Federal Assistance Programs
Lifeline is a federal program intended to put home phone and internet services within your reach. This isn’t a promotion or special offer. If you live in a state where Midco is an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) and Midco services are available at your home address, you may qualify for this program.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to temporarily help low-income families stay connected with financial assistance for internet services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a temporary program that could end at any time.
Eligible families will receive:
- Up to $50 toward their monthly internet services.1
- Up to $75 for those living on tribal lands.2
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet purchased through a participating equipment provider.3
You are eligible for the EBB program if anyone in your home:
- Qualifies for the Lifeline program, including those on Medicaid or SNAP benefits.
- Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year.
- Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.
- Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
- Enjoy cost-effective connectivity, with no installation fee and rent-free modems.4
- Credit can be applied to any tier of Midco internet services, except Midco Internet Basics, and the 2 or 5 Gig levels.
Home Phone Assistance
- Get reliable, digital home phone service at a reduced monthly rate.5
- There’s no installation fee, and it includes free long-distance blocking upon request.
Lifeline Assistance is available to qualifying new and current customers who meet income guidelines. Some of the other eligibility requirements include:
- Only one Lifeline credit is allowed per household.
- Only one Lifeline credit is allowed per individual.
- Midco service must be in the eligible participant’s name or they must certify that the program participant is a member of the household.
- You may be required to recertify household eligibility at any time. Failure to recertify may result in termination of the Lifeline benefit.
- Lifeline assistance cannot be transferred to another person.
How to Apply
There are three different ways to apply for the Lifeline Assistance Program.
- Visit the FCC Lifeline site to check your eligibilty status and to apply.
- Download the PDF Lifeline application and mail it with your proof of eligibility document(s) to USAC, Lifeline Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
- Contact us at 1.800.888.1300. We'll mail you a form to fill out and send to USAC with your proof of eligibility document(s)
If you need help, call the Lifeline Support Center at 1.877.524.1325.
Having trouble paying for phone or internet service? Minnesota's Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP) and the federal Lifeline program help make these services affordable to low-income consumers.
TAP offers a $10 per month discount on home landline telephone service online. The Lifeline program offers a $5.25 per month discount on home landline service or $9.25 per month discount on internet service. Program eligibility is based on income. Consumers enrolled in certain federal programs may already be eligible.
To qualify for the federal Lifeline service discount, you must be a resident at a Midco-serviceable address in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or Kansas. You must reside within Midco’s eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) coverage area based on your home address.
Lifeline subsidies may only be applied once per household on either your landline telephone or your broadband internet service. Lifeline service may not be transferred to any other individual. Applicants must present documentation of household income or participation in qualifying programs. Lifeline participants are required to submit documentation annually to confirm continued eligibility.
Qualifications may vary by state. You must also demonstrate that your total household income is below a certain threshold, or provide an award letter or another document as proof that you qualify for one of these programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance1
- Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)1
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)1
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations*
You can also get Lifeline if your income is 135% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The guideline is based on your state and household size.2 If you're unsure about your household size, see the Lifeline Household Worksheet.
1 You must reside on tribal land to use this program as qualification to participate in the Lifeline assistance program.
2 A household is everyone who lives together at your address, including children and roommates.
If you meet eligibility requirements, submit the application from the links above for your state. After you submit the application online or by mail and provide proof of eligibility, if it is determined you are eligible, Lifeline discounts can be applied to future Midco statements.
You do not need to be an active Midco customer at the time you complete the Lifeline or specific state applications. Prospective customers can complete the Lifeline and specific state applications above, receive confirmation of eligibility, and then order the service.
Consumers enrolled in the following programs may already be eligible:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Medical Assistance
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension Benefit
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Head Start
- Food Distribution Program
You must recertify each year that you are still eligible for the federal Lifeline assistance program. Annual certification is done through the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), which will contact you directly.
If you are no longer eligible or you fail to respond, Midco is notified by USAC to remove the discounts from your account, which will affect your monthly Midco statement. We will notify you of program removal should you no longer be eligible or fail to respond.
MN TAP & Kansas credits do not require any renewal process.
Before creating your application, these steps are highly recommended:
- Review the application in full.
- Determine and obtain the types of proof of eligibility you need to complete the application.
- Make sure that all documentation is dated within the past year.
- Complete the application in its entirety. If the application is incomplete, we will return it to you.
- Be aware that additional proof of identity may be requested for Lifeline if we are unable to verify your identity in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD).
- We recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari as your internet browser when submitting this form. Make sure you are using the current version of your browser, and you have the latest security updates.
Questions or Complaints
For unresolved questions or complaints, you may contact the state utilities commission in your state:
Services may not be available in all areas, and some restrictions may apply.
1 The credit is applicable for any tier of internet service, excluding Midco Internet Basics, and the 2 or 5 Gig levels. A government assistance credit cannot be applied to services already discounted with a promotional offer.
2 Emergency Broadband Benefit credits will differ for those living on tribal lands. For more information, visit the Enhanced Tribal Benefit section of the FCC website.
3 This equipment is not available to purchase through Midco.
4 Actual speeds may vary depending on your computer or mobile device's capacity, the number of devices accesing the internet at one time and web traffic. Speeds may also be impacted by third-party equipment (such as your computer or router).
5 When qualifying under the Federal Telephone Lifeline Program, if you live in Minnesota or Kansas, you will also qualify for additional state assistance under the Minnesota Telephone Assistance Program (TAP) or the Kansas State Lifeline program.
Taxes and other federal fees will increase the cost on phone services.