Can I Have ACP and Lifeline at the Same Time?

Can I Have ACP and Lifeline at the Same Time?

When it comes to saving bucks on broadband and mobile services, it’s only natural to explore as many options as possible. One common question that arises for many people is whether it’s possible to enroll in both the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and the Lifeline Program (Lifeline) simultaneously.

Well, the short answer is “yes.” You may receive both benefits at the same time, or combine these benefits with other state and local benefits where available, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements of each program. For example, qualifying individuals can enjoy a Lifeline-supported mobile phone service and a separate ACP-supported home internet service. You can also apply the benefits to either the same or separate services, depending on your specific needs and preferences.

Can’t wait to learn more? You’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know about these two programs, including eligibility criteria and application processes. In addition, we will share valuable tips to maximize your benefits by applying for the benefits through specific channels like EASY Wireless.

Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline

While both the ACP and Lifeline are designed to provide affordable telecommunication services for low-income families, they each prioritizes different aspects. The ACP place specific emphasis on an access to affordable broadband internet service, whereas Lifeline primarily focuses on providing discounted monthly phone service for needy families.

Lifeline is federal program administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). An eligible Lifeline customer can receive benefits for their monthly phone, internet, or bundled services.

This is slightly different from the ACP, which provides monthly service discount for affordable internet services and a one-time discount of up to $100 for the purchase of a connected device (a desktop computer for example) when eligible consumers make a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50.

Compared to the ACP benefit, which offers a monthly discount on broadband service of up to $30 (up to $75 for those live on qualifying tribal lands), the federal Lifeline benefit offers a comparatively lower monthly discount of up to $9.25 (up to $34.25 if you’re living on federally recognized tribal lands). 

In addition, eligible consumers living on qualifying tribal lands can receive enhanced Lifeline benefits, including a reimbursement for the full cost of initiating service of up to $100 through Link UP program. If the cost is more than $100, Link Up can provide an up to $200 no-interest payment plan for up to one year. You can check with your phone or internet company to confirm if they participate in the program.

Eligibility requirements

Eligibility requirements

Both the ACP and Lifeline adopt income requirements for eligible households.

The ACP requires a household’s income to be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty guidelines. Alternatively, you can qualify for the program’s benefits through program participation. This means you will be eligible for ACP discounts if someone in your household participates in certain tribal programs, any programs that qualify you for Lifeline benefit or other government assistance programs, like Federal Pell Grant, Free and Reduced Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program and Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC).

To qualify for Lifeline, you must either have a household income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty guidelines, or participate in government programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) and Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit.

You can also receive benefits based on your child’s or dependent’ participation in any of the above programs. It’s worth noting that if you meet the requirements of Lifeline, you can automatically qualify for ACP benefits, if you are not yet an ACP recipient.

If you live on Tribal lands, you can get the Lifeline discount by participating in one of the following tribal assistance programs:

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

  • Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)

  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)

  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

Application procedures

The government has made the application processes of the ACP and Lifeline quite simple and straightforward.

You may apply through a participating internet service provider or phone company, online or mail in your application with required documents. You will need to provide basic information like your full name, date of birth, last 4 digits of your Social Security Number or Tribal identification number, and home address. Additional documents may be required to prove your family income or participation in a qualifying government assistance program. Including copies of your proof documentation in your application will help speed up processing time.

Once your qualification is confirmed, you will have a certain period to choose a participating provider like EASY Wireless and sign up for eligible services. The discounts will be applied to your bill directly. If your current service provider participates in either program, you may also contact it and apply for the benefits through them.

Program rules

Though you’re allowed to receive both benefits, there are some rules and limitations you should be aware of.

The ACP benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per ACP household. Similarly, eligible low-income households are not allowed to receive more than one Lifeline discount per household. If you are receiving more than one Lifeline service, you must select a single Lifeline provider and de-enroll from other programs.

Annual recertification

Annual recertification

Both programs require annual review of your qualification.

Every year, the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) or your current internet service provider will check to confirm your qualification for the ACP benefit. If you do not respond to a recertification notice in a timely manner, your ACP service plan may be terminated or your bills may increase. Similarly, USAC or your service provider will rectify your eligibility for the Lifeline discount each year. 

Make the most out of your ACP and Lifeline benefits with EASY Wireless

Many participating providers offer a variety of additional benefits when you apply through them and choose their service packages when your application is approved. For example, applying either Lifeline or the ACP through EASY Wireless comes with extra exciting perks!

Under the current arrangement, an ACP eligible household can score the EASY Wireless Plus Plan, which includes a free smartphone, unlimited texting, unlimited talk and 5 GB of data. Qualifying customers for Lifeline benefits are eligible for the EASY Wireless Base Plan, including $25 smartphone, FREE text, 1000 talk minutes and 25 MB of data.

For those who qualify for BOTH programs, EASY Wireless offers an ultra Unlimited Plan that includes FREE unlimited data, FREE unlimited talk, FREE unlimited text, FREE SIM card kit and activation, and the flexibility of keeping your own number or getting a new one.

Drop by one of the EASY Wireless’s retail stores and have our customer service agent to help you apply for the benefits, or simply get started with EASY Wireless by applying online with one click:


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