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North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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Lifeline Discount Phone Services

The Lifeline program is designed to increase the availability of telecommunications services to low income subscribers by providing a discount of up to $9.25 per month off the cost of wireline or wireless telephone service. Enhanced benefits are available to low-income subscribers who live on federally recognized Indian Tribal lands, with monthly discounts of up to $34.25.
Lifeline is supported by the federally-mandated Universal Service Fund. Federal rules prohibit eligible consumers from receiving more than one Lifeline discount per household, and the discount is available for either a wireline or a wireless service, but not both.
To be eligible to receive the Lifeline discount, a consumer must be a current recipient of any one of the following low income assistance programs:

  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance/Section 8
  • National School Lunch Program’s free lunch program
  • Head Start Program (if eligibility criteria are met)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

Consumers whose total gross annual income does not exceed one hundred and thirty-five percent (135%) of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are also eligible for Lifeline. 

How to apply:

  • If you are eligible, contact a telephone company that serves your area and ask them to mail you a Lifeline application form.


  • Complete the form and mail it to the telephone company. Your discount begins when the telephone company gets the approved form.

Note: Proof of eligibility is required, and subscribers must recertify their eligibility each year.

We Can Help
If you have a consumer complaint, contact us for help or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.