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Consumer Assistance Programs

Support programs for qualifying low-income customers

Qualifying customers have access to these support programs:

COVID updates in effect until June 30, 2021
  • Recertifications: Recertification is now on hold for the anniversary dates between April 14, 2020 and September 28, 2021. 
  • Reverifications: All reverification activity is on hold. 
  • Qualification based on income: Individuals may provide less than three consecutive months of documentation as long as they provide an official document that substantiates their income.
  • De-enrolls: Involuntary de-enrollments of existing subscribers should not occur. Customers are still required to adhere to the Lifeline eligibility criteria.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Overview

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal Lands. The EBBP is limited to one monthly service discount per household. The EBBP is temporary — it will expire when funds are exhausted or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares the end of the COVID-19 health emergency.

Qualifications for EBBP

A household is eligible if one member of the household:

  • Qualifies for the FCC’s Lifeline program, including those who are on Medicaid or receive SNAP benefits
  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers

How to apply for EBBP

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Lifeline Overview

Lifeline is the FCC's program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. Lifeline provides subscribers a discount on monthly telephone service purchased from participating providers. The discounts, which can be applied to stand-alone broadband, bundled voice-broadband packages — either fixed or mobile — and/or stand-alone voice service, help ensure that low-income consumers can afford state-of-the-art broadband and the access it provides to jobs, education and opportunities.

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 assistance

All customers are required to apply for Lifeline through the United Service Administrative Co. (USAC). The USAC site guides you through eligibility and application. 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:
How to apply for a State Telephone Assistance Program

Please select your state from the options below to access an additional application required for that state's assistance program. State programs are in addition to the federal Lifeline program, and are based on qualifications for that state. 

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