subscriber's signature and initials to confirm their acknowledgment of all recertification statements.

 

Service providers may not contact the customer more than 150 days before their anniversary date but we recommend starting this process as close to the opening of this window as possible since the period to verify eligibility, contact customers, gather responses, and de-enroll subscribers is around 65 days. This means you must begin the process for July 1 anniversary subscribers no later than April 27, 2017.

 

3. Once the 60-day response window has closed

Service providers must de-enroll customers from internal databases within 5 business days and from NLAD within 1 business day of their internal de-enrollment.

 

4. Report Results on FCC Form 555

Complete and annually submit to USAC, the FCC, and your state by January 31.

 

Please visit our website to learn more about the Rolling Recertification Process. You can also watch the March 8 Lifeline Program webinar for more information.

Did you know that in order to prevent an audit finding for "Improper Certification and/or Recertification Disclosures", service providers must include all certifications and disclosures on advertising materials, certification and recertification forms?

 

Some carrier's Lifeline Program advertising materials, subscriber certification documentation, or subscriber recertification documentation does not include all required disclosures. Here are some key data points to ensure that each certification and/or disclosures are not omitted.

 

Lifeline Program Advertising Material

Indicate on all advertising materials (including all print, audio, video, and web materials used to describe or enroll in the Lifeline service offering, including application and certification forms describing the service), using easily understood language that:

  • Lifeline is a service
  • Lifeline is a government assistance program
  • The service is non-transferable
  • Is only available to eligible consumers
  • The program is limited to one discount per household.

Lifeline Program Eligibility Certification Forms

Using easily understood language, the following disclosures must be included on all eligibility certification forms:

  • Lifeline is a federal benefit and that willfully making false statements to obtain the benefit can result in fines, imprisonment, de-enrollment or being barred from the program;
  • Only one Lifeline service is available per household;
  • A household is defined, for purposes of the Lifeline program, as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses;
  • A household is not permitted to receive Lifeline benefits from multiple providers;
  • Violation of the one-per-household limitation constitutes a violation of the Commission's rules and will result in the subscriber's de-enrollment from the program; and
  • Lifeline is a non-transferable benefit and the subscriber may not transfer his or her benefit to any other person.

Please visit our Common Audit Findings page for more helpful tips to prevent this and other findings from occurring. 

Join us on April 19 for our monthly Lifeline Program webinar. The agenda will be sent to registered attendees one week prior to the event.
 
To view the slides or recordings from previous events, please visit our Trainings and Outreach page.

 

Lifeline Program

Newsletter

April 2017

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