South Carolina LIFELINE Program
If you are a low-income consumer and need help paying for phone service or broadband internet service, you may be eligible to participate in the government Lifeline benefit program.
Lifeline reduces what you pay for residential landline telephone service or residential broadband internet service per month. You may qualify to receive Lifeline if your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal poverty guidelines or you receive any of the following benefits: Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8, Medicaid (Healthy Connections), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-formerly known as Food Stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Programs.
For program enrollment consumers can apply online by using the consumer portal on Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC) National Verifier website. Others may apply in paper form by completing an application and mailing it to the USAC Lifeline Center. Lifeline assistance is limited to one per household and available on one service only per household, whether landline voice, mobile voice, fixed broadband, or mobile broadband.
Pursuant to federal law, any consumer who willfully makes false statements in order to obtain Lifeline benefits can be punished by fine or imprisonment or can be barred from the program.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You will save up to $8.75 on your basic monthly bill for residential landline services. You will save up to $9.25 per month on your basic monthly bill for residential broadband internet service.
You may qualify to receive Lifeline if your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal poverty guidelines or you receive any of the following benefits: Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8, Medicaid (Healthy Connections), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-formerly known as Food Stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Programs.
Government rules specifically state that each subscriber can have no more than one Lifeline discounted service. Lifeline is limited to one per household and non-transferable between individuals.
For Voice Lifeline requests, the Lifeline discounts cannot be applied to a customer that received Lifeline discounts from another voice provider (wireline or wireless) within the previous 60 days. For Broadband Lifeline requests, the Lifeline discount cannot be applied to a customer that received the Lifeline Broadband discount from another provider within the previous 12 months. There is a national database of Lifeline subscribers that will deem these customers ineligible should they apply and have not met the time requirements from a previous provider.
Customers have two ways to apply for Lifeline on their own using the National Verifier. If a customer wants more support applying, they can also ask a participating phone or internet company to help submit an application.
You can apply online by going to the National Verifier consumer portal at CheckLifeline.org and creating an account. You may find out if you qualify for Lifeline through the website immediately after applying online. If the National Verifier cannot prove your eligibility automatically, you will need to upload more documents to the consumer portal.
Apply by Mail:
You can also send an application by mail. You will mail in your finished Lifeline Application(Spanish version), Household Worksheet (Spanish version), and copies of your proof of eligibility to the Lifeline Support Center. USAC will contact you by mail to let you know if you qualify for Lifeline.
The Lifeline Support Center’s mailing address is:
Lifeline Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742
USAC will contact you by email from LifelineSupport@usac.org or mail from the Lifeline Support Center to let you know if you qualify for Lifeline. Once you qualify for Lifeline, you can choose a phone or internet company that offers the Lifeline benefit to enroll in the program. If you already have phone or internet service with a company who offers Lifeline, they can help you complete the application process. You can find Lifeline phone and internet companies that serve your community here.
You will need to the following information to apply:
Full legal name
Date of birth
Last 4 digits of your Social Security number (or Tribal identification number)
Every year, you have to show that you still qualify for Lifeline. The National Verifier will first try to confirm your eligibility automatically.
If the National Verifier cannot recertify you, USAC will contact you with instructions. You must follow these instructions, otherwise you will lose your Lifeline benefit. USAC will also send you reminders.