Enhanced Tribal Benefit
Low-income consumers on Tribal lands can receive a Lifeline discount of up to $34.25 per month, and up to a $100 reduction for first-time connection charges for Lifeline service at their primary residence.
- Enhanced Monthly Support
- Tribal Link Up
- Eligible Tribal Lands
- Tribal Partner Access to Lifeline Systems
- Resources to Resolve System Errors Related to Tribal Benefit
- Additional Resources
Enhanced Monthly Support
Low-income consumers who qualify for enhanced Lifeline support can receive a discount of up to $25 per month in addition to the standard federal benefit of up to $9.25 if they live on Tribal lands.
Service providers must pass the full Tribal lands support amount through to the subscriber.
Tribal Link Up
Link Up assistance provides a 100% reduction (up to $100) of the charge for starting telecommunications service at a Tribal Lifeline subscriber’s primary residence. Link Up is available to subscribers who reside on Tribal lands and use a facilities-based service provider that receives High Cost program support. Link Up is a one-time benefit per address; subscribers can request Link Up once for each change of primary residential address.
For service initiation charges of up to $200, Link Up also provides a deferred, no-interest payment plan to the subscriber for up to one year.
Service providers can only claim reimbursement for the difference between the customary connection/interest charge and the actual charge.
Before providing Link Up to the subscriber, check the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) to confirm whether they have previously received a Link Up benefit at their address.
Eligible Tribal Lands
For a nationwide map showing all Tribal lands eligible for enhanced Lifeline support go to:
- Eligible Tribal Lands for the Lifeline program map and the shapefile of Tribal lands (shapefile for reference purposes only)
Tribal lands shown on the nationwide map above include:
- Each federally recognized Indian tribe’s reservation, pueblo, or colony
- Former reservations in Oklahoma:
- Alaska Native regions established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (view maps: 2010 U.S. Census American Indians and Alaska Natives Map – Alaska, State of Alaska ANCSA Boundaries Map)
- Indian allotments
- Hawaiian Home Lands (view map: 2010 U.S. Census Hawaiian Homelands)
- Any land approved as Tribal for the purposes of the Lifeline program by the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy and Wireline Competition Bureau
USAC has developed a mapping tool in the NLAD for service providers to use to determine if a Lifeline applicant resides on Tribal lands.
Tribal Partner Access to Lifeline Systems
Lifeline provides Tribal partners with access to the National Verifier to help consumers submit online Lifeline applications, upload eligibility or other documentation (as needed), and track the status of applications.
For more information on how to receive access to either system, review the Account Types page.
Resources to Resolve System Errors Related to Tribal Benefit
If a consumer who is seeking the enhanced Tribal benefit receives an Address Management Service (AMS) error, they must provide USAC with coordinates, or information that allows USAC to determine coordinates, to validate that they live on Tribal lands.
To help consumers resolve AMS errors during the application process, review the National Verifier AMS Resolution Guide.
To enroll a consumer in NLAD with the enhanced Tribal benefit, select “Yes” for NLAD’s “Lifeline Tribal Benefit?” field.
For more information on how to resolve errors associated with the Tribal Benefit flag during the enrollment process, visit the Dispute Resolution webpage.
USAC’s Lifeline team is hosting quarterly webinars for Tribal stakeholders (e.g., Tribal governments and government agencies and nonprofits serving Tribal communities) to ensure these partners remain informed about any applicable program changes or updates.
The webinar dates and links to register are below. Please feel free to share the registration pages with colleagues and Tribal networks.
Although the host’s email address is listed on the registration page, please contact Gem Labarta, USAC’s Tribal Liaison, at TribalLiaison@usac.org with any questions about these events.
- Review the Tribal Q4 Webinar: Lifeline How to Apply by Mail
- Review the Tribal Q3 Webinar: How to Apply for Lifeline
- Review the Tribal Q2 Webinar: How to Resolve Application Errors
- Review the Tribal Q1 Webinar: Open Forum