California Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

You may qualify for free internet service and a free phone, or another internet-capable device, through the California Lifeline and ACP phone program. Broadband includes a phone service or internet at home. 

What is the California Lifeline program?

The California Lifeline program provides discounted home phone, cell phone, or internet services to qualifying households. It is designed to lower the cost of your home phone or cell phone or internet monthly service plan. If your household qualifies, you can receive one discount for a home phone or a cell phone or the internet. Here are the available discounts that may be available for California Lifeline participants:

  1. A flat-rate monthly service discount of up to $16.23. 

  2. A flat-rate monthly discount on cell phone service of up to $16.23. 

  3. Up to $39 service conversion discount for home phone services.

  4. Your household may qualify for waived fees, including public purpose program surcharges, CPUC’s user fee, local franchise taxes, state 911 tax, and federal exercise tax that would otherwise be charged on your monthly bill. 

  5. If you use a teletypewriter (TTY) or are participating in the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program, two telephone line discounts are available for your household. 

 

What is the California Affordable Connectivity Program?

The California Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is operated by the Universal Service Administrative Company for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The ACP is a program designed to reduce or eliminate the costs of monthly broadband services, and also offers a one-time credit towards the purchase of a phone or internet-capable device. 

Your eligible household will receive a monthly discount of up to $30 towards your monthly broadband service. The discount is up to $75 if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands.

The ACP offers a one-time benefit of up to $100 towards internet-capable devices like tablets, laptops, or desktop computers. You may be required to pay at least $10 towards their device, but not more than $50. 

 

How To Get Free Phone Service in California

Many participating service providers, like TruConnect, offer free monthly phone service plans for Lifeline and ACP participants like you. Click here to learn more about TruConnect’s free plans (and free phones!).

 

California ACP Qualifications

Your household is eligible for the ACP if your income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of your household participates in one of the following:

  1. Assistance programs like Medicaid, SNAP, Federal Public Housing Assistance, WIC, Lifeline, or SSI. 

  2. Tribal assistance programs like the Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or Tribal TANF.

  3. The National School Lunch Program, or the School Breakfast Program, which includes USDA Community Eligibility Provision programs. 

  4. The Federal Pell Grant program.

  5. A participating service provider’s existing low-income program. 

 

California Lifeline Qualifications

Your households may qualify for California Lifeline by income or program participation. For income requirements please see the FAQs below. Here are the programs that will qualify you for California Lifeline.

  1. Medicaid and Medi-Cal

  2. LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program)

  3. SSI (Supplemental Security Income)

  4. Section 8 or Federal Public Housing Assistance

  5. SNAP or CalFresh

  6. WIC

  7. National School Lunch Program (NSL)

  8. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) including CalWORKs, StanWORKS, WTW, and GAIN

  9. Tribal TANF

  10. Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

  11. Head Start (Tribal only)

  12. Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

  13. Federal Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefits.

 

California Lifeline Phone Program Application

Contact your service provider and tell them that you qualify for Lifeline. They will begin the application process and you will receive an application form along with an enrollment code and/or a PIN in a pink envelope. Once you receive this you can complete the application, including submitting any verifying documents, by mail or online

 

California Affordable Connectivity Program Application

Click here to apply for ACP.

 

How to Connect with TruConnect in California

TruConnect has a special Lifeline plan for its California customers. If you participate in Lifeline, you qualify for a FREE ACP plan that includes at least 14GB of 4G/LTE data, with Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities. Our Lifeline plan includes a new, FREE Android Smartphone! (subject to availability)

TruConnect also offers its helpful app, MyTruConnect. With MyTruConnect you can check your usage, connect to our Wi-Fi networks and earn credits toward new products! Click here to download it now. 

 

California Lifeline Phone Program FAQs

What is the income limit for the California Lifeline phone program?

Your household qualifies for California Lifeline if you meet the following income criteria.

Size of Household

Yearly Income Limits

1-2

$28,500

3

$33,100

4

$40,300

For each additional member add:

$7,200

Effective June 1, 2021- May 31, 2022

 

 

Size of Household

Yearly Income Limits

1-2

$28,700

3

$33,300

4

$40,600

For each additional member add:

$7,300

Effective June 1, 2022- May 31, 2023

 

 

Is the California Lifeline phone program free?

Yes, the California Lifeline phone program is free. 

Can the lifeline program be used for the internet in California?

Yes, you can choose to put your Lifeline credit towards your monthly internet service, but you must choose either internet or phone. The credit cannot be applied to both. 

Can you have ACP and lifeline at the same time in California? 

Yes, in fact, if your household qualifies for Lifeline, that automatically qualifies you for the ACP. Your household still needs to enroll in the ACP.

Is EBB and Lifeline the same program?

No, Lifeline is separate from the EBB. The ACP is replacing the EBB.