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FCC Extends COVID-19 Lifeline Waivers

On March 25, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a waiver to ensure low-income consumers continue to have access to affordable communications services needed for telemedicine, telework, and online learning during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This waiver extends the previous Lifeline waivers (set to expire on March 31, 2022) through June 30, 2022.

Extending the waivers through June 30, 2022 will allow additional time for the benefits of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts to continue and will allow additional time for individuals who have lost jobs and faced other challenges as a result of the pandemic to recover.

Through June 30, 2022

  • Recertification requirements are on hold for all subscribers with anniversary dates between April 14, 2020 and September 28, 2022. Affected subscribers will only be recertified once in calendar year 2022. 
  • Reverification requirements are on hold. 
  • Consumers will continue to have flexibility related to the documentation they can use to demonstrate income eligibility.
  • Service providers can continue to begin providing Lifeline service to eligible Lifeline consumers living in rural areas on Tribal lands even before those consumers have submitted certain supporting documentation to complete their Lifeline application. However, service providers cannot claim these subscribers until they have an approved National Verifier application. 

Lastly, USAC will continue temporarily accepting driver’s licenses or state identification cards that have expired on or after March 1, 2020, when needed to complete any Lifeline applications.