U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Do you already get Lifeline Benefits?

Protections & Rules

As an Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) consumer, you have certain protections:

Choose a service plan that best meets your needs (including a plan you may already be on)

Your internet company cannot force you to sign up for a more expensive or lower quality plan. If you receive Lifeline and ACP benefits, you can apply both benefits to the same plan or separate plans. You are not required to apply both benefits to the same service or to the same company.

Get access to supported internet services regardless of your credit status, past due balances, or prior debt
Switch companies or internet service offerings

You can change companies once per month. You won’t need to pay an early termination fee if you decide to change providers.

Get answers and help

If you need additional assistance, we’re here to help you. Learn more about how to get help.

If your company is unresponsive or does not help you, you may want to file an informal consumer complaint with the FCC. Learn more at: consumercomplaints.fcc.gov.

By signing up for the ACP, you agree to follow the program’s rules.

Prove your eligibility

When you apply for the ACP, you may need to show proof of participation in a qualifying program or proof of income.

Recertify every year

Every year, USAC will check to confirm you still qualify. If we cannot automatically confirm that you qualify, you will receive a letter in the mail and may also receive reminders by mail or pre-recorded messages on your phone. If you are asked to recertify, you must do so within 60 days, or you will lose your ACP benefit.

Keep your company up-to-date

If you change your address, no longer qualify for the ACP, or more than one person in your household receives the ACP benefit, notify your company within 30 days.

One discount per household

Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. A “household” is a group of people who live together and share income and expenses.

Use it or lose it

If your ACP service is free, you must use it at least once every 30 days to maintain your service. If you don’t, you will get a 15-day notice from your internet company to use it or it will get turned off and you will need to reapply for the ACP.

Be honest on your application and forms

It is against the law to lie on any ACP-related forms or questionnaires.