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Person holding cell phoneWhat is Lifeline?

Lifeline is a federal program to help low-income Americans get a landline or cell phone (but not both).  Lifeline provides a discount on monthly service of $9.25 per month.  There are several companies in California that provide cell phone and landline services through Lifeline.  You can use this tool to see what companies provide service in your area.

How do I qualify?

To qualify for Lifeline, your income must be 135% or less of the federal poverty level ($16,861.50/year for a single person).  However, you may also qualify if you participate in certain programs, like SSI, Medi-Cal (Medicaid), CalFresh (SNAP), or Section 8 housing.

You will need the following information to apply:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Last 4 digits of your Social Security number (or Tribal identification number)
  • Address

You may also need additional documents to prove your identity.

How can I apply?

You can apply online in California at  You can also call 1-866-272-0349 for English.  The California Lifeline program also provides assistance in several languages.