FCC Eases Income-Based Requirements for Lifeline Enrollment Process

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The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB or Bureau) has adopted an Order waiving its Lifeline enrollment requirement that consumers seeking to qualify for the program provide at least three months of income documentation. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the U.S. economy and resulted in a massive rise of unemployment. Consumers who have recently lost their jobs may not be able to verify their income eligibility when they would have otherwise been eligible for the program, which provides monthly discounts on broadband and voice services to qualified low-income consumers. In light of these circumstances, the Bureau has allowed, until June 30, 2020, for consumers to demonstrate their income-based eligibility by submitting an official document that confirms their current income information, such as a notice of unemployment benefits. The Bureau also extends previously implemented waivers of the Lifeline program’s recertification, reverification, de-enrollment, and usage requirements until June 30, 2020.  The Commission will continue to monitor the situation and determine if additional extensions are necessary.

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