Frequently Asked Questions
What is Lifeline?
Lifeline is a government program that offers qualified people a discount on their monthly local telephone bill. Each state has its own guidelines to qualify. The Lifeline Assistance Program allows individuals and families a basic discount on monthly service charges for basic phone services. These programs are made available to low-income households who meet certain eligibility requirements and are provided by designated Eligible Telecommunications Carriers or ETC.
How much can I save on my phone bill?
You will save up to $9.25 for your basic monthly bill. These benefits apply to your Monthly Access Charge.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
Applicants for the federal Lifeline and Link-Up programs must have an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or they must be enrolled in one or more of the following assistance programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
- National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met)
- State assistance programs (if applicable).
2018 Poverty Guidelines for Hawaii
|# of persons in family/household||Income Requirement|
add $6,709.50 for each person additional person after 8.
- Source: Federal Register, Vol. 83, No. 12, January 18, 2018, pp. 2642-2644
- The federal poverty guidelines are typically updated at the end of January.
Are there any restrictions?
Lifeline can only be used for the main telephone line in a household. The name on your phone bill must match the name of the participant in the eligible program.
Who are the Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETC) in Hawaii and how do I apply? (Click on a provider below for more information specific to the carrier)
|American Broadband and Telecommunications Company
|Boomerang Wireless, LLC (enTouch Wireless)||Call 1-866-488-8719|
|Hawaiian Telcom||Call 808-643-3456|
|Q Link Wireless||Call 1-855-754-3546|
|SafeLink Wireless||Call 1-800-723-3546|
|Tempo Telecom, LLC||Call 1-888-565-1011|
You will be asked to provide proof of your eligibility by providing a form signed under penalty of perjury that you receive benefits from one of the federal programs that comprises the federal eligibility criteria. Your Lifeline benefits will take effect when proof of eligibility is received.
How do I continue to receive Lifeline benefits?
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.
Other Useful information
There are other options that can help you save money, including free toll blocking, waived deposit with toll blocking and voluntary limit on long distance calling (toll control).
Read the Consumer Advocate’s letter to the Public Utilities Commission regarding Eligible Telecommunications Carriers in Docket No. 2016-0093 of the PUC DMS page.