Do You Qualify For Reduced Phone and Internet Rates through Lifeline?

Every person in America should have access to quality and affordable telecommunications services. This principle of “Universal Service” has been a goal of the telecommunications industry for decades. Congress enacted the Telecommunications Act of 1934 and reaffirmed these principles in 1996 for the “preservation and advancement of Universal Service.”


Lifeline is a federal program dedicated to making phone and internet service more affordable for low-income households. This benefit provides eligible consumers with a monthly discount of up to $9.25. Consumers living on Tribal lands are eligible for an enhanced discount of up to $34.25 per month.

  • USAC’s Lifeline Support Center helps you apply for the program, understand eligibility requirements, and keep your benefit current through an annual recertification process.
  • Lifeline consumers must apply for Lifeline and then sign up with a participating phone or internet company, recertify annually, and keep their information up to date.
  • Phone or Internet company enrolls you in the Lifeline program, manages your service, and answers questions about your service, phone or device, or bill.

Enhanced Tribal Lifeline
The FCC also established separate guidelines for Tribal Lifeline assistance, which set a maximum credit limit up to $34.25, but the customer’s bill for local services cannot be less than $0.00. Currently the monthly charges for local telephone service for customers eligible for Tribal Lifeline assistance is $0.00.

What types of discounts are available?

  • Lifeline assistance lowers the cost of basic monthly local telephone services, internet or bundled services by the allowable discount credits.
  • Toll Limitation Service support allows all Lifeline eligible consumers who wish to avoid incurring long distance charges to have “toll blocking” services at no charge.
  • Tribal Link-Up is also available for eligible customers living on tribal lands. This is a one-time credit up to $100.00 for the initial installation of local telephone service.


You can get Lifeline if you (or someone in your household) participate in one of these programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
  • Household Income is at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines

You may have to show proof of participation, like a benefit letter or official document, when you apply for Lifeline.

Enhanced Tribal Lifeline (In addition to Lifeline programs)

If you live on Tribal lands, you can get Lifeline if your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if you (or someone in your household) participate in:

    • Any of the federal assistance programs listed above
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)
    • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

    You may have to show proof of participation, like a benefit letter or official document, when you apply for Lifeline.

135% of 2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines:

Persons in HouseholdAnnual Household income no higher than:

This program is available for existing or new customers and applies to local-basic-service only. Giving false information or failure to notify WNM Communications when and if you no longer qualify may require you to pay for reduced rates given in error. For more information or questions, please contact our office. Or call the NMPRC at 1-505-827-4592 or visit the NMPRC Website.