Happy National Lifeline Awareness Week, everyone! It may not be a big deal to you, but to us it’s a chance to talk about what the Lifeline program does for about 13 million Americans each and every day. With that many recipients, it’s important to note that the Lifeline program has undergone a transformation in recent years to improve program efficiency and combat waste, fraud, and abuse to ensure that only those eligible are receiving this vital support.
That’s the primary reason we, and the federal government, require existing Lifeline subscribers to recertify their eligibility every calendar year. Subscribers who fail to recertify their eligibility are de-enrolled from the Lifeline program. So, who exactly is eligible? Good question. While the programs vary from state to state, these program recipients are eligible for Lifeline service:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP);
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8);
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF);
- The National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program; or
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF);
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR);
- Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met); or
- State assistance programs (if applicable).