The FCC has extended its previous waivers of certain Lifeline program documentation rules for Lifeline subscribers who reside in rural areas or Tribal lands. The FCC’s order waives the requirements for recertification, reverification, general de-enrollment, and income documentation through June 30, 2021. However, the Commission has only extended the waiver for the Lifeline usage requirements until May 1, 2021 as it is concerned about wasting universal service funds on connections that have not been used and are not expected to be used in the future.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FCC initially issued an order on March 17, 2020, waiving these documentation and verification requirements. Since then, the FCC has extended the waivers several times – the most recent order coming on November 30, 2020, which was scheduled to expire on February 28, 2021.