The Federal Lifeline Assistance program reduces the monthly cost of home phone service or broadband Internet (including bundled voice and Internet) for low-income consumers. Eligible households must meet income-based eligibility standards, which vary depending on the size of the home. Proof of eligibility may include pay stubs, tax returns, or another document.

Eligibility Requirements

The federal lifeline assistance cell phone program in Michigan provides eligible low-income consumers with a telephone or internet service discount. It is available in every state, commonwealth, territory, and Tribal land. The program is designed to help families with limited incomes get discounts on their telephone and internet services, including bundled phone and internet service. Consumers must meet eligibility guidelines and recertify their eligibility yearly to continue receiving the discounted service. Eligibility requirements are based on household income. If you are eligible for SNAP, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or other qualifying assistance programs, your household will automatically qualify for Lifeline Assistance. You must provide proof of eligibility document (such as a SNAP award letter or Medicaid award letter) to apply for Lifeline Assistance. The evidence of eligibility document must include the following:

  • Your full name.
  • Address.
  • Date of birth.
  • The last four digits of your Social Security Number.

Once the National Verifier has approved you, you must verify your identity with your telephone or internet service provider. You can do this by logging into the National Verifier online portal or by providing copies of documents.

Application Process

The Federal Lifeline Assistance is a government program that helps lower the cost of phone and internet service for low-income households. This is done through a monthly discount on your service or, in some cases, installation assistance for qualifying broadband and home phone services. The program is available in every state, commonwealth, territory, and Tribal land. Consumers can apply for the program online, by mail, or at a service provider site. To qualify for a Lifeline discount, your income must be below 135% of the federal poverty level. You can also be eligible if you have certain types of government assistance, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, or the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit. After you have been approved for Lifeline, you must contact your chosen phone or internet company and ask them to apply the Lifeline discount to a service they offer. You can find a list of participating companies in your area on the Lifeline website. Once eligible, you must submit a Lifeline application, proof of your household income, and identification to the company. Once your application is processed and approved for a Lifeline discount, you will receive an email from the company with your confirmation number. Once approved, your benefit will be credited to your account within 45 days. You can also call Customer Service to check your status and the Lifeline application’s response date.

Requirements for Documentation

When a consumer applies to Lifeline support, USAC will review various documentation to determine eligibility. This includes information about the individual’s income, household income, and program participation.

Income documentation can be any official document containing the person’s or family’s income, such as pay stubs. The documentation must be dated within the previous 12 months and show that the person’s or family’s household income is at least 135% of the federal poverty guidelines for that location. In addition to proving their program participation, consumers must provide an accepted form of address x to identify their primary residence. This address must be verified using a map, and it must be hand-drawn to indicate the location.

Requirements for Recertification

The Federal Lifeline Assistance program reduces the cost of home phone and internet service for eligible low-income customers. It is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Once you’ve been certified for Lifeline Assistance, you must recertify your eligibility yearly to keep your benefit active and your monthly bill reduced. You must complete the recertification form and provide proof of your eligibility for Lifeline benefits. You may be notified about this recertification process by your phone company, or USAC may contact you directly. You’ll also need to certify that you have no other accounts with Lifeline and that no one else in your household receives Lifeline benefits from another provider. If you cannot meet these requirements, your Lifeline benefits will no longer be applied to your phone bill, and your account will be terminated. If you need help determining whether you’re eligible for the Lifeline Assistance, visit the Universal Service Administrative Company’s website or contact your state’s government. They can help you understand the requirements and help you complete the application process. To be eligible for Lifeline, you must qualify based on your total family income and the assistance you receive from a qualifying assistance program. Acceptable documentation for program eligibility includes a current or prior year’s statement of benefits from a qualifying assistance program, a notice or letter of participation in a qualifying assistance program, program participation documents, or another official document that shows that you qualify for Lifeline under the program-based eligibility requirements. Your recertifying process is usually completed by mailing or faxing the form to your phone company or using an automated system. Most phone companies partner with the Universal Service Administrative Company to complete this process, but you should check your provider’s website for specific details about how to recertify.