Community  |  Legal  |  Support


Consumer assistance programs

Support options for qualifying low-income customers

Qualifying customers have access to these support programs:

  • Lifeline — Federal assistance for income-qualified customers for phone or internet service.

  • Telephone Assistance Program (TAP) — Assistance offered by some states, in addition to Lifeline. 

Lifeline overview

Lifeline is the FCC's program to help make communication services more affordable for low-income consumers. Lifeline provides subscribers a discount on monthly telephone or broadband service purchased from participating providers. The discounts can be applied to voice services, a voice bundle, broadband services, or bundled broadband packages (either fixed or mobile).

The Lifeline discount may be used for voice or qualified broadband service, but not both.

  • Lifeline discounts on voice services are available to participants of both state and federally-recognized aid programs.

  • Lifeline discounts on broadband services are available to participants of federally-recognized aid programs and is limited to certain broadband services. Broadband speeds must be 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload or faster to qualify.

  • If you purchase voice and qualifying broadband services, the federal Lifeline discount will apply to your qualifying broadband service.

  • If you purchase voice service and a non-qualifying broadband service, you may qualify to receive both state and federal Lifeline discounts on your voice service. 

Standard Lifeline — provides federal monthly support of up to $9.25 for qualifying broadband service and $5.25 for voice services. In some states, additional monthly support is also available.

Tribal Lifeline — offers a deeper monthly discount as well as installation assistance through the Link-Up program to qualifying customers who live on federally-recognized Tribal lands.

How to apply for Lifeline

1) All customers must apply for Lifeline through the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). You can do this on the USAC website, which guides you through eligibility and the application, or by submitting a downloaded form (see the link below).

2) After the USAC qualification has been completed, notify CenturyLink with your confirmation number to get the discount added to your qualifying service.

General eligibility requirements for Lifeline:

  • Lifeline is available to qualified customers in every U.S. state. Qualification requirements vary by state.

  • One Lifeline discount is available per household, even if the household has more than one telephone or broadband account, including landline or wireless service. 

  • Under the Lifeline program, a household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses. 

  • The Lifeline discount is not transferable and only eligible customers may enroll in the program. 

For details about service standards for the Lifeline program, please see the USAC pages:

Telephone assistance programs at the state level

Please select your state from the options below to see information about any additional assistance programs available to you. Each state has its own application requirements, and not all states provide additional assistance.

Affordable Connectivity Program

Congress did not approve additional funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program. The ACP has ended and the discount has been removed from customer accounts.