Lifeline Availability in Maryland

What You Should Know About Lifeline Telephone Service

What Is Lifeline? 

  • Lifeline is a federal benefit for eligible low-income Maryland customers.
  • Lifeline service is available for traditional landline phones and cell phones.
  • For cell phone service, a fixed number of minutes are provided each month at a reduced price.
  • Contact an authorized provider for information about prices and about the terms and conditions of service.

Each Lifeline service provider may offer different prices and terms, but all providers must follow national Lifeline rules, as described below.


Any customer, or one or more of the customer’s dependents, who receives benefits from any of the following programs is eligible to receive Lifeline telephone service.

  • Federal Assistance programs:
    • Medicaid
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
    • National School Lunch Program’s free lunch program
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Assistance under Title 5, subtitle 3 of the Human Services Article:
    • Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA)
    • State Funded: Temporary Disability Assistance Program (TDAP)
    • Public Assistance to Adults (PAA)
  • Assistance from the Electric Universal Service Program
  • Assistance from the Maryland Energy Assistance Program
  • State-funded public assistance benefits

A customer is also eligible to receive Lifeline telephone service if the customer’s household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for a household of that size.

Customers who meet these qualifications should contact one or more of the authorized carriers listed below.

Rules and Restrictions

Customers must meet these conditions before lawfully subscribing to Lifeline:

  • Only one Lifeline service is available per household.
  • A household is defined, for purposes of the Lifeline program, as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses.
  • A household is not permitted to receive Lifeline service from more than one (1) provider.
  • Violation of the one-per-household rule is a violation of the Federal Communications Commission’s rules and will result in de-enrollment.
  • Lifeline is a non-transferable benefit; a subscriber may not transfer the benefit to any other person.


Customers who willfully make false statements to receive Lifeline service are subject to fines, imprisonment, de-enrollment, or being barred from the program.

Authorized Lifeline Service Providers

The following link provides a list of authorized Lifeline service providers in Maryland.