Lifeline phone service applicants must meet low income requirements or participate in other government assistance programs such as Medicaid or Section 8 housing. Eligible household income must equal 135 percent or less of the federal poverty guidelines, as of June 2015.
Subscribers must reapply annually with proof of eligibility. Proof of income may include paycheck stubs or statements from government programs such as workers' compensation, Social Security or Veterans Administration. Other eligibility documentation may include letters that verify participation in any of the qualifying assistance programs. Households that receive free Lifeline phone service must use the service at least once every 60 days to remain eligible.