New changes to the program
Effective October 23, 2019, there are changes in the way Vermonters sign up—or recertify their eligibility—for Lifeline. Program changes include:
- Apply online to the Lifeline Program through the National Verifier instead of applying to your phone or internet company
- Apply on a uniform paper application directly regardless of which provider you get phone or internet service from
You can find out more details at the Lifeline Program's National Verifier webpage.
Lifeline is a federal program that provides a $9.25 monthly discount on phone or internet service to eligible households. Your “household” includes everyone who lives with you and shares in the household income and expenses. This includes children, adults, relatives and people not related to you.
Only one Lifeline benefit—either wireless or landline phone, home internet or cell phone data plan—is allowed per household. Not all internet services will qualify for the discount. Only those internet offerings at speeds of 10/1 Mbps and above will qualify, with certain exceptions.
Not all phone companies participate in the Lifeline program. Participating companies are:
- Burlington Telecom 1-866-304-8434
- Consolidated Communications 1-844-968-7224
- Franklin Telephone 1-802-285-9911
- Life Wireless (Telrite) 1-888-543-3620
- OTT Communications (Shoreham) 1-866-746-3873
- QLink Wireless 1-855-754-6543
- SafeLink (TracFone) 1-800-Safelink (723-3546)
- TDS Telecom (Ludlow, Northfield, Perkinsville) 1-866-571-6662
- Topsham Telephone 1-802-439-5325
- Vermont Telephone (VTel) 1-800-279-4049
- Waitsfield/Champlain Valley Telecom 1-800-496-3391
Vermont’s Universal Service Fund (VUSF) provides an additional discount on telephone service only, and the amount varies between companies depending upon the provider and the cost of service, but may not exceed $4.25 per month or the amount of the VUSF credit you received as of November 1, 2017. For more details please see the Department's Vermont Universal Service Fund webpage.
Other carriers may offer a discount for low-income consumers, but they are not required to do so, and they do not get reimbursed for their costs from the VUSF.