Lifeline is a Federal program that helps qualified individuals pay for a single wireline or wireless telephone service. Effective December 2, 2016, eligible customers will be able to apply the monthly Lifeline discount toward Internet service. You can continue to apply your monthly Lifeline discount to your home phone, but you can only receive a discount on one option — phone or Internet.
Eligible customers will receive a $9.25 credit per month on their Windstream phone bill. Residents of federally recognized tribal lands may receive an additional reduction up to $25.00. Additional state support may be available. Only one Lifeline discount is allowed per household, consisting of either phone or internet service. Some companies may give you the option to apply the discount to a service bundle, such as home phone and home internet service. A household is not permitted to receive Lifeline benefits from multiple providers. Lifeline service is a non-transferable benefit.
Am I Eligible?
Yes, if you participate in at least one of the following programs, you are eligible for a Lifeline Program discount:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Income below the Federal Poverty guideline
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Program
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
You may also qualify if:
- You reside on Tribal lands (any Federally recognized Indian tribe's reservation, Pueblo, or Colony including former reservations in Oklahoma, Alaska Native regions, Hawaiian Home Lands, and Indian Allotments) and you participate in any of the above federal assistance programs; or
You, or someone in your household, participates in one of the following assistance programs:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)
- Tribally-administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
Qualifying for Internet Lifeline Discount
Lifeline Internet service must offer at least 10Mbps/1Mbps download/upload speeds for home Internet plans. Qualifying Windstream Lifeline Internet only service is available starting at $67.99 per month less the Lifeline discount.
If you decide to apply your monthly Lifeline discount to a home Internet service, you must remain with the Windstream company that provides your service for at least 12 months. After that, you are free to switch to a different company. If you move to a different state or to an area where your company does not offer service, let your company know. They will guide you through the process of changing companies.
If you sign up for new home phone service, you need to stay with your Windstream company for at least two months. If you choose to apply your discount to a bundle, ask the company which change policy applies.
How Do I Sign Up?
If you receive State or Federal assistance:
First, if you do not have phone or Internet service in your home, you will need to contact Windstream in your area to establish service and apply for the Lifeline Assistance program. Already have phone or internet service? Applying is easy. You can call us at (800) 347-1991 and ask for help signing up for the Lifeline Assistance Program.
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Click here to access the Lifeline application. Then, complete the application form and mail email, or fax it to the address, email address or fax number shown on the application.
Program-Based Eligibility Documentation
If you are applying based on Federal program-based eligibility, you will also be required to provide a copy of a document showing proof of your participation in the qualifying program. For example, if you are eligible for the Lifeline Program because you participate in the Medicaid program, you will need to submit a copy of your Medicaid benefit card with your application.
Income-Based Eligibility Documentation
If you are applying based on your household's income being at or below 135 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines, you must provide your service provider with income documentation. Acceptable documentation includes:
- Current income statement from an employer
- Prior year's State, Federal, or Tribal tax return
- A Social Security statement of benefits
- A Veteran’s Administration statement of benefits
- A retirement or pension statement of benefits
- An Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation statement of benefits
- A Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
- A divorce decree
- A child support award
- Other official document containing income information
Only one benefit per household.
A household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address as one economic unit. An economic unit consists of all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expense of a household. Use this worksheet to determine if more than one household resides at your address. The worksheet must be completed any time more than one person at the same address receives a discount on telephone or Internet service, or when a new applicant applies for service at an address where there is already a subscriber.
Windstream is required by the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, to verify your documentation of eligibility to participate in the Lifeline program. Lifeline is a government benefit program, and consumers who willfully make false statements in order to obtain the benefit can be punished by fine or imprisonment or can be barred from the program.
To qualify you will be asked to certify your eligibility data and agree to abide by the program’s rules.
If you have questions please call (800) 347-1991.
Additional information about the Lifeline discount program can be found at www.lifelinesupport.org.