How To Switch Lifeline Providers


From getting a free smartphone to getting the much-needed discounts on your cell phone plan, there are many benefits that one can reap once one becomes a beneficiary of a Lifeline program. Thankfully, there are many service providers who are now offering Lifeline programs to eligible customers living in the United States.

Although you might be satisfied with the Lifeline services offered by a certain service provider, at some point, you might want to switch the provider and choose a different one. This can be attributed to poor customer service, the desire to get an upgraded smartphone, or the need to enjoy more text and talk time. All these are factors that can prompt you to change your current Lifeline service provider. If you are a victim of such circumstances, here are the steps that can help you get started:

Contact the Present Phone Service Provider

If you want to switch Lifeline providers, the first step to undertake is to reach out to the current company and request a transfer of service. Here, you will be asked to fill out a form so as to prove your eligibility. Apart from filling this form, you will be required to fill a brief form that is commonly known as ‘Request for change’.

As the name suggests, this form is an indication that you want to choose another service provider that offers the Lifeline program. As this goes on, you will still retain your old phone number. However, this number will remain useful until you are done with the entire switching process.

Access the NLAD Website

Once you apply for the Lifeline service transfer, the next step is to log in to the National Lifeline Accountability Database website (NLAD). Since you want to transfer your service, tap on the box that reads, ‘Transfer NLAD Benefit’.

Upon clicking this box, you will be prompted to fill out your personal information so as to prove your identity. Thereafter, tap on the ‘Transfer Benefit’ option. In case you are asked if you truly want to change your current service provider, tap on the ‘Yes’ option.

Reach Out to the Service Provider You Want to Choose

Once you have confirmed that you want to switch Lifeline providers, the next step is to contact the service provider that you have always wanted to enjoy its services. For optimal results, consider contacting your preferred Lifeline service provider directly. Just like any other company, this one will ask you to be patient enough as it tries to prove your identity and also the application process.

To prove your identity, there are certain details that you might be asked to provide. These include:

  • Your name in full
  • Your residential address
  • Your date of birth
  • Your current telephone number
  • A written or verbal consent to switch your Lifeline service provider
  • 4-digits of your Social Security Number.
  • An official statement that shows that you are the only person in your family or household that benefits from the Lifeline phone plan.

Look for Information on All Phone Service Providers

Since there are a plethora of phone service providers that participate in the Lifeline program, there is a need for you to search for the finer details about all of them. After all, you might come across a Lifeline service provider that is better than the one had actually settled for. Thankfully, all these carriers can be found on the Lifeline website.

Once you choose your new service provider, reach out to them and offer them any details they might request from you. From your personal details to eligibility documents, there are tons of details that your new service provider might ask from you. To be on the safe side, ensure that you have all these details at hand.

Your preferred Lifeline service provider will complete the rest of the application process for you so that you can start enjoying their services. It is important to note that your new service provider will reach out to your previous service provider and then inform them that you are now benefiting from their services. Once the previous Lifeline service provider learns about those changes, they will close your service and will stop offering their services to you. Ideally, you should not benefit from two Lifeline service providers. Instead, you should only benefit from one service provider at a time.

How To Switch Lifeline Providers

The process of switching Lifeline providers is not difficult per se. However, if you want to take this initiative, you can choose to pursue any of the following methods:

  • Reach out to the Federal Communication Commission and then file your complaint. Unlike other processes, this one might take quite some time. This is because there are a lot of bureaucracies that are involved in the entire process.
  • Reach out to your current Lifeline provider and then notify them that you want to transfer your service. The good news is that this process is quite simple. As long as you have met all the eligibility requirements and have your personal details intact, be sure that you will be good to go. Compared to the previous method, this is quite easy and straightforward. In case you choose to settle for this method, you should not cancel your original service before the entire transfer process is complete.

Are There Any Conditions For Changing Life Line Providers?

Yes. If you want to change your Lifeline provider, be sure that there are rules that govern the whole process. Some of these rules include:

  • You must be a customer of your current service provider for a period of at least 60 days or two months before you can request a service transfer.
  • You have to call your current service provider and then alert them that you intend to transfer your Lifeline service to another carrier.
  • You are at liberty to ask for a Lifeline service transfer in the near future. However, you can only do so after every 90 days or 3 months.
  • You are needed to fill a form that shows that you are eligible to enjoy the Lifeline program. Besides this, you need to fill in a form that is commonly known as ‘Request for change’ form so that the transfer process can be as seamless as possible.
  • You are required to log into the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) and then tap on the ‘Transfer NLAD Benefit’ option. Here, you will be required to submit your personal information. Once you key in your details as required, tap on the ‘Transfer Benefit’ option and then carry on.
  • A confirmation question will pop up on your screen. Tap ‘Yes’ in order to proceed.
  • Once you are done with the above-mentioned step, reach out to your preferred carrier and key in any necessary data they might ask from you. In most cases, they will ask the same data that your current Lifeline service provider asked in the previous step. Therefore, keep these documents safe as you might need them in this step.
  • After meeting the requirements of your current service provider, your Lifeline service will kick off. The new carrier will now ask the previous service provider to end your service. Thankfully, you will not experience any service interruption during this process. Therefore, you will still be able to keep in touch with those whom you love and enjoy more convenience.
  • Avoid keeping the previous phone and line once the Lifeline service transfer process is over. Besides this, you should only enjoy Lifeline service from one company at a time.

