Process Overview

Consumers apply for Lifeline Program-supported service through their local telephone telecommunications company or a designated agency. The eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) then seek reimbursement from the federal universal service fund's Lifeline Program for the revenue they forgo to provide discounted service to eligible low-income consumers.

The Process

Join the Program

Step 1: Become an ETC
Step 2: Submit ETC Order to USAC
Step 3: Obtain a 498 ID
Step 4: Advertise Lifeline
Step 5: Learn Rules and Requirements

Program Requirements

Verify Subscriber Eligibility
Report Data Annually (FCC Form 481)
Receive Payment (FCC Form 497)
Recertify Subscribers (FCC Form 555)
De-Enroll Ineligible Subscribers