A Comprehensive Guide to the Lifeline Program

Are you struggling to pay your monthly bills for cell or home phone, service or internet access? There's a valuable government assistance program that can help – it's called Lifeline.

The Lifeline program provides discounted phone and internet service to eligible low-income consumers across the country. In this guide, we'll explain what Lifeline offers, who qualifies, and how to apply.

What is the Lifeline Program?

Lifeline is a Federal program that aims to make communication services more affordable for Americans in need. It offers a monthly subsidy that lowers the cost of phone or internet service for qualifying low-income households.

The program has helped tens of millions of households stay connected since its start in 1985. It is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Over 13 million U.S. households currently benefit from Lifeline service discounts. The program helps ensure affordable access to vital communication tools that can connect people to jobs, family, healthcare, education, and emergency services.

Lifeline Assistance and Discounts

Lifeline Assistance and Discounts

The Lifeline program provides a monthly discount of $9.25 on phone, mobile, or internet bills for eligible subscribers.

For those living on Federally recognized tribal lands, an enhanced Lifeline discount of up to $34.25 per month is available. Lifeline discounts can be applied to either wireless/cell phone service or wired/home internet service.

The Lifeline discount can help reduce your monthly communication bills, making phone and internet access more affordable. Only one Lifeline subsidy is allowed per household.

Am I Eligible for the Lifeline Program?

You may qualify for Lifeline benefits if you participate in certain government assistance programs or your annual household income falls below a certain level.

To qualify for Lifeline you need to participate in a government assistance program:

  • Enroll in Medicaid
  • Receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits
  • Receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Live in federally subsidized public housing
  • Veterans Pension or Survivors Benefit recipients
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Tribal Head Start
  • Have a household income at or below 135% of Federal Poverty Guidelines
2023 LifeLine Federal Poverty Guidelines

Check with your state’s Lifeline administrator to confirm the full eligibility requirements in your area. Submitting proof of participation in qualifying programs or income verification is typically required.

How to Apply for Lifeline Benefits

You have three main options to apply for Lifeline assistance:

  1. Apply online – Visit CheckLifeline.org to access the National Verifier application system and apply digitally in most states.
  2. Print & mail application – Download the Lifeline application form, complete it, and mail with eligibility proof to the Lifeline Support Center.
  3. Contact a provider – Reach out to a Lifeline service provider in your state and inquire about applying through them directly.

Once approved, you can select a participating Lifeline provider and start receiving your monthly discounts. Approved subscribers must recertify eligibility annually to remain in the program.

Lifeline applications and enrollment are handled by USAC administrators. Eligibility verification typically takes 1-2 weeks after submitting your application and documentation.

Lifeline Providers and Discounted Services

Lifeline Providers and Discounted Services

Hundreds of phone and internet companies participate in the Lifeline program. Major national providers offer discounted Lifeline plans, as do many regional, local, and wireless carriers.

Some Lifeline providers offer specialized discounted Lifeline packages while others apply the standard $9.25 subsidy credit to their existing service plans.

Once approved for a Lifeline benefit, compare available providers in your area to choose the company and discounted service option that best meets your needs. You can use the Lifeline National Verifier website to search for participating providers near you...

... or keep reading to find out how to apply and qualify conveniently from one site.

Lifeline Support for Internet Service Access

The Lifeline program can help make monthly internet service more budget-friendly. You can apply your Lifeline discount to either wired home broadband, wireless telephone service, or mobile broadband service from a participating Lifeline provider.

This is extremely valuable for low-income families struggling with the cost of high-speed internet access, which is increasingly essential for work, education, healthcare, and more.

Lifeline can help offset internet bills to make digital connectivity accessible for Americans who need it most.

Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program

Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program

In addition to Lifeline, the Federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) also offers discounts to lower the cost of monthly internet service.

While Lifeline provides up to a $9.25 subsidy, ACP offers up to $30 monthly off internet bills. Qualifying for Lifeline automatically makes you eligible for ACP as well.

Combining the two programs can maximize monthly savings on both cell phone services, and internet services. Applying for Lifeline also initiates enrollment in ACP if eligible, helping eligible households save even more.

Get FREE Service Through Lifeline and EASY Wireless

In Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, EASY Wireless offers Lifeline and ACP service and the FREE cell phone plans that are available to you.

When you qualify and enroll in Lifeline and ACP with EASY Wireless, you get:

  • Free Smartphone*
  • Free unlimited talk, text, and data
  • No activation fees
  • No contract required

*in select areas

We provide qualifying Lifeline subscribers with free mobile service including calling, messaging, and high-speed data each month!

To get started with free Lifeline benefits through EASY Wireless, apply online by clicking below:

Start Saving Today!

Or visit one of our 40+ retail locations across Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma to enroll in person.

Get reliable free smartphone service through Lifeline and EASY Wireless. Cut your monthly phone bill and get connected!