Lifeline and ACP

What is Lifeline?

Lifeline is a government program that offers qualified low income households a discount on their monthly bill.

Eligible customers will save money on the basic monthly bill. These benefits apply to your local telephone service ($5.25 mo. credit) or broadband services ($9.25 mo. credit) or a bundle including both. The benefits also cover the Federal Universal Service Charge (FUSC).

Lifeline credits are only available to the eligible customer / household and cannot be applied to more than one telecommunications provider at a time.

How do I know if I am eligible? Enrollment in one of the following programs is required.

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance / Section 8
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veteran’s Pension and Survivor’s Pension Program
    OR
  • Total household income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Lifeline can only be used for the primary service in a household. You may purchase any additional services available to a non-Lifeline customer. You must establish service prior to applying for the Lifeline discount. 

Please feel free to contact Santel Communications at 888-978-7777 or 605-796-4411 with any Lifeline questions you may have. Applications can be completed online.

You will be asked to sign a form stating, under penalty of perjury, that you receive benefits from at least one of the qualifying programs listed above and submit a copy of any dated document which verifies your participation in one of the qualifying programs listed above. You may be asked to submit proof of continuing eligibility on an annual basis. Proof of total household income may be required for income-based qualification. The following documents are acceptable as proof of income:

  • Most recent federal tax return
  • Three consecutive months of payroll statements or paycheck stubs for the current year
  • A Social Security statement of benefits
  • A Veterans’ Administration statement of benefits
  • A retirement/pension statement of benefits
  • Unemployment/Workers Compensation statement of benefits
  • A divorce decree, child support statement or any other official document showing proof of your income.

Your Lifeline benefits will take effect when proof of eligibility is received.

Eligibility is reviewed periodically. Your benefits will be discontinued when you no longer meet the eligibility requirements or when proof of eligibility is not received. Customers who are no longer eligible for Lifeline benefits must notify their service provider.

Being a Lifeline customer does not protect you from being disconnected for failure to pay your bill.

Lifeline can only be applied to one account per independent household.

Applications

What is THE AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PLAN?

The Affordable Connectivity Plan (ACP): The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a U.S. government program run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help low-income households pay for internet service. You are likely eligible if your household’s income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line, or if you or someone you live with currently receives a government benefit like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, Pell Grant, or Free and Reduced-Price Lunch.

If your household is eligible, you could receive:

  • Up to a $30/month discount on your internet service
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. To receive the connected device discount, consumers need to enroll in the ACP with a participating provider that provides connected devices (Santel does not).

To see if you qualify and apply for the ACP, go to https://affordableconnectivity.gov/