Household & Real Estate, TECH

Everything You Need to Know About Online Lifeline Recertification

If you’re a Lifeline subscriber, you must know how to recertify your account. It will help you keep your free talk, text, and data!

You can recertify your account online or by phone. It takes about 12-15 minutes to recertify, and you’ll find out immediately whether you’ve been approved or denied!

Check Your Eligibility

Every year, all Lifeline subscribers must recertify their eligibility for the free monthly talk, text, and data to keep their service active. The process typically starts 105 days before your Lifeline anniversary date and includes a renewal letter and your Identification Number (PIN) in a pink envelope.

Customers who do not have a renewal letter or a notification text can use the starting letter of their Application ID to recertify over the phone using USAC’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. This process is quick and easy, and results are typically in about 10 minutes.

Those with a renewal letter or a notification email can also check their eligibility online. It is conducive for those who need to submit proof documents that can only be submitted online or by mail.

The FCC prohibits eligible low-income consumers from receiving more than one Lifeline benefit per household. A consumer may only receive the Lifeline discount on a single home or wireless phone service and a single internet service.

Subscribers who do not recertify within 60 days of the annual deadline will automatically lose their Lifeline benefits, and their service will be terminated. It can lead to a higher bill, or the services you usually receive will no longer be available.

If you have questions about Lifeline recertification, call the Lifeline Customer Support Center at 1-800-776-5287 or email us at We can help you answer your questions about Lifeline recertification and ensure you continue receiving your free discounted talk, text, and data!

Verify Your Address

The online Lifeline recertification process is relatively simple and can be completed in minutes. You’ll be asked to verify your address and answer questions about yourself, such as whether you have children. The system will show you immediately if your recertification has been approved or denied. You can also start over if you need to correct something.

Typically, by the anniversary date of your enrollment in the program, USAC or your state (for California, Oregon, and Texas) will send you a letter asking you to recertify your eligibility. Your benefit may be affected if you fail to respond in the time frame allotted, so it’s essential to follow up on this request.

You can recertify your eligibility by mail, phone, or online. The latter is the most streamlined, and you’ll be surprised by how fast it can be done! You can even recertify your eligibility for free! The other options include an interactive automated voice system that can take about 12 to 15 minutes and a website that is easy to navigate in English and Spanish. The best part? You can do it all in the comfort of your own home! And with some luck, the online Lifeline recertification process can be a win for you and your family.

Recertify Online

All households that receive Lifeline service are required to recertify their eligibility once a year. This process ensures that customers still qualify for the program and keep their free monthly talk, text, and data!

Last month, every Lifeline subscriber who is due for National Verifier recertification began going through an automated eligibility database check. This automated check only checks for eligibility and will not check for other information.

After the initial automated eligibility check, subscribers whose eligibility cannot be verified via this process will be sent a letter and FCC Form 5630 to recertify their status. They have 60 days to recertify their eligibility and will be de-enrolled from the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) if they do not complete this process.

USAC will also conduct outreach to these subscribers to inform them that they need to recertify their Lifeline benefits. During this time, subscribers may receive up to three robocalls and a reminder postcard from USAC reminding them that it is time to recertify their Lifeline benefit, their deadline to recertify, and the methods that can be used to do so.

If the subscriber does not recertify within the 60-day window, USAC will contact them with a notification letter and FCC Form 5630 Annual Recertification Form. After the 60-day window closes, USAC will notify subscribers through mail within two–three business days of the failure and will automatically de-enroll them from the NLAD five (5) business days after the defeat.

Submit Your Recertification

Every year you must recertify that you continue to qualify for Lifeline service. It is a simple process that only takes a few minutes.

You will receive a letter from USAC or your state (for California, Oregon, and Texas) in the mail with instructions on submitting your recertification. Typically, you will need to provide this information over the phone, though some providers allow you to do this online.

If you recertify your eligibility annually, you will retain your discount, and your cell phone service will cost more. However, some states allow you to continue to qualify for Lifeline if your total household income is less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if you participate in an eligible government assistance program like SNAP, Medicaid, or public housing.

After you have recertified your eligibility, USAC will mail a notification confirming your continued eligibility to receive Lifeline service shortly after. You will also have access to your status via the Recertification Subscriber Status Report in NLAD.

You will need to recertify manually to verify your eligibility online or if USAC cannot resolve your error. You can do this in one of three ways: fax, mail, or call an automated system. You must provide your full name, date of birth, and address. In addition, you will need to certify that your family has yet to receive Lifeline benefits from another company and that no member of your family receives benefits from any other program.