California Lifeline Discount Program


Frontier is committed to helping qualified low-income individuals pay for telephone or qualified internet services. Lifeline service is a non-transferable (from one person to another) government assistance program that provides a discount on the cost of monthly telephone or qualified internet access service. Lifeline is limited to one discount per household and only eligible customers may enroll.

You can qualify for the Lifeline discounts by either Method 1 (Program-Based) OR Method 2 (Income-Based). All applicants must submit copies of documentation showing their eligibility, along with their application form, to the California Lifeline Administrator before the response date. Applicants may use either the paper process or online process to submit their application form and any other required documentation. There are two ways to qualify for the program. For Method 1 (Program-Based), you must certify that you or a member of your household is enrolled in any one of the following public-assistance programs:

  • Medicaid/Medi-Cal
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8
  • CalFresh, Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
  • National School Lunch Program (NSL)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)
    • Stanislaus County Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (StanWORKs)
    • Welfare-to-Work (WTW)
    • Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN)
  • Tribal TANF
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • VA Veterans Pension (Supplemental Income for Wartime Veterans)
  • VA Survivors Pension


For Method 2 (Income-Based), you can qualify for California Lifeline if your household's total annual gross income is at or less than these annual income limits:

  • For a household of 1–2 members: $27,500 per year is the annual income limit
  • For a household of 3 members: $31,900 per year is the annual income limit
  • For a household of 4 members: $38,800 per year is the annual income limit
  • Add $6,900 per person for each additional member, after four people. Effective from 6/1/19 to 5/31/20.


A household includes adults and children who are living together at the same address as one economic unit. An economic unit consists of all adults (persons at least 18 years old) contributing to and sharing in the household’s income and expenses.

Consumers applying for the California Lifeline Program must be approved before receiving the California Lifeline discounts. For more information, go to www.californialifeline.com.

ONLY ONE CALIFORNIA LIFELINE DISCOUNTED SERVICE PER HOUSEHOLD IS ALLOWED. Each household must choose to get the discount, either on a home phone or on a cell phone, but not on both. Households cannot get the discount from multiple phone companies (except for teletypewriter users and for Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program participants). Households that do not follow the California Lifeline one-discounted- service per-household rule will lose their discounts, and may be prosecuted by the U.S. government. Individuals can also be punished for giving false information to get the discounts. Penalties can include imprisonment, losing the discounts, monetary fines, and being banned from the California Lifeline Program. The discounts can only be for the primary residence.

California Lifeline participants may transfer their discounts from one phone company to another, but you may NOT have more than one phone line active with the California Lifeline discounts. If you choose to transfer your California Lifeline discounts from Frontier to another California Lifeline provider, then Frontier will charge retail rates for you to continue using your phone service.

If you apply to be in California Lifeline, you will pay the regular rates for your phone service until your application is approved. To help you pay the up-front costs of establishing your phone service, like the service installation/connection fee, service conversion fee, and deposits, you may request to be on an interest-free payment plan. After being approved by the California Lifeline Administrator, you will be refunded the difference between the regular rates and the California Lifeline discounted rates for any applicable monthly service charges, service installation/connection fees, service conversion fees, and/or deposits for your phone service. The refund and the California Lifeline discounts will be retroactive to the date your service began or the date you requested to be enrolled, whichever is later. If your bill has a net credit balance of $10.00 or more, you may request a refund check from Frontier. Otherwise, the refund will simply be reflected as a credit on your account.

You may also qualify for the California Lifeline discounts on a second telephone line, if you or another person in your household is disabled and needs a teletypewriter (TTY) when using the phone. To get the 2nd California Lifeline discount, you must assert the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program issued the TTY or provide a medical certificate indicating the need for TTY. Note: additional discounts are also available through Federal Funding for qualified residents on federally recognized tribal lands.

HOW TO APPLY FOR THE CALIFORNIA LIFELINE DISCOUNTS. If you think your household qualifies for the California Lifeline discounts, call Frontier at 1.800.794.4741. We will review the program and eligibility rules with you. Then we will inform the California Lifeline Administrator to send you an application form. The California Lifeline Administrator will mail you an application form in a PINK envelope with a Personal Identification Number (PIN). You can apply online at www.californialifeline.com, using your PIN or complete, sign and mail the form and any required proof to the California Lifeline Administrator. The form and any required documents must be completed and returned before the response date indicated on the form. If you do not return the form, or fail to provide requested documentation, you will not get the California Lifeline discounts and will continue to pay the regular rates.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR CALIFORNIA LIFELINE DISCOUNTS. Once you are a California Lifeline participant, you must renew your participation annually. The California Lifeline Administrator will mail you a renewal form in a PINK envelope with a Personal Identification Number (PIN). You can renew online at www.californialifeline.com, using your PIN, or you may complete, sign and mail the form to the California Lifeline Administrator. If you do not renew before the response date or get approved, you will lose the California Lifeline discounts, be removed from the program and be charged the regular rates. If you have questions about your renewal, contact the California Lifeline Administrator at 1.877.858.7463 or 1.888.858.7889 (TTY), from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.

DE-ENROLLMENT RULES. Your household may lose the California Lifeline discounts if your household no longer qualifies, is already receiving the discounts (except for TTY), fails to use the California Lifeline discounted phone service for 60 consecutive days, violates the California Lifeline Program’s rules, and/or does not renew the discounts on an annual basis.

Federal Lifeline only option for customers with internet service only.

New FCC rules now allow you to apply your federal Lifeline discount to qualifying standalone internet access services. If you do not have voice (traditional telephone) services with Frontier, but you have standalone internet access, you may be able to quality for the federal Lifeline discount. To receive the federal Lifeline discount of $9.25 per month (on your qualifying standalone internet access service), you must certify that you or someone in your household currently receives benefits from one of these programs:

  • Medicaid/Medi-Cal
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly Food Stamps
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • VA Veterans Pension (Supplemental Income for Wartime Veterans)
  • VA Survivors Pension


You may also qualify for the federal Lifeline discount if your annual income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For the standalone broadband (internet access) Lifeline discount, download the Broadband Only application (también disponible en español). You may qualify for the standalone broadband (internet access) Lifeline discount in California if you receive benefits from any of the federal programs listed above, or if your annual income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

If you believe your household no longer qualifies for the discounts, or if your household is getting more than one discount by mistake, you must inform Frontier or the California Lifeline Administrator within 30 days. If you do not follow this notification rule, you may be penalized.

Customers who subscribe to Seasonal, Stay Connected, or Vacation Service are not eligible for the Lifeline discount. Existing Lifeline customers must remove Lifeline in order to enroll in Seasonal, Stay Connected, or Vacation Service, and reapply for Lifeline upon restoring service.

For further information, please call Frontier at 1.800.794.4741 and we will review the program and eligibility rules with you. Our representative will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to follow through with the appropriate application process.


Return to Frontier Lifeline Program page.