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Division of Communications

Universal Service: Lifeline
  • What is Lifeline?
    • A program implemented jointly with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Virginia State Corporation Commission to assist eligible consumers with purchasing more affordable telephone service. This program has traditionally been referred to as the Virginia Universal Service Plan for wireline telephone companies.
  • Is wireless service available for Lifeline support?
    • Yes. A consumer may choose Lifeline service from a wireless company that participates in the program.
  • How do I qualify for Lifeline?
    • If you participate in or meet one of the following:
      • Medicaid,
      • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,
      • Supplemental Security Income,
      • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8),
      • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program,
      • National School Lunch Program’s free lunch program,
      • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or
      • Are at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • What charges are reduced with Lifeline?
    • You will save a minimum of $9.25 per month on your service. For wireline service, you may be able to choose to have your long distance service blocked at no charge. A deposit may also be waived if you agree to a long distance block.
  • Do all companies provide Lifeline support?
    • No. Only wireline and wireless companies designated as Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) are required to provide this assistance. If you have access to more than one local telephone provider or wireless company in your area, you should contact each company to verify which ones offer Lifeline support.
  • May I receive Lifeline support for a wireline and wireless service?
    • No. Only a single Lifeline service subscription per household is available for Lifeline support. The consumer may select a single wireline or wireless service option for Lifeline support, but not both.
  • How do I enroll?
    • Call your local telephone company or wireless company for enrollment details. For additional information contact the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) at Link logo.