The state Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP), along with the federal Lifeline program, and Affordable Connectivity Program(ACP), offer monthly service discounts on landline telephone, cell phone, or broadband internet service.
Minnesota's Telephone Assistance Program (TAP) is a $10 monthly bill credit for landline telephones. The Lifeline bill credit is up to $9.25 monthly for landline telephone service, cell phone service, or broadband internet service. There is an additional $25 Lifeline credit offered to a person living on Tribal lands or reservations.
Am I eligible?
There are income guidelines for the programs. Your income must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. You qualify if you are in one of these qualifying programs; Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SNAP or food stamps, SSI, Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension Benefit. Telephone service must be in your name to qualify for the credit.
What information will I have to provide?
You will need to show proof that you, or a member of your household, meet the income guidelines or that you are in one or more of the qualifying programs. You will have to provide proof of your income or provide proof that you are in one of the qualifying programs.
Find landline telephone companies available in your city or township. The Public Utilities Commission regulates landline telephone company rates and service quality.
Wireless providers offer special Lifeline discount plans to qualifying customers. Some plan options offer free phones. Not all wireless companies offer Lifeline discount benefits. The approved companies and their contact information are listed below.
*This telephone company offers a free cell phone if you are eligible for Lifeline service.
Questions or need help?
If you have questions about the TAP or Lifeline programs or how to apply, you can contact your local telephone company or the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission's Consumer Affairs Office. The Consumer Affairs Office can be reached in the at 651-296-0406, toll free at 1-800-657-3782, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Option 1: You can begin the application process for the Lifeline discount by visiting the Lifeline Page from any computer or mobile device and complete the electronic application. If you qualify, you will then contact your participating service provider to become enrolled.
Lifeline Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742
Option 3: You can apply by visiting a telephone company office. You can find a Lifeline program participating telephone company through the “Companies Near Me” tool on the USAC website.
If you are applying for Lifeline landline telephone service only, just to fill out the Lifeline application. The telephone company will enroll you in TAP also if you are approved for the Lifeline program.
If applying for the TAP discount only, mail the TAP application to your service provider.
If you do not participate in any of the qualifying programs, you may qualify if your income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. Attach one of the following documents to your application:
Child support award/Divorce decree
Current pay stubs or other official documentation of income for the last three months
Last year's State, Federal or Tribal tax return
Retirement/Pension benefits statement
Social Security benefits statement
Unemployment/Workers compensation statement
Current annual income statement from employer
Veterans Administration benefits statement
Programs eligible for telephone discount participation:
Federal Public Housing Assistance
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension benefit
Additional qualifying programs for persons living on a reservation:
Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservation (FDPIR)
Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Tribally Administered Head Start (only those meeting income-qualifying standards)
Recertify Every Year Each year, USAC must check to be sure that you still qualify for Lifeline. USAC will review federal databases to check if you are enrolled in one of the qualifying programs, Medicaid or Federal Public Housing Assistance. If you are in one of these programs, USAC will recertify that you are eligible.
If you are in another program, such as SNAP (food stamps), or you qualified because of your income, USAC will send you a letter with a Recertification form. You must return the form within 60 days of the date of the notice.
If you do not complete and return the Recertification form within 60 days, you will be removed from the Lifeline program. If you are removed from the program, you will need to reapply to the Lifeline program and qualify again in order to receive the bill credit.