Lifeline Program Information

The Lifeline program is a federal government assistance program that provides financial assistance to qualified low-income residents, helping to make communications services more affordable. Lifeline provides eligible subscribers with a discount on qualifying monthly telephone service, broadband internet service or bundled voice-broadband packages purchased from participating wireline or wireless providers. A qualified Lifeline customer must choose between a traditional wireline provider or a qualified wireless provider, but not both. This program provides a monthly discount on ONE telephone service, broadband internet service or bundled voice-broadband internet service. Federal rules prohibit qualifying consumers from receiving more than one Lifeline discount per household. Consumers violating this one per household rule may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.


Lifeline service is a non-transferable benefit available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, and on Tribal lands. You must be eligible to enroll, and you must reconfirm your eligibility with the National Verifier annually. Eligible consumers can receive up to $9.25 per month in Lifeline discounts.
Consumers may qualify by either having an income that is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines (proof of income is required) or participate in one of the following assistance programs (proof of participation is required):

  • Medicaid

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)

  • Veteran’s Pension and Survivor Benefit


Lifeline customers of traditional wireline companies receive the following benefits:

  • Do not pay service connection charges

  • Do not pay a deposit to establish service

  • Do not pay the access recovery charge

  • Receive a monthly basic service charge discount up to $9.25 depending on the selected service.

  • Do not pay charges related to the Universal Service Fund and Local number portability

  • Can receive free “toll blocking” and blocking for 900/976 telephone numbers to prohibit all outgoing long-distance calls

  • Special payment arrangements (or can re-establish service if previously disconnected) by paying $25 and the remaining balance over six months.


More information about eligibility, how to apply for Lifeline benefits, or what to do if your household is receiving more than one discount, is available at the Universal Service Administrative Company’s website or you may also call USAC Lifeline Support toll free at 800-234-9473.


To apply for Lifeline assistance, complete the application process online at or download the Lifeline Telephone Application, complete the form and bring it to the Buckland Telephone Company office along with the required proof of participation documents and photo identification.