Lifeline: A Telephone Assistance Program for Low-Income Subscribers

Lifeline and TAP Assistance Programs

 Lifeline is a federal assistance program funded by the Universal Service Fund which provides a discount towards telephone or broadband service for qualified low-income customers. The Lifeline program currently offers a credit of $5.25/month for telephone service and $9.25/month for broadband service per eligible household. These monthly credits will change Dec. 1, 2021 to $9.25 for broadband service and no telephone discount.  Only one Lifeline discount per household is allowed nationwide. Federal eligibility is verified annually.

 To qualify for Lifeline you must have a household income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or participate in one of the following assistance programs:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) / Section 8
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Veteran Pension & Survivor Pension Benefit
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Medicaid

 To apply for discounts in MN, ND & SD – The FCC National Lifeline Verifier determines an applicant’s Lifeline eligibility. To apply for Lifeline, visit www.CheckLifeline.org, select your state in the drop down menu, enter your personal information, and after the FCC National Eligibility Verifier approves your application, contact our business office to activate your Lifeline benefits.

 MN residents who qualify for the federal Lifeline for telephone service also automatically qualify for a $10.00/month state Telephone Assistance Program (TAP) discount on landline telephone service. The telephone service must be in the applicant’s name in order to qualify based either on household income or the above listed assistance programs. Contact our business office for assistance with MN TAP.

For more details, contact the FCC at 1-888-225-5322 voice, 1-888-835-5322 TTY, visit www.lifelinesupport.org or by mail at FCC, 445 12th ST SW, Washington, DC 20554, or for MN TAP, visit https://mn.gov/puc/telecommunications/telephone-discounts.

Emergency Broadband Benefit program

The FCC formulated the emergency broadband benefit program to help those who are in need or lack broadband services. It has some similar concepts to the free government phone services. 

For more information on the EBB program, click the link below.