What You Always Wanted to Know About Lifeline Discounts

What You Always Wanted to Know About Lifeline Discounts

Everyone loves discounts. Getting discounts on phone calls is like the icing on the cake. We all love our phones a bit too much, so hands-down, a Discounted Lifeline Program* is the best thing to happen to mankind since bread. Yay!

Hold on to your horses…did you miss that asterisk I put on the term “Discounted Lifeline Program”? That must have activated your grey-cells, and have also stirred some queries. It’s not for everyone. How about we start with the key provisions of the Lifeline program to get everyone on the same page! Let’s hear the drum roll.

  • Lifeline service is a non-transferable benefit.
  • Lifeline is available only to eligible subscribers.
  • Only one Lifeline benefit is permitted per household. Federal rules prohibit subscribers from receiving more than one Lifeline service. If a subscriber or his or her household currently has more than one Lifeline discounted service, they must select a single provider immediately or be subject to penalties.
  • Only low-income subscribers with proof of eligibility are qualified to enroll.
  • Subscribers have an obligation to recertify their eligibility every year and should respond to their Lifeline Provider’s attempts to recertify eligibility. Subscribers who fail to recertify their eligibility will be de-enrolled from the Lifeline Program.
  • If you qualify for the Lifeline discount service, you are eligible to receive a reduced rate on your monthly bill.
  • Some states also provide a discount on the cost of installing the new service, and toll blocking is available at no charge to Lifeline customers.
  • Qualifications for the Lifeline discount program vary by state. Only eligible consumers may enroll.
  • Documentation is required for enrollment. Always check the state-specific application for the documentation that is required for enrollment.
  • Consumers who willfully make false statements in order to obtain the benefit may be punished by fine or imprisonment or may be barred from the program.

Basically, subscribers need to certify the followings in order to avail discounted Lifeline phone:

  • Subscriber or a member of the subscriber’s household participates in a qualifying federal program or meets the income qualifications for Lifeline.
  • Subscriber’s household receives only one Lifeline-supported service.
  • Subscriber provided proof of eligibility if required to do so.
  • The information contained in the Lifeline application is true and correct to the best of the subscriber’s knowledge and that providing false or fraudulent information to receive Lifeline benefits is punishable by law.
  • Subscriber resides on Federally-recognized Tribal lands if applying for Enhanced Lifeline support.
  • Subscriber must acknowledge that he or she may be required to recertify continued eligibility for Lifeline, and the subscriber will lose his or her Lifeline benefit if he or she fails to recertify subscriber.

Subscriber also needs to provide certain information to the phone company or a state agency (depending on how subscribers in their state sign up for Lifeline), including:

  • Name and address information – Consumers who do not have a permanent residential address must provide a temporary address, which cannot be a P.O. Box. If a consumer resides at a temporary address, the telephone service provider or state agency may require confirmation of the address.
  • Date of birth and the last 4 digits of the consumer’s Social Security Number.
  • Consumers participating in the Lifeline program must notify the telephone service provider within 30 days if the consumer moves.
  • Consumers participating in the Lifeline program must notify the telephone service provider within 30 days if the consumer is no longer eligible for Lifeline.