Lifeline Information

Lifeline is a government program that offers qualified low income households a discount on their monthly local telephone bill.

How much can I save?

Lifeline benefit can lower or eliminate the cost of your monthly phone or internet bill. Only one benefit is available per household; either phone service (home or wireless) or internet (home or mobile), but not both.

How do I know if I am eligible?

Program based eligibility:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension
  • Additional eligibility criteria may apply to residents of federally recognized tribal lands
  • Income-based eligibility - Total household income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Program eligibility will be verified by the carrier on an annual basis by way of an annual recertification with the customer receiving lifeline benefits.

Are there any restrictions?

Lifeline can only be used for the primary telephone line in a household. You may purchase additional services available to a non-Lifeline customer. You must establish phone service prior to applying for the Lifeline discount.

How do I apply?

To apply for Lifeline, call Broadview directly at 800-276-2384. An application can be obtained via phone.

What proof of eligibility do I need to provide?

If a customer uses a qualifying program as proof of eligibility for the Lifeline Program benefit, request documentation from the program to verify their eligibility, and save it for your records.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP was previously known as Food Stamps. Beneficiary cards and award letters may vary because SNAP is administered on the state level. Not all beneficiary cards include the recipient's name, so it is recommended that carriers use an award letter from the local state agency to verify participation.

All award letters should contain the following basic information:

- Name of the program
- Name of the beneficiary
- Address of the beneficiary
- Date of the award

The beneficiary named on the SNAP documentation may be the consumer, the consumer's dependent, or a member of the consumer's household.

Medicaid

Each state provides its own unique Medicaid card to beneficiaries. However, most cards should clearly state the following:

- Name of the program
- Name of the beneficiary
- State of the residence
- Issued or effective date
- Name of the state agency that provided the card

The beneficiary named on the Medicaid documentation may be the consumer, the consumer's dependent, or a member of the consumer's household.

Some states have different names for their Medicaid programs. If you are unsure of the acceptability of a particular program, please look for your state on this list of Medicaid program names by state, or contact USAC for additional guidance.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Participation in federal SSI is an eligibility criterion for Lifeline-supported service. Some states offer state supplements to the federal SSI program, but receiving benefits from the state supplement (without receiving federal SSI benefits) does not qualify an individual for Lifeline Program-supported service.

All federal award letters should contain the following basic information:

- Name of the program
- Name of the beneficiary
- Address of the beneficiary
- Date of the award
- Award amount

A benefit check stub from the Social Security Administration may also be submitted as proof of participation, if the check stub clearly states the date and name of the beneficiary.

The beneficiary named on the SSI documentation may be the consumer, the consumer's dependent, or a member of the consumer's household.

Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)

There are two types of documentation that can prove receipt of benefits under the Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) programs.

First, the customer can provide an award letter. A recipient of Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) receives an award letter from his or her local Public Housing Agency (PHA). The award letter should include the following information:

- Name of the program
- Date of the award
- Name of the beneficiary
- Award amount

Second, the customer can provide a Public Housing Assistance Lease Agreement. This documentation should clearly reflect the type of Public Housing Assistance credit issued.

The beneficiary named on the Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) documentation may be the consumer, the consumer's dependent, or a member of the consumer's household.

If the beneficiary does not have an award letter, lease agreement, or voucher, they may contact the agency that approved the application and request formal documentation of the award. To find contact information for a local Public Housing Agency, please visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's state contact and agency listing.

Federal Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension

Beginning December 2, 2016, the Federal Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension is a qualifying program for the Lifeline benefit.

Some states offer a veterans pension, however, only the Federal Veterans Pension (and Federal Survivors Pension) qualifies customers for the Lifeline benefit. Customers that receive a federal pension may show documentation demonstrating their receipt of a federal veterans pension, including:

- Pension Grant Letter: The letter shows the participant's name, address, a decision about their monthly entitlement amount and payment start date.
- Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Letter: The letter shows a monthly/quarterly/semi-annual/annual payment rate and an effective date.
- Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Letter: The letter shows a monthly/quarterly/semi-annual/annual payment rate and an effective date.
- Survivors Benefit Summary Letter: Survivors receive this letter shortly after being approved for a pension. It includes the survivor's claim number, the related veteran's name, and monthly award amount.

Income-Based Eligibility

An applicant may be eligible for Lifeline Program-supported service if he or she has a household income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

The FCC has deemed the following as acceptable documentation of income (47 C.F.R. Section 54.410(b)(1)(i)(B):

- The prior year's state, federal, or Tribal tax return
- Current income statement from an employer or paycheck stub
- Social Security statement of benefits
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- Retirement or pension statement of benefits
- Unemployment or Workers' Compensation statement of benefits
- Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
- Divorce decree, child support award, or other official document containing income information

If the documentation does not cover a full year, such as a current pay stub, the subscriber must present the same type of documentation covering three consecutive months within the previous 12 months.