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State Eligibility Verification Processes

USAC partners with states, territories, federal and tribal partners to maintain a growing number of consumers in the National Verifier.

As of December 2019, all states and territories must use the National Verifier to determine a consumer’s eligibility for the Lifeline program. Consumers can apply through a service provider, or on their own by mail or online.

Information on how the National Verifier determines eligibility is found on our Eligibility Decision Process page.

*California, Oregon, and Texas will continue to operate their eligibility verification and duplicate checking processes; and apply for the federal Lifeline benefit through their state’s application process. The National Verifier will perform reviews for program integrity purposes.

The specific processes for California, Oregon, and Texas are described below.

State Specific Processes

California

  • Application Process: For voice or bundled service types, consumers contact California Lifeline to begin the application process. For broadband-only service, consumers apply through a participating service provider.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers are responsible for using the state’s process to verify eligibility for voice or bundled service types. Service providers must verify the eligibility of broadband-only subscribers, and enter broadband-only subscribers in NLAD.
  • Form Requirements: CA Lifeline Application, Recertification, and IEH will be required for all Lifeline consumers in CA, with the exception of consumers receiving broadband-only service. All broadband-only subscribers will be required to use the universal consumer forms.
  • State Data Sources: Not available to service providers.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? California received a temporary waiver from streamlining the list of eligibility programs until October 31, 2017, and received an extension of the temporary waiver until April 30, 2018. Yes – the state’s eligibility system/process was in compliance as of April 30, 2018.

Oregon

  • Application Process: Consumers apply through the Oregon PUC.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: For non-Tribal consumers, service providers are responsible for using the PUC of Oregon’s process to validate participation in all qualifying programs and income levels. For consumers that live on Tribal lands, service providers are responsible for eligibility verification.
  • Form Requirements: The form required depends on the service type and whether the consumer is Tribal:
  • State Data Sources: Not available to service providers. The Oregon PUC uses the DHS and OHA databases to validate participation in SNAP, Medicaid, and SSI.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes – the state’s eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.

Texas

  • Application Process: Consumers apply through the Texas PUC.
  • Entity Responsible for Eligibility Verification: Service providers are responsible for using the state’s process to verify eligibility, which validates participation in all qualifying programs and income levels.
  • Form Requirements: The TX Lifeline Application, Household Worksheet, Recertification will be required for all consumers.
  • State Data Sources: Yes – the TXLAD validates participation in SNAP and Medicaid. To request access, contact the administrator at (973) 581-5052.
  • Aligned with Streamlined Federal Eligibility Criteria? Yes – the state’s eligibility system/process was in compliance as of December 2, 2016.

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Last updated on 06/19/2020. This page will be updated regularly based on USAC’s understanding of state processes and provider needs to remain in compliance. If you believe this information is inaccurate, please notify USAC.