There are plenty of assistance programs that are available through the federal government. These assistance programs aim to help qualifying individuals and households. Oftentimes, people will overlook the Lifeline Program, even though it is a great assistance option. This program focuses on helping people with their phone and internet costs. Those who struggle to keep up with such costs should consider this assistance program. We’re here to discuss the Lifeline Program and how you could make use of it.
What is The Lifeline Program And How Does It Work?
The Lifeline Program is offered by the federal government. Those who qualify for the program may receive a discount every month on different services of up to $9.25. Even better, individuals and households who live on tribal lands can receive discounts that reach up to $34.25 a month. These discounts can be applied to wireless or wireline services.
It’s important to note that this discount may only be applied to one service, which means you would not be able to use this benefit on several services at the same time. The Lifeline Program benefits those who seek discounts on their wireless and wired services, as well as their cost of internet services. Moreover, the program can extend its benefits to support broadband internet service and broadband-voice bundles. This program is possible, thanks to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Lifeline Program may only provide one benefit per household.
How Do Tribal Land Benefits Work?
Other benefits come with the Tribal Land Lifeline Program. Those who qualify may receive an extra one-time discount of up to $100. Those who qualify should get an additional one-time discount when they first activate or install a phone service. This discount comes through the Tribal Lands Link Up Program. The Tribal Lands Link Up Program may also offer financing options if the service charge is over $200. These finance options include a no-interest payment plan for up to a year. Unfortunately, not all carriers accept Tribal Lands Link Up. If you aim to make use of that discount, be mindful of which carrier you go with.
More Information About The Lifeline Program
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) manages the Lifeline Program. The USAC’s responsibilities include taking care of and supporting benefit recipients. They also support consumers in every step of the application process, starting with determining the eligibility terms for the program to keeping their benefits during the recertification process. The USAC also serves as a great, free-of-charge source of information regarding the program.
Should you plan to apply for the Lifeline Program, you will need to satisfy some qualification terms. You must earn 135% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines. However, you may qualify for the program if you already receive benefits from certain federal assistance programs. The list of these federal assistance programs includes:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- Some tribal programs
Lifeline Program Guidelines
There are a few guidelines that you need to follow if you want to join the Lifeline Program. These guidelines include:
- The ability to provide eligibility
- The federal government has limits of one lifeline service for each eligible household
- Must recertify to maintain qualifications and eligibility
How To Find Out If You’re Eligible For The LifeLine Program
You can always find out over the internet whether you qualify for the program or not. All you’ll need to do is visit lifelinesupport.org and click on the “Do I Qualify” button. That hyperlink will lead you to a page where you can find out whether you’re eligible or not for the Lifeline Program.
Applying For The Lifeline Program: What You Need To Use?
The FCC created the National Verifier as a streamlined system that you’ll need to use for your application process. The purpose of this system is to confirm the lifeline applicant’s current situation and to define whether or not they qualify. It’s the USAC that is responsible for running the system. You’ll need to use this system whether you’re a new consumer or an existing one who needs to recertify their eligibility for the program.
Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can apply for the Lifeline Program. Your first option is to apply through the National Verifier portal online. For more information on the application process, you should look online on how to use it. Alternatively, you could contact the Lifeline Support Center at the toll-free number 1-800-234-9473 or just shoot an email to [email protected].
The Documents You’ll Need For Your Lifeline Application
You may need to present some documents when applying for the Lifeline Program. These documents serve as proof of your current situation and whether you qualify for the program or not. Some of the documents you may need to provide include:
- Benefits Statement from an eligible program
- Official documentation from an eligible program
- Notice Letter of Participation from an eligible program
- Participation documents from an eligible program
- Income Verification Forms (Previous year tax returns, an income statement from your job, paycheck stubs, a divorce decree, a child support award, etc.)
You’ll Need To Regularly Prove You Still Qualify For The Lifeline Program
You’ll need to prove your eligibility for the program when you first apply for it. After that, you’ll need to prove that you are still eligible for the Lifeline Program every year so you can continue to receive the program’s benefits. If you’re unable to prove you’re still eligible for the program after any given year, you could lose the benefits you’d be receiving through the Lifeline Program. Here are some of the factors that could lead to you becoming ineligible for the Lifeline Program:
- Increasing your income means that you do not qualify for the income requirement
- You disenroll from a certified federal assistance program
- Someone else in your housing unit or household gets Lifeline Program benefits
Once you know you don’t qualify for the Lifeline Program anymore, you should unenroll from the program as soon as possible. If you fail to un-enroll from the program while you’re ineligible, you might face penalties.
Can Someone Help Me If I Have A Disability And Need Assistance With The Lifeline Program Application Process?
Yes. If you have a disability and require assistance with the application process for the Lifeline Program, you could contact the Lifeline Support Center toll-free number at 1-800-234-9473 or send an email to [email protected]. The Lifeline Support Center should be able to help you with the process and provide you with information regarding the program’s benefits. On top of that, the FCC includes a Disability Rights office that is there to help you out. There are several ways to contact the Disability Rights office. You can call them at 202-418-2517, or 844-432-2275 for a video call. You could also email them at [email protected].
What Entails A “Household” When Applying For The Lifeline Program?
The FCC defines a house as “an individual or a group of individuals that live/reside at the same address as a singular economic unit.” “Economic unit” refers to the adult contributors and sharers of income and expenses within the “household.” However, living in a group housing facility is nothing to worry about. If you do live in one, you may still be eligible for the Lifeline Program and receive its benefits. You would just need to provide all the information necessary and decide whether your “household” is eligible for the benefits or not. It’s crucial to use the free eligibility confirmation tools that can help you during the application process.
You might think that this program doesn’t help that much financially, however, when you consider that phone/internet expenses are ones that you need to pay regularly, the program may assist you greatly. The Lifeline Program may get you a discount of up to $9.25 on different services. Those who live on tribal lands may be eligible for discounts of up to $34.25 a month. Those who qualify for the Lifeline Program may also benefit from an additional one-time discount of up to $100. To learn more about the program or to apply for it, visit the National Verifier portal or contact the Lifeline Support Center toll-free number at 1-800-234-9473.