To Recertify for Lifeline Benefits

Lifeline participants need to recertify every year. This is a new requirement. The participant must remain eligible for Lifeline service and certify that no one else in the household receives a Lifeline benefit. Here are the steps typically taken in order to recertify. Your company may do something slightly different. It’s important to follow the directions on the form you receive.


It is important that you recertify. Your phone company will not be able to continue applying Lifeline benefits to your bill if you do not recertify each year. This will cause your phone bill to go up.


To recertify, you will receive instructions from your phone company through the mail or by phone. Some phone companies partner with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). If your company partners with USAC, you will be contacted by USAC rather than by the phone company. Typically, you can recertify by responding by mail, fax, or by calling an automated system.


You will need to do the following if mailing or faxing your form.

  • Fill out the form provided by your phone provider.
  • Certify that you are not receiving Lifeline benefits from another company.
  • Certify that no one else in the household is receiving Lifeline benefits. Federal law limits Lifeline benefits to one account per household.
  • Certify that you remain eligible for Lifeline, either by participating in one of the programs listed here or because your income is 135% or less of federal poverty guidelines.
  • Mail or fax it to the address or number indicated on the form.


Some companies have an automated system you can call to recertify. If you recertify this way you will need:

  • The recertification form you received in the mail. This will have the phone number that you can call.
  • The information requested in the form. You will have to provide this information over the phone in order to recertify.


A few Illinois providers also allow recertification online. If your phone provider does this, the required steps will be similar to those above and your recertification form will have information on how to access the online system.