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 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.

Starting with the January 2018 data month, 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. More detail about the new process will be available in August 2017.

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.

ETCs are encouraged to use the online FCC Form 497. ETCs who 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. ETCs that do not file by the eighth day of the month will receive payment the following month.

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

Payment Process and Status

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

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.