TPUC Lifeline Program

Lifeline Eligibility Verification

The Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") LIFELINE DISCOUNT PROGRAM applicant eligibility verification for providers will begin October 15, 2013.

Participating telecommunications providers will receive confirmation of applicant eligibility within three business days of receipt of the applicant query based on public assistance from one of the following qualifying programs:

  1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("SNAP")
  2. Supplemental Security Income
  3. Live in Section 8 Federal Housing
  4. Tennessee's managed Medicaid program ("TennCare")

If you are interested in participating, you may download, complete, sign and submit the Purchase Agreement to the Consumer Services Division. Any further questions concerning the eligibility verification service please contact:

Consumer Services Division
Tevin Thompson, Lifeline Program Manager
502 Deaderick Street, 4th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
tevin.thompson@tn.gov
(615) 770-6874

Lifeline Discount Telephone Assistance

To ensure that telephone service is available and affordable for low income telephone subscribers, the Federal Communications Commission established the Lifeline Telephone Assistance Program. Administered by the Tennessee Public Utility Commission, the Lifeline program reduces the monthly local service portion of your telephone bill. Lifeline does not assist with the long distance portion of your bill or with special features such as Caller ID or Call Waiting.

Who is eligible for Lifeline?

You qualify if you are enrolled in ONE of the following public assistance programs: Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Free Lunch Program or live in Section 8 federal housing. (Section 8 only. HUD and other federal programs may not automatically qualify).

Applying for Lifeline

There are two ways to apply.

  1. If you receive one of any of the available public assistance programs mentioned above, call your local telecommunications service provider or telephone company. If your provider is participating in the Lifeline program, they will provide you with an application or request proof that you receive one of the benefits mentioned above.
  2. If you "DO NOT" receive public assistance, you may qualify if your total household gross monthly income is equal or less than the amounts found in the Gross Monthly Income table (bottom of page).

Note: Lifeline Program Restrictions
Lifeline can only be applied to one "wireline" or "wireless" telephone per household, and it can only be used for the primary telephone line. You must establish telephone service prior to applying for the Lifeline discount. The name on the telephone bill must match the name of the household member participating in the eligible program. A violation of the one-per- household requirement would constitute a violation of the Federal Communications Commission's rules and result in the consumer's de-enrollment from the program, and potentially, prosecution by the United States government.

Lifeline Application

Click here to start the process. TPUC Lifeline Application The application is an Adobe PDF document (Adobe Reader can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe's web site.). Print the lifeline application, fill it out, attach proof of your total gross monthly income, and mail it to:

Tennessee Public Utility Commission
Consumer Services Division
502 Deaderick Street, 4th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
1-800-342-8359 (voice)
1-888-276-0677 (TTY)
615-741-8953 (fax)

Gross Monthly Income Table Use To Qualify Based On Income
1 $1,337
2 $1,802
3 $2,268
4 $2,733
5 $3,200
for each additional person add 468

* BASED ON THE 2016 FEDERAL REGISTER FOR POVERTY LEVEL INCOME STANDARDS (PLIS). The TPUC encourages qualifying Tennessee residents to apply for the Lifeline telephone assistance program and take advantage of the available discount. For more information concerning the TPUC's telephone assistance programs, please contact the TPUC at 1-800-342-8359.