Appeals and Audits
USAC is committed to safeguarding the integrity of the Lifeline program. Beneficiaries are required to provide USAC with full, correct information in response to program integrity requests.
USAC uses several processes to ensure that Lifeline funds are disbursed to Lifeline subscribers in compliance with program rules.
Program Integrity Reviews
USAC works with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to sample participating Lifeline service providers to ensure compliance with proper procedures, confirm that all subscribers meet program-qualifying standards, and identify any subscribers who should not be enrolled in the program. USAC may begin these reviews proactively or in response to compliance concerns identified by the FCC or third parties.
To ensure the highest level of program integrity, USAC conducts audits of beneficiaries. The Beneficiary and Contributor Audit Program (BCAP) identifies areas of non-compliance with program rules and amounts of recoverable funds.
Service providers might also be required to obtain a third-party biennial audit of their compliance with program rules.
To prepare for audits, review the Common Audit Findings: Lifeline Program webpage or the July 2021 Monthly Webinar: Lifeline Compliance.
Payment Quality Assurance
Under the Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) program, USAC provides the FCC with information about improper payments to program beneficiaries.
Any party that wishes to appeal a USAC decision must file an appeal with USAC before filing an appeal with the FCC. Once USAC makes a decision, the party may appeal USAC’s decision to the FCC.
Suspensions and Debarments
Persons who are convicted of criminal violations or held civilly liable for certain acts arising from their participation in the Lifeline program are subject to suspension and debarment from the program.