Lifeline

Appeals & Audits

USAC is committed to safeguarding the integrity of the Lifeline Program. Beneficiaries are required to provide USAC with full, correct information in response to program integrity requests.

USAC uses several processes to ensure that Lifeline funds are disbursed to qualified low-income consumers in compliance with program rules.

Program Integrity Reviews

Working with the FCC, USAC samples participating Lifeline service providers to ensure compliance with proper procedures, that all enrolled subscribers meet program-qualifying standards and identify any subscribers who should not be enrolled in the program. USAC may begin these reviews proactively or in response to compliance concerns identified by the FCC or third parties.

Lifeline Program Audits

To ensure the highest level of program integrity, USAC conducts audits of beneficiaries. The Beneficiary and Contributor Audit Program (BCAP) identifies areas of non-compliance with program rules and amounts of recoverable funds. Learn more: BCAP.

To prepare for audits, review the list of Common Audit Findings: Lifeline Program, as well as the Document Retention Checklist.

Companies that receive $5M+ annually in Lifeline support (on a holding company basis) must obtain a third-party biennial audit of their compliance with program rules.

Payment Quality Assurance (PQA)

Under the Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) Program, USAC provides the FCC with information about improper payments to program beneficiaries. Learn more: PQA.

Appeals

Any party that wishes to appeal a USAC decision must file an appeal with USAC before filing an appeal with the FCC. Once USAC makes a decision, the party may appeal USAC's decision to the FCC. Learn more: Appeals.

Suspensions & Debarments

Persons who have been convicted of criminal violations or held civilly liable for certain acts arising from their participation in the Lifeline Program are subject to suspension and debarment from the program. Learn more: Suspensions & Debarments.