Recertify Subscribers (FCC Form 555)

Recertification Election Option

ETCs may elect to have USAC conduct the annual recertification process on their behalf.

To elect USAC, complete the recertification election spreadsheet and send the completed spreadsheet to USAC via email. If an ETC does not elect USAC by the deadline, it is assumed that the company is conducting its own recertification process.


2016 USAC recertification election deadline: May 2, 2016
2016 recertification data submission deadline: July 1, 2016
FCC Form 555 submission deadline: January 31, 2017

When an ETC elects USAC:

  • The election is considered final for every year until the ETC officially revokes the election.
  • ETCs may limit the SACs for which USAC performs recertification. USAC will recertify all SACs provided unless the ETC affirmatively indicates to USAC which SACs USAC should not certify.
  • ETCs must provide USAC with a toll-free number. This number will be provided to the ETC's subscribers for questions about the recertification process, as USAC will not have live agents available for consumer questions.

Submitting Subscriber Data

  • Recertification subscriber lists must be submitted to USAC by the data submission deadline listed above.
  • The data must be submitted in the format specified.
  • Data must include a subscriber listing supporting the February FCC Form 497.

Note: Do not email the subscriber lists to USAC, as they contain PII (personally identifiable information) of your subscribers.

To the extent that a state agency conducts recertification for all or a portion of an ETC's subscribers, the ETC may not elect to utilize USAC for recertifying those subscribers subject to recertification by the state agency. Additionally, ETCs may not elect USAC to recertify those subscribers whose eligibility can be determined through access to a qualifying database, either by the ETC or state. Therefore, prior to submission to USAC, the ETC should remove from its subscriber list those subscribers that fall within these categories.

The Process

USAC will complete the recertification process over a series of months by grouping the ETCs that elect to have USAC complete the process into phases so that the influx of responses can be staggered. This grouping will be done randomly and will be staggered based upon USAC capacity. USAC will provide additional guidance to ETCs regarding grouping after it has received all elections (If USAC initiates an ETC's recertification process after August 15, USAC will provide ETCs with an opportunity to update subscriber addresses 45 days prior to USAC's recertification attempts).

Step 1

After the subscriber lists are received, USAC will send a letter to each subscriber via U.S. Mail informing them of their obligation to recertify their continued eligibility to receive supported services. The letter will explain the recertification process, the options that the subscriber has to confirm their eligibility, and that the subscriber has 30 days to complete the recertification or they will be de-enrolled from the Lifeline Program and lose their discount (Sample Letter).

Subscribers will also receive several automated call or text message reminders from USAC during the 30-day period to prompt a response.

Step 2

The subscriber must then complete the recertification. There are three methods to complete the recertification.

  • Call a toll-free number to confirm eligibility through an automated voice response system.
  • Complete a form on a USAC maintained recertification website.
  • Complete, sign, and return a hard-copy recertification form via U.S. Mail (Sample Form).

Any subscriber that does not respond within the 30-day window will be considered ineligible for the program and will be de-enrolled.

  • USAC will provide notice to those subscribers via automated text or call, which will alert them that their ETC is in the process of de-enrolling them from their Lifeline Program benefit due to a failure to recertify.
  • USAC will also provide notice of the steps that the consumer can take to re-enroll if they remain eligible.
Step 3

Following the USAC recertification process, USAC will provide each ETC with a record of the subscriber recertification as well as a list of subscribers that did not recertify and must be de-enrolled within five days of receiving notice. The ETC must use these results to complete FCC Form 555 and submit to USAC by January 31.