Lifeline is a government benefit program that provides discounts on monthly telephone or broadband Internet service for eligible low-income consumers to help ensure they have the opportunities and security that telephone and broadband Internet service affords, including being able to connect to jobs, family, and 911 services. Lifeline is supported by the federal Universal Service Fund (USF).
What Benefits are Available Under the Lifeline Program?
Lifeline provides discounts on monthly telephone service (wireline or wireless) or monthly broadband Internet service when subscribing to packages with speeds of 20/3 or greater for eligible consumers. These discounts can be up to $9.25 per month depending upon applicable service and maybe more depending on the state.
Federal rules prohibit eligible low-income consumers from receiving more than ONE Lifeline service at the same time. That is, eligible low-income consumers may receive a Lifeline discount on either a wireline, wireless, or a broadband Internet service, but may not receive a Lifeline discount on more than One of these services at the same time. Additionally, only ONE Lifeline service may be obtained per household. “Household” is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address as one economic unit. An “economic unit” is defined as “all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household.” Lifeline support is available to eligible low-income consumers living in group living facilities. Lifeline applicants may demonstrate when initially enrolling in the program that any other Lifeline recipients residing at their residential address are part of a separate household.