WHAT IS LIFELINE, 

What is LifeLine?

Lifeline is a telephone assistance program.  It is part of the Low Income Program of the Universal Service Fund. 

The Low Income Program, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), is designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low income customers at just, reasonable and affordable rates.

Lifeline support reduces eligible consumers' monthly charges for basic telephone service and in the case of SafeLink allows us to provide a free cellular phone.

Lifeline is a Federal supported service. Enrolling customers without proof or against their will is illegal and can and will be persecuted to the highest extent of the laws.

Qualification Criteria

People must be qualified to receive Lifeline support.

People are qualified for service (or any other Lifeline service) when they 1) participate in specific government assistance programs, or 2) meet the income qualification criteria.

Program Qualification

  • Medicaid

  • Food Stamps

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Federal Public Housing/Section 8

  • Veterans w/Pensions or Survivors Pension

Note: Programs not listed on the application form are NOT ELIGIBLE.  This includes Medicare

Note: In almost every state, proof of program participation will be required, and must be uploaded with their completed application.  In some states customer eligibility may be verified through a database system.

The following are some examples of what are considered valid proofs:

  • Copy of Food Stamps benefits letter

  • Copy of Medicaid card

  • Letter from Social Security Administration (SSA) stating that the applicant is currently receiving the selected government program. The letter must be current.

  • For Federal Public Housing or Section 8, a copy of the lease contract or a copy of the letter/document from the state agency, Local Housing Authority and/or the Housing Compound stating that customer receives or is approved for FPH.

Note: Any card that does not show the customer's full name printed in the front or back, but has the customer's signature, must be submitted with any other valid document showing the customer's full name and signature (State ID Card, SSN Card, etc.)

Income Qualification

Customers may also qualify via income.  The qualifying income limit varies by state.

The current income qualification levels will be provided on the customer application.  Generally it is 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Note: Bank statements, checks and/or currency are not valid income proofs.

Only the following will be considered as valid income proofs:

  • Last 3 months consecutive paystubs

  • Last year income tax return form

  • Last year W2 form

  • Letter from the SSA stating the benefits customer receives per month.  Letter cannot be older than 12 months

  • In Florida, customers will not have the need to submit proofs because the OPC (Office of Public Counsel) will be the entity determining if the customer is eligible or not.  It  may take up to 2 weeks to validate the customer's information in Florida.

  • IRS Form

One Per Household Rule (OPHR)

Only one phone supported service per household is allowed.

If a customer, or another member of the customer’s household, already has a landline or cell phone with Lifeline discounts on it, they will not be able to get another Lifeline benefit.

Note: Customers can have other cell phones or landlines, but they must not have any Lifeline benefit attached to them.

If the applicant already has a Lifeline discount, the agent must inform the customer that he/she must choose which Lifeline service to receive. If they chose to enroll with us, the enrollment will be reported to the federal government, and they will lose the benefit provided on their previous phone.

 

Note: If a customer has been receiving lifeline benefit for less than 60 days from a previous carrier, we cannot transfer the service to Safelink.  Only those customers that have been with other carriers for more than 60 days are allowed to transfer to Safelink.

A household is a collection of persons that live together and share income or expenses.  Separate households that live at the same residential address may receive separate Lifeline benefits. For example, a two-story house may not have the apartments or floor numbers officially registered on USPS, but more than one family may be living in there.

In order to have two supported services at the same residential address customers must complete the USAC Multiple Household Worksheet.

Note: DO NOT give the customer the USAC Multiple Household Worksheet if someone in their household already receives Lifeline.

Role of Field Agents

Field Agents are a group of qualified agents that help complete applications on the field for potential customers. Field agents are employed by 3rd party marketing agencies, like us here at Simple Truth Marketing / SIMTRU.

Qualified agents are provided by the third party marketing agencies with approved mobile devices to create applications and upload proofs, if applicable. They can also check the status of customers’ applications and some other related tasks.

Rules for Field Agents

Customer Consent

A customer must certify that they meet the qualification criteria and agree to the terms of Lifeline service.  Customers must read, and personally check all of the boxes contained on the application form, including their signature under penalty of perjury. 

Agents are NOT PERMITTED to fill out this part of the application form. 

When this part of the application is reached, allow the customer to check the required boxes. DO NOT CHECK THEM YOURSELF.

Misrepresentations Concerning Lifeline

Any misrepresentations concerning the Lifeline program will be taken with the utmost seriousness.  This includes misrepresenting the eligibility criteria (such as suggesting that ineligible programs like Medicare can be used to qualify for Lifeline), or misrepresenting the one-per-household rule.

Marketing

FCC rules and applicable law impose certain requirements on marketing material for Lifeline.  Agents are only permitted to use marketing material provided. 

DO NOT CREATE ANY MARKETING MATERIAL ON YOUR OWN, including fliers, email solicitations, or other material.

You are only authorized to solicit customers as Field Agents at the locations specified.

You are NOT PERMITTED to conduct any solicitation of customers by phone, email, or ANY OTHER MEANS. 

You are NOT PERMITTED to collect information from customers for later submission.

Don'ts

  • Do not use invalid proofs

  • Do not use the same benefit card for different applicants

  • Do not manipulate personal information in order to surpass validation issues while creating a new application.

  • Do not use a benefit recipient’s information to create a second application

  • Do not submit blurry or unreadable proofs

other Don'ts

  • Never sign for customers or on customer’s behalf.

  • Never send phones to your personal home address.

  • Never share your log-in information/promotional code with other agents.

  • Never use non approved tablets or equipment to process applications.

  • Customers must always be physically present when applying for service.

  • Never enroll customers over the phone.

  • Always report computer glitches or errors.

  • Never copy customers’ personal information.

  • Never sign up customers in unauthorized areas.

  • Prior approval is required to approach customers at any location.

  • Never approach customers at government agencies or social service agencies without proper permission.