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:
- 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
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
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.
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
- Providers are required to have a Representative Accountability Database (RAD) Representative ID by May 25, 2020. Read more
- Providers please note that the date for Re-Verification has been postponed to June 30, 2021 per the FCC. Involuntary de-enrollment and re-certification are also postponed. Additionally, consumers will continue to have flexibility related to the documentation they can use for income eligibility. Providers can continue to begin providing Lifeline service to eligible Lifeline customers living in rural areas on Tribal lands even before those consumer have submitted certain supporting documentation to complete their Lifeline application.
The waiver period does not apply to the existing waiver of the FCC’s non-usage rule which does not extend beyond May 1, 2021. Providers are required to send cure notices to subscribers who, as of May 1, 2021, have not used their service in the previous 30 days.
See the new Order here.
- Providers may submit reimbursement requests via this
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.