The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB or Bureau) has announced the full launch of the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier (National Verifier) in Oregon and Texas, effective November 18, 2020. But given that Oregon and Texas do not participate in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), the Bureau and the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) have allowed them to continue to conduct Lifeline eligibility verification for the federal Lifeline program in partnership with the National Verifier. Though, in Oregon, starting on November 18, 2020, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) will take responsibility for eligibility verification for all new enrollments for Oregon customers on Tribal lands and eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must cease using the legacy eligibility process for such subscribers.
USAC will continue to use the National Verifier to review state Lifeline eligibility information and documentation to ensure compliance with the Commission’s rules. USAC will also continue to partner with Oregon and Texas on additional program integrity measures that were implemented during the National Verifier soft launch period. The Bureau notes that even with this modified process, ETCs will still remain responsible for any fraud that forms the basis of their claims for Lifeline reimbursement.