Recertifying annually is a requirement of the federal and state authorities that oversee the Lifeline program. To keep your discounted talk, text, and data service active, you must recertify by phone or online.
Renewing Your Benefits
Every year, Lifeline administrators check to see if eligible low-income households still meet the program’s requirements. The services will be canceled if the administrators find that a household no longer qualifies. To avoid this, you must renew your benefits by the deadline listed on the letter or text that USAC sends you.
The Lifeline recertification process is relatively easy. All you need to do is make sure that you can provide proof of your eligibility. For example, you must show that you’re part of a certain program or that your income is 135% of the federal poverty guidelines (see here for more details). You can renew your benefit using the automated system on the USAC website or over the phone. These options are available to both Lifeline-only and Lifeline + ACP Combo plan customers. Please return the paperwork in time to avoid a delay in getting your ID card. This can lead to issues verifying your identity and accessing your benefits. This can be a problem for many employees, as they may need their ID card to get important services such as health care. To avoid these issues, employers should prepare their employees for the benefits renewal period well in advance. This can include providing training on how to submit the required forms.
Keeping Your Service Active
Whether you receive Lifeline or ACP benefits, it’s important to ensure your annual recertification is completed on time. Otherwise, you will lose your free monthly talk, text, and data service. In addition, you could also be subject to hefty fines and penalties. Lifeline is a government assistance program that helps income-eligible households save money on their telephone service. The discount can be used for home telephone service (landline or cable) or wireless phone service. However, only one line is available per household.
Each year, your Lifeline and ACP service provider will send you a notice asking that you complete your annual recertification. The process is easy and quick. Just follow the instructions on your notice.
You will be asked to confirm your eligibility through automated data source checks as part of your annual Lifeline recertification. These will verify that you still meet the income requirements and are not receiving Lifeline or ACP from another provider. In addition, it will help reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in the program.
Keeping Your Account Up-to-Date
The annual Lifeline recertification is a simple and quick process that checks your benefit eligibility status to ensure you still qualify for free monthly talk, text, and data. The Lifeline Administrator, USAC, will send a physical letter to subscribers who need to recertify and allow them to do it by phone or online. The fastest way to recertify is by phone, and all you need is your Application ID (located on your renewal letter, sent in text messages, or found on the device itself). Keeping your Lifeline account up-to-date is essential because your service will only be connected if you do so. Consumers who violate these rules risk fines or even imprisonment.
Subscribers whose eligibility cannot be verified via the automated database check will receive a letter from USAC asking them to recertify with more documentation. If you must provide additional proof, you cannot use the recertify by phone and must complete your renewal online or by mail.
Eligible telecommunications carriers must publish and prominently display, on all materials describing the Lifeline program and enrolling new subscribers, clear, easily understood language that states the following:
Households can only get one discount for phone service or broadband internet. If a household wants to have both, the individual must apply for both services separately from each other and pay for them at the full cost. Using the discount for more than one line of service violates federal law. Discounts are also non-transferable between members of a household.
Subscribers due for recertification can either call their provider to find out whether they pass or go through the National Verifier portal and recertify online. The subscriber will receive a letter from USAC shortly after recertifying to let them know their status. Subscribers who do not receive a letter should call the Lifeline support center to ask for their status. When recertifying, the consumer should have their application ID ready. This number is texted to them or on their renewal form sent by the USAC administrator. Consumers can renew their service by phone, online, or by mail.