What's the Lifeline Program?

Since 1985, the Lifeline Assistance Program has provided a discount on phone service to low-income Americans. The program is administered by the by the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) and overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It was founded to ensure to ensure that all Americans, regardless of income, have access to the security and opportunity that a phone service offers. This includes being able to look for jobs, access emergency services, go to school, and much more.

How to Qualify for the Lifeline Benefit

You can qualify for a free Lifeline smartphone and wireless service from our available carriers if your total household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or through qualifying government programs. See the list below for program-based eligibility and details on household income requirements.

Program-Based Eligibility

Your household is eligible for the Lifeline benefit, if you or someone in your household participates in the following programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps/Food Assistance)

  • Medicaid / Medi-Cal

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8

  • Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit

Tribal Household Eligibility

If your household is on qualifying federally recognized Tribal land, here are the programs you can participate in to be eligible for Lifeline, in addition to any of the programs listed above.

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

  • Head Start (only if you qualified for this program based on income)

  • Tribal TANF (Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)


You may need to show proof of participation, such as a benefit letter or other official document when you apply for Lifeline.

Household Income Qualification

You can qualify for Lifeline, if your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Eligibility is based on the size of your household and where it is located. The table below reflects 135% of the 2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines.

What is the ACP Benefit?

The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a new federal government program committed to bringing connectivity to low-income Americans. Qualifying households can get connected by answering a few questions and submitting your eligibility documents. The program is limited to one ACP benefit per household.

You can get the ACP benefit, if you participate in a qualifying government program or if your household income is at or below 200% the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Qualifying programs include:

  • Medicaid

  • SNAP

  • Federal Pell Grant

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Veteran and Survivors Pension Benefit

  • Multiple Tribal Programs

  • Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC)

  • and more

Household Income Qualification

You can qualify for the ACP benefit, if your household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Eligibility is based on the size of your household and where it is located. The table below reflects 200% of the 2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Household Benefits

An independent household qualifies for one ACP service benefit and a one-time device benefit of a $100 discount.

How is a household defined?
A household includes people living at the same address who have combined incomes and household expenses. It does not include all of the people living at the same address; the FCC and USAC acknowledge that more than one household can live at the same address.

If two households living at the same address apply for ACP, each household will need to fill out the Household Worksheet, the worksheet is available in
English and Spanish.

Tribal Household Eligibility

If your household is located on qualifying tribal lands, you may qualify for ACP if your household participates in a Tribal assistance program. If your household participates in one of the following programs, your household may be eligible for the ACP.

  • Head Start households that meet the qualifying income standard

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

  • Food Distribution Program located on Indian Reservations

  • Tribal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

Enhanced Support Eligibility

If your household is located on qualifying Tribal lands, you are eligible for the enhanced support discount of up to $75 a month towards your broadband service. The one-time device discount may be available as well, but there are no enhanced features. Your household qualifies for the enhanced Tribal benefit as long as you are eligible for ACP. It does not matter how your household qualifies for ACP. You can learn more by visiting USAC's Enhanced Tribal Benefit.

What does the ACP benefit offer?

$30 per month $75 per month $100 one-time

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