LifeLine Phone Service – helping you stay connected


If you receive FNS/SNAP benefits, then you may qualify for other benefits, such as LifeLine phone service. LifeLine is a federal program that provides a discount on the cost of landline or cell phone service. As the name implies, this service can be a lifeline for many. In an emergency situation, being able to contact 911 quickly can be critical. But staying connected isn’t only important when there’s an emergency; it’s important in every day life. A reliable phone helps you stay connected to family, schedule appointments, communicate with your child’s school, and arrange a ride to and from the grocery store.  Importantly, you can use your phone to check the balance on your EBT card. Contact EBT customer service by calling the toll-free number on the back of the card.

[Learn more about EBT cards here.]

 Here’s what you need to know about LifeLine:

  1. The LifeLine discount can be used for landline or cell phone service.
  2. Households* may receive one LifeLine service. You cannot apply for a discount on both landline and cell phone service.
  3. In North Carolina, households may receive a monthly discount of up to $12.75 per month.
  4. Native Americans residing on federally recognized lands are eligible for a higher discount of up to $34.25 per month. They may also qualify for the LinkUp program, which offers a discount of up to $100 off the cost of connecting to a local phone service.

How to apply:

  1. To apply for landline service, contact your local telephone company.
  2. Cell phone discounts are not offered by all cell phone providers. In North Carolina, two LifeLine providers are Assurance Wireless and Safelink. Click on the provider links to access the applications and instructions for applying.


* A household is defined by the NC Division of Social Services as an individual or group of individuals living at the same address as an economic unit.  An economic unit consists of all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household.