COVID-19 Update: USAC remains open for business—Washington, DC office closed. Learn more about USF program responses.

Lifeline is a federal program that offers a monthly benefit of up to $9.25 towards phone or internet services for eligible subscribers (up to $34.25 for those living on Tribal/Native lands).

Eligible Consumers

A consumer can qualify for the Lifeline benefit if their income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines, or if they participate in SNAP, Medicaid, or other federal programs. See the full list of qualifying factors.

Eligible Services

Lifeline subscribers can apply their benefit to home or mobile phone service or to high-speed broadband.

The Process

These steps will help service providers navigate the process to join Lifeline as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC).


Become an ETC


Create a Compliance Plan


Obtain a Study Area Code


Obtain a 498 ID


Non-Usage Waiver Expires May 1

In February, the FCC released a waiver extending most of the previous waivers related to the COVID-19 pandemic by an additional four months. However, this waiver does not extend the waiver for the FCC’s Lifeline non-usage rule past May 1. As a result, subscribers who, as of May 1, 2021, have not used their service in the previous...

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System Maintenance Notice

National Verifier Maintenance, April 14 The National Verifier production and staging environments will be unavailable due to unscheduled maintenance today,...

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April System Maintenance Schedule

Monthly System Maintenance, Apr. 30

The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD),...

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Lifeline – March 2021 Newsletter

March monthly newsletter headlines:

  • USAC’s Monthly Lifeline Program Compliance Reminders: Minimum Service Standards
  • Reminder: Lifeline Program Changes in Response...

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March System Maintenance Schedule

Monthly System Maintenance, Mar. 19

The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD),...

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