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

How It Works

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


The National Verifier Full Launch in Puerto Rico, June 23

Today, the FCC and USAC announce the Lifeline National Verifier will fully launch in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

At the full launch, consumers who wish to apply for Lifeline directly through the National Verifier can use the consumer portal or submit a paper application...

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May Monthly Maintenance Schedule

Updated Lifeline System Staging Maintenance, Now May 26

The staging environment...

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May Monthly Maintenance Schedule

Monthly System Maintenance, May 15
The National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), National Verifier (NV), and Lifeline Claims...

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Lifeline – April 2020 Newsletter

April monthly newsletter headlines:

  • COVID-19: FCC Extends Prior Waiver and Temporarily...

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Program Adjustments in Response to COVID-19

Today the FCC released an Order that requires USAC to temporarily adjust the guidelines for acceptable...

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