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Beginning June 1, 2012, all eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) are required to confirm an applicant's eligibility prior to enrolling the applicant in the Lifeline Program.
ETCs can use one of three methods to comply with the requirement to verify the eligibility of consumers prior to enrollment.
ETCs have an obligation to keep accurate records of the data sources used to verify a consumer's eligibility, either through income or participation in a qualifying program. However, the FCC's rules are clear that an ETC must not retain any documentation provided by a consumer to demonstrate his or her eligibility to receive Lifeline Program-supported service.
As required by the Lifeline Reform Order (para.101), USAC is providing the following information as a resource for ETCs to help them comply with the Order's requirements related to eligibility validation.
A consumer may be eligible for program-supported service if he or she has a household income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
Read more about Income Eligibility, including income guidelines and acceptable forms of documentation.
Consumers receiving benefits from one of the qualifying programs generally receive either a benefit or program participation card or an award letter.
Read more about Program Eligibility.
Consumers residing on Tribal lands may be eligible for program-supported service if their household income is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, if they participate in one of the seven federal programs listed above, or if they participate in one of the following programs:
Carriers are required to take steps to ensure that they are not providing duplicate service to the same subscriber or household.
Carriers can use this worksheet to help carriers and consumers determine whether more than one household resides at a single address. The worksheet must be completed any time more than one subscriber at a single residential address receives program-supported service, or when a new applicant applies for service at an address where there is already a subscriber.
The Lifeline Modernization Order requires carriers to follow certain procedures when verifying an applicant's eligibility.Read the checklist and compilation of record-keeping requirements related to verifying eligibility.