What Are The Reasons For Switch Lifeline Providers?

There are many reasons that might prompt you to change your Lifeline service provider. Some of these critical reasons include:

  • You have relocated to a different locality or region.
  • Your current service provider does not offer Lifeline services anymore
  • Your current service provider is charging high fees that is beyond your budget.
  • Your current service provider offers poor customer support services.
  • You intend to have a better model than the one that you got from your carrier’s Lifeline program.
  • Your current service provider’s Lifeline program does not come with better offers than its competitors.

If I Change Lifeline Provider, Can I Keep My Old Number?

If Lifeline service is available in your state, apply online. You will continue using your old number by contacting Customer Care and keeping your previous number.

What Are The Reasons To Lose The Eligibility Of Lifeline?

  • If you violate the Lifeline rules when it comes to keeping your previous line and phone.
  • In case you have more than one Lifeline service package. This is because you should only benefit from one Lifeline program at a time.

20 Best Lifeline Providers

Some of the renowned Lifeline providers in the United States include:

  • Safelink Wireless
  • Access Wireless
  • American Assistance
  • Assurance Wireless
  • Blue Jay Wireless
  • FeelSafe Wireless
  • Q Link Wireless
  • Verizon Wireless
  • enTouch Wireless
  • Infiniti Mobile
  • Terracom Wireless
  • TruConnect
  • SafetyNet Wireless
  • GoTrue Wireless
  • Cintex Wireless
  • Tag Mobile
  • Easy Wireless
  • TelAlaska
  • StandUp Wireless
  • Dartphone

What Are Lifeline Providers?

Simply put, this is a service provider that participates in the Lifeline program. With the Lifeline program in place, all beneficiaries are able to get a discount on their monthly cell phone bills.

Besides this, the federal program lowers the overall cost of a smartphone, thereby making it more affordable to low-income earners living in the United States. In fact, some Lifeline providers offer free smartphones, among other offers to all those who meet their eligibility requirements.

How Do I Know Which Provider Is Best For Me?

Your preferred Lifeline provider is deemed to be ideal for you if it meets the following qualities:

  • The lifeline program allows you to reduce your monthly cell phone bills significantly.
  • It allows you to get a smartphone.
  • The carrier offers a good customer support service
  • The carrier allows you to get a free SIM card so that you can remain connected with those whom you love.
  • It operates within your locality
  • It has good network coverage within your locality or region
  • The carrier does not charge any hidden fees
  • Its cell phone plans do not come with a contract

How Do I Qualify For Lifeline If I’m New?

If you are new and would like to become a beneficiary of a Lifeline program, there are certain requirements that you must meet. To qualify for this program, your income has to stand at or be below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If you do not qualify via the low-income criteria, you can be eligible for the program in case you are a beneficiary of a government-assistance program such as Section 8, SNAP, Medicaid, and SSI, among others.

If I Qualify For Lifeline, How Much Can I Save?

If you qualify for the Lifeline program, you stand to save about $9.25 on a monthly basis in case you reside on Non-Tribal lands. In case you reside on Tribal lands, be sure that you will be able to save up to $34.25 per month. Annually, this adds up to saving of about $111 and $411, respectively.

How To Re-enroll for Lifeline Benefits

The process of applying for Lifeline benefits is easy and straightforward. All you have to do is to ensure that you have met the much-needed eligibility requirements. Here, your income should stand at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or be a participant of a government assistance program such as Medicaid, Section 8, SSI, and SNAP, among others. Once you meet any of these requirements, you can now go to your preferred Lifeline provider’s official website and start the actual application process.

Before you start applying, you be asked to key in your ZIP code and then tap on the ‘Apply Now’ button. Once you enter your ZIP code, you will be redirected to a page where you will find the actual application form. Here, you will be required to enter your email address, phone number, Social Security Number, your address, among other details.

After entering these details, you will be required to upload copies of your eligibility documents so that you can maximize the chances of application approval. Upload any necessary copies that you might have at hand and then tap on the ‘Submit button. The Lifeline service provider will review your application and notify you if you qualify for their program or not. In case you did, you will start enjoying Lifeline benefits shortly.

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