Lifeline Qualifications


Lifeline support lowers the cost of monthly telephone service. An eligible customer may receive the Lifeline discount on either a wireline or wireless connection, but the discount is available for only one telephone connection per household. Lifeline discounts do not apply to taxes, surcharges, and mileage charges.

Qualifications to receive Lifeline discounts vary by state. The qualifying programs are either determined by each state's Public Utility Commission or the federal Lifeline/Link-Up program. In all states except Oregon, an individual is eligible if he or she participates in one of the following programs:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) (Section 8)
  • Food Stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Medicaid
  • National School Lunch Program's free lunch program
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

In some states, participation in other low-income programs may qualify an individual for the federal Lifeline program.

A consumer who resides on federally recognized tribal lands qualifies for Lifeline and Link-Up if he or she participates in one of the above programs or any of the following programs:

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs general assistance
  • Tribally administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Head Start (only those households meeting its income qualifying standard)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

In addition, in all states except Oregon, a consumer may be eligible if his or her household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. In some states, the household income threshold is higher. If you qualify for Lifeline based on the income guidelines, you will be asked to provide current documentation that shows your household income. To qualify for U.S. Cellular's Lifeline service, you must be a resident of one of these states

  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
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