Lifeline

RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT PAYMENT

Eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) that have provided eligible consumers with Lifeline Program-supported service must file the FCC Form 497 (Lifeline and Link Up Worksheet) to receive reimbursement for providing service at discounted rates.

This is not a consumer application for the Lifeline Program-supported service. If you are an eligible consumer and think that you may qualify for the program-supported service, visit LifelineSupport.org or contact your telecommunications company directly.

Coming in January 2018: New Claims Process

The Lifeline reimbursement claims process is changing at the end of this year. FCC Form 497 will be retired after the December 2017 data month (January 1, 2018 snapshot).

Starting with the January 2018 data month (February 1, 2018 snapshot), all service providers must use a new Lifeline reimbursement claims process. In the new process, service providers will download a report of subscribers eligible for reimbursement from NLAD, add the dollar amount claimed for each subscriber (or reason subscriber is not being claimed), and certify/submit the report.

Filing Requirements

The subscribers claimed should be reflective of the number of subscribers on the first day of the following month. For example, claims for August should reflect the number of subscribers on September 1.

Beginning with the August data month (September 1 snapshot), the number of subscribers claimed on FCC Form 497 cannot exceed the number of subscribers in the NLAD subscriber snapshot report (forms with claims exceeding the NLAD snapshot will be rejected). Please compare your FCC Form 497 claim to the NLAD subscriber snapshot report before submission. If a claim is higher than the NLAD count for legitimate reasons, contact USAC to justify the higher claim number.

Please complete all contact information each month so the review team can reach you with any questions. Please see the form instructions for other requirements.

File Monthly or Quarterly

Service providers must file one FCC Form 497 for each month for which they are claiming support and may file either quarterly or monthly. The subscribers claimed should be reflective of the number of subscribers on the first day of the following month. For example, claims for August should reflect the number of subscribers on September 1.

FCC Form 497 should be submitted online through USAC's E-File system, or sent to the address, fax number, or email address below. Service providers are encouraged to use the online FCC Form 497.

Universal Service Administrative Co.
Attn: Customer Operations
700 12th Street, NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
Fax Number: (866) 873-4665
Email: Lifeline Filings

E-file Entitlements

Create an E-file account and sub-accounts to file FCC Form 497:

  • The 497 Officer can enter data, authorized to certify the form, can create sub-accounts, and is responsible for password resets for sub-accounts.
  • A 497 Authorized User (sub-account) is a company employee that can enter data, but does not have the authority to certify the form.

Payment Process and Status

Lifeline Program support is paid each month based on an ETC's actual FCC Form 497 support claims.

Service providers that file certified FCC Forms 497 electronically through E-file by the eighth day of each month can receive payment for these claims at the end of the same month. Services providers that do not file by the eighth day of the month will receive payment the following month.

The Lifeline Program's disbursement tool enables companies to use various search methods to locate payment data for any month beginning in January 2004.

If you have questions about Red Light or the Debt Collection Improvement Act, visit the Contributors section of our website. If you have questions regarding the status of a disbursement, a remittance statement, or an invoice received, please contact Billing, Collections, and Disbursements.