The FCC’s Lifeline program aims to make communications services more affordable for low-income people. Subscribers who purchase qualifying monthly telephone service, broadband Internet service, or bundled voice-broadband packages from participating wireline or wireless providers receive a Lifeline discount. The discount helps low-income consumers afford 21st-century broadband and the jobs, healthcare, and educational resources it provides.
Lifeline offers eligible low-income subscribers a monthly discount of up to $9.25 and up to $34.25 for those who live on tribal lands. Subscribers can get a Lifeline discount on either a wireline or wireless service, but not both at the same time. The Lifeline program also supports broadband Internet service and broadband-voice bundles. The FCC prohibits a household from having more than one Lifeline service.
To be eligible for the Lifeline program, consumers must either have an income of less than 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs.