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Dispute Resolution

If a service provider receives an error code in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) that they believe is incorrect, they should follow the instructions outlined on this webpage.

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Duplicate Subscriber Resolution

A duplicate subscriber error will occur when a service provider attempts to enroll a subscriber that already exists in NLAD.

In the majority of cases, service providers can resolve this error by obtaining consent to transfer the subscriber’s Lifeline program benefit and completing a benefit transfer in NLAD.

Disputed Duplicate

If a prospective subscriber, who has been identified as a duplicate in NLAD, claims to not have an existing Lifeline program benefit, submit a duplicate subscriber dispute via email to Lifeline Program. Include the prospective subscriber’s name and contact information. USAC will investigate the duplicate subscriber dispute to determine if an exception will be provided.

Phone Number Resolution

A “Duplicate Phone Number” error may occur when a service provider attempts to enroll a consumer with a telephone number that already exists in NLAD.

To resolve this error, service providers may choose one of the following options:

  1. Assign a new phone number to bypass the duplicate phone number error message. In addition, service providers should contact Lifeline Program with the duplicate phone number used during the transaction, as USAC will conduct further research and analysis to prevent the re-occurrence of the error.
  2. Submit a dispute via email to Lifeline Program, including the phone number and the SAC with which the service provider is attempting to enroll or transfer the potential subscriber. Service providers should include documentation that verifies the phone number has been ported or belongs to the service provider. Service providers must provide proof of ownership of the number.

USAC will:

  1. Investigate the duplicate phone number dispute and contact the service provider claiming the number in NLAD to request that the service provider confirm the phone number belongs to them. If that service provider cannot prove that they have possession of the phone number, USAC will instruct that they de-enroll the phone number from NLAD immediately.
  2. Notify the service provider submitting the claim to enroll the subscriber using that number.

Tribal Benefit Resolution

This section outlines guidance on resolving address errors related to the Tribal Benefit flag.

If the address information submitted to the National Verifier is insufficient or shows the consumer’s address is not on Tribal lands, the representative performing the transaction will receive an error in NLAD when attempting to enroll the consumer for enhanced support through the Tribal Benefit flag.

The chart below displays the three possible error messages relating to the Tribal Benefit flag and the necessary next steps to resolve each error.

Error Code Description Resolution
TRIBAL_BENEFIT_FLAG_NONTRIBAL

_NLAD_LOCATION: Tribal Benefit Flag cannot be applied for this location. The location was verified by USAC and does not qualify for Tribal.

The consumer does not live on Tribal lands and is not eligible for the enhanced benefit. The consumer must be enrolled without the Tribal lands flag to receive Lifeline-supported service.
TRIBAL_BENEFIT_FLAG_DEFICIENT_

CONSUMER_INFO: Tribal Benefit Flag cannot be applied for this location. The location cannot be verified by USAC and the consumer has provided insufficient information in the National Verifier.

The consumer does not yet have a qualified application in the National Verifier for this transaction. If it is an enrollment/transfer, the consumer must finish qualifying. If it is an update, the consumer must complete an address update in the National Verifier portal, or the service provider should assist the consumer to start a new application and resolve the address errors.*
TRIBAL_BENEFIT_FLAG_NONTRIBAL_

CONSUMER_LOCATION: Tribal Benefit Flag cannot be applied for this location. The location cannot be verified by USAC and the information provided by the consumer in National Verifier confirms the location is non-Tribal or is invalid.

The consumer has a qualified application in the National Verifier, but the latitude and longitude provided indicate they do not reside on Tribal lands, or the lat/long provided are not in the same state as the subscriber’s residential address. If the service provider believes the consumer’s address should be on Tribal lands, they can contact USAC at Lifeline Program to request additional information and to enable the consumer to provide more accurate address details if applicable.

*At the time of the new update subscriber address workflow production release (date currently TBD), the guidance to resolve the error in update transactions will change.