What is Lifeline?​

The Lifeline program provides low-income Wisconsin residents affordable access to essential telecommunications by discounting the cost of phone, cell and internet services. 

How much money can I save with Lifeline?​

This depends on which type of service(s) you have, but your discount could range from $7.25 - $18.50 per month. Your service provider can tell you the exact amount.

Who is eligible?​

You are eligible if you participate in one of the following qualifying programs:

  • Medicaid  
  • FoodShare
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
  • Federal public housing assistance (Section 8) 
  • Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit ​

Or, if your income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines​​​​

​Only one person per household may receive a Lifeline discount.​

How can I find out if I am eligible?​

You can check your eligibility online using the National Verifier at www.checklifeline.org.

The National Verifier is connected to federal databases and can determine if you are enrolled in a qualifying program listed above. If you do not participate in a qualifying program, you must provide proof that you meet the income guidelines. Your provider can help you with this, or you can contact one of the numbers listed below.

You may also apply for Lifeline using a paper form which can be downloaded and mailed in. ​ ​

The Federal Communications Commission recently announced new rules for people who are income-eligible because of recent unemployment due to the pandemic. You may submit: a notice of unemployment benefits payment, or a notice of a successfully submitted application for unemployment benefits. These documents must be dated within the last three months.

How can I enroll?

You must contact an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) to enroll. You can find a list of ETCs here.

You can determine your eligibility before you contact the ETC, or you can ask them to help you find out if you are eligible.

How can I get help?

Wisconsin Internet & Phone Helpline: (608) 267-3595.
Open Monday through Friday, from 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Request an interpreter if you need assistance in a different language.

Federal (USAC) Lifeline Support number: (800) 234-9473.
Open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Email lifelinesupport@usac.org

Download a one-page informational sheet about Lifeline ​here.


Information for Providers

  • Providers are advised that as of March 24, 2020, customer enrollments in Lifeline must have an approved eligibility decision from the National Verifier. Service providers will only be able to enroll applicants in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) if they have an active and approved eligibility decision from the National Verifier. Information on the National Verifier requirements can be found by viewing the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, specifically section §54.410 Subscriber eligibility determination and certification. It may also be helpful to review the December 2019 Hard Launch Public Notice.

  • Providers can ​access the National Verifier portal here

  • Providers are required to have a Representative Accountability Database (RAD) Representative ID by May 25, 2020. Read more here

  •  Providers please note that the date for Re-Verification has been postponed to November 30, 2020 per the   ​FCC. See the new Order ​here

  •  Providers may submit reimbursement requests via this portal.
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Pursuant to an order by the Federal Communications Commission, the Link-Up program that assisted low-income individuals when starting telephone service by waiving the one-time connection charges has been discontinued as of April 1, 2012, and the Wisconsin program has been suspended. Other options for help obtaining telephone service may be available. Contact the Public Service Commission for more information.

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