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Tribal Lifeline Logo

Individuals who reside on tribal lands and meet the eligibility criteria may qualify for discounts through Tribal Lifeline and Tribal Link Up programs. Tribal lands are defined as any federally-recognized Indian tribe's reservation, pueblo, or colony; Indian Allotments; and areas that fall outside the boundaries of existing Tribal lands but have been designated by the Federal Communications Commission as Tribal lands for the purpose of receiving Tribal Lifeline and Tribal Link Up support.

Tribal Lifeline provides eligible residents of tribal lands with a monthly discount of up to $34.25 off the cost of telephone service, broadband internet service or bundled services. The discount may be applied to either wireline or wireless service, but eligible subscribers may not receive a discount on both at the same time. Lifeline also supports broadband internet service and broadband-voice bundles. FCC rules limit the Lifeline benefits to one service per household.

Tribal Link Up provides qualifying subscribers living on tribal lands with a one-time discount of up to $100 for the installation or initiation of telephone service at the applicant's primary residence. The program also helps subscribers pay for service initiation charges, up to $200, by providing a deferred, no-interest payment plan for up to one year. Subscribers can request Link Up once for each change of their primary residential (home) address. Tribal Link Up support is only offered to carriers who are building out infrastructure on Tribal lands, so not all carriers may be discounting their activation fee. Consumers can check with their Lifeline provider to see if they offer Link Up. Both programs have eligibility requirements. You may qualify if you, one or more of your dependents, or your household participates in any of the following programs:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
  • Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Programs
  • Or, if your household income 135% or less of the federal poverty guidelines (see table below).

You may be asked to provide proof of your eligibility.

 

2022 Health & Human Services Poverty Guidelines
Number in Residence 135% Guideline (Annual)     Number in Residence 135% Guideline (Annual)  
1 $18,347     5 $43,835  
2 $24,719     6 $50,207  
3 $31,091     7 $56,579  
4 $37,463     8 $62,951  

For each additional person after 8, add $6,372 to the annual guideline.

Federal Register, Vol. 87, No. 14, January 21, 2022, pp 3315-3316
(Applicable to the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia only.)

To apply for Tribal Lifeline or Tribal Link Up on Tribal Lands, visit the Lifeline National Verifier website where you can enter your information, create an account and see if you qualify. If you are not able or do not wish to apply using the online application, a paper form option is also available. Please keep in mind that qualifying with a paper form can take longer than the online option. All applicants, regardless of application method, will be required to provide documentation to prove eligibility.

Important Information
  • Not all telephone providers in South Dakota offer the Tribal Lifeline and Tribal Link Up discounts.
  • Tribal Lifeline is available on only one line per household. A household is defined as any individual or group of individuals living together at the same address as one economic unit. An "economic unit" consists of all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household. A household may include related and unrelated persons.
  • While Lifeline support is limited to one line per household, support is also available to eligible low-income subscribers living in group living facilities. Lifeline applicants may be asked to complete a one-per-household worksheet, which asks questions about your household to determine if there is more than one household at your address. For help determining who is a member of your household, check out the Lifeline Eligibility Pre-Screening tool available at https://www.lifelinesupport.org and click on “Learn more about qualifying.”
  • Subscribers can request Link Up once for each change of their primary residential (home) address. Tribal Link Up support is only offered to carriers who are building out infrastructure on Tribal lands, so not all carriers may be discounting their activation fee. Consumers can check with their Lifeline provider to see if they offer Link Up.
  • If your Lifeline-supported service is free, use it at least once every 30 days. If you don't, you'll get a 15-day notice to use it or it will get turned off.
  • Tribal Link Up will not cover the cost of a phone or wiring your home.
  • If you change your address, no longer qualify for Lifeline, or more than one person in you household gets Lifeline, you must notify your company within 30 days.

Affordable Connectivity Program
The Federal Communications Commission’s has implemented a new, long-term program to help ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more. The Affordable Connectivity Program provides a monthly discount on internet services for eligible households and a one-time discount on the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. Applicants must meet certain requirements to be eligible for this program

Rev. 6/29/22