The benefits of the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program are available to people in every state, and to those who meet the program’s requirements. Those who are eligible can apply through an approved Lifeline service provider. With several telecommunications companies offering the program’s discounts, low-income households can easily find a provider in their area.

“Applicants who are also interested in receiving a free cell phone to use with their free monthly phone service should look for providers who provide this option,” said Issa Asad, the CEO of Dania, Florida’s Q Link Wireless, a major provider of the Lifeline Assistance Program. “Q Link Wireless is just one Lifeline provider that chooses to supply a free cell phone to qualified low-income individuals.”

For those who are wondering if they qualify and what to expect, let’s take a detailed look at the eligibility requirements and application process of the Lifeline program.

Eligibility Requirements

Lifeline eligibility requirements vary by state, but generally, those who meet at least one of the following requirements are eligible to enroll in the Lifeline program:

  • Having a household income at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines of their specific state
  • Receiving benefits or assistance from a qualifying federal or state assistance program, such as Medicaid, Section 8, Food Stamps/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program or other government assistance programs
  • Resident of a federally-recognized Tribal Land who currently receives benefits or assistance from a qualifying federal or state assistance program
  • Resident of a federally-recognized Tribal Land who currently receives benefits or assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance Program, Head Start, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations


Rules and Restrictions

In addition to meeting the above eligibility requirements, those who are interested in enrolling in Lifeline should be aware of the program’s following rules and restrictions:

  • Only one Lifeline subscription benefit per household is allowed. A household includes all residents who share the same address, expenses and income, including minors and non-family members. Applicants can choose between a Lifeline discount on either landline phone service or wireless phone service.
  • Those who are eligible to receive a free phone from their Lifeline provider will only receive one phone per household.
  • Those who have more than one Lifeline discount per household must choose one provider and contact the other provider to de-enroll. Those who do not follow this federal rule could face penalties.
  • Those who have a Lifeline discount must re-certify eligibility every year. If this step is not taken, subscribers are dropped from the program.


The Application Process

Those who are eligible for Lifeline should contact a Lifeline provider in their state or a designated state agency to enroll in the program. During the enrollment process, applicants will need to provide certain types of documentation, such as:

  • Proof that they receive benefits or assistance from a qualifying program, such as a statement or program participation documents
  • Proof of income, such as a recent income statement, paycheck stub, previous year’s tax return or Social Security statement of benefits


Applicants will also need to give the Lifeline service provider or state agency their name and address, date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security Number or Tribal Identification Number.

Applicants will also have to make certifications that must be re-certified each year, such as the following:

  • They only receive one Lifeline discount per household
  • They still participate in a government assistance program, or meet their state’s low-income requirements
  • They provided true and correct information on their application


Re-certifying yearly might seem daunting to some subscribers, but the process is straightforward. “The FCC’s 2012 reforms have made the re-certification process more convenient for Lifeline subscribers,” said Asad. “Lifeline subscribers can easily and quickly re-certify each year through their provider’s website.”

The 2012 reforms mentioned by the QLink Wireless CEO should also help keep the program running smoothly and more efficiently. In our final segment, we’ll explore where Lifeline is headed.

Above content provided by Q Link Wireless and Quadrant Holdings, located in Dania, Florida.

Comments (104)
  1. I have always wanted to enroll in the lifeline program and now I know how. Thanks for posting this great article.

  2. Brandon Reed says:

    Having access to a cellphone is crucial in today’s job market. Due to this program, many impoverished people will now have access to cellphones which gives them access to more high paying jobs. This a great program!

  3. I think everyone should enroll in this awesome program

  4. Bobby Jones says:

    Im glad they wrote an article about this to get the knowledge out!

  5. Barno Das says:

    “Aware of the program’s following rules and restrictions” is very important for a client. observing these, any visitor can take decision on needy.

  6. There’s actually a lot of rules. But it’s worth it if you really need it.

  7. I would recommend this program to my relatives. I think they meet requirements. Thank you for providing details.

  8. I would love to enroll in a program like this

  9. I am going to enroll in this program for sure. This program has so many benefits. I am also gonna recommend it to friends.

  10. I love how Lifeline is available to people in all states! It’s easy to apply and it can help people who are low income find a job and get information!

  11. Farid Martin says:

    This covers everything necessary to get oneself properly enrolled into the lifeline program in very detailed and organized fashion. Well done.

  12. This is a great program, as important as internet is I would think a cell phone is just as important.

  13. This program is significant, because it includes wide range of layer of society

  14. Mani John says:

    I have always wanted to enroll in the lifeline program and now I know how.great.

  15. I certainly hope that the program is effective in reaching its goals!

  16. Barno Das says:

    I hope lifeline program is a time deserve program. which will be acceptable all amercans.

  17. Sartle Power says:

    I love how Lifeline is available to people in all states! This program has so many benefits. it can help people who are low income find a job .I think everyone should enroll in this awesome program.

  18. This article contains so much information on how to apply Federal Lifeline Assistance Program in detail. It is good to know that this program is available in all the states. People who are low income should utilize the benefits.

  19. Renee Mauer says:

    Maintaining the yearly re-certification requirement can only assist with insuring current recipients continue to qualify for program and decrease incidents of fraudulent claims.

  20. how can I find a provider in our area

  21. Roger Leroy says:

    I’m definitely going to spread the word about Lifeline, I know a lot of people that could really benefit from this program.

  22. This is a very good program and it would really help out people who cannot afford a phone! Many low income families would really benefit from this!

  23. I’m glad they are spreading the word about the Lifeline program which will help a lot of people. I hope they will make these programs more easily reachable to those eligible.

  24. Md Yeachin Hossain says:

    I would love to enroll in a program like this

  25. Shivam Wormt says:

    geez…This program should be really good.