• Consumer Affairs Branch 
    LifeLine Program Frequently Asked Questions                       Lifeline Logo


    • Why was my application or renewal denied?
      Some of the possible reasons for a denial are:
      •    You did not return the form or register online by the due date.   
      •    The form is incomplete.   
      •    You do not meet the California LifeLine’s eligibility rules.            
      •    The form is incorrect (and is not considered correctible).          
      •    You did not provide the appropriate documentation to prove eligibility.             
      •    You were claimed on someone else’s income tax return as a dependent.      
      •    You are already receiving the California LifeLine discounts, and are not eligible for a second phone line with the California LifeLine discounts.             
      •    The form does not have the applicant’s signature  

    • What can I do if my application or renewal is denied? 

      If you believe you have been disqualified improperly and your disqualification can be corrected, you may file a written appeal with the Consumer Affairs Branch as indicated below.   

      Please be aware some that some denials cannot be appealed for reasons such as:   
      •    Missing Initials  
      •    Missing Signature  
      •    Missing Date of Birth  
      •    Missing last four digits of Social Security Number

      For these types of disqualifications you must re-apply with your service provider.  
      In order for a disqualification to be reviewed, your appeal must be received by the stated due date. Your appeal must include the following documentation:   
      •    A copy of your disqualification letter  
      •    A brief description of your complaint    
      •    Any supporting document(s) to prove your LifeLine eligibility.    
       You can submit your complaint in one of three ways:
      1.  Online.     
      2.   You can mail it to:   
                 California Public Utilities Commission
                 Consumer Affairs Branch
                 505 Van Ness Ave.
                 San Francisco, CA 94102
      3.    You can fax it to (415) 703-1158

      Please label your correspondence “LifeLine Appeal”.

    • Which cell phone/landline providers offer the program in my area?
      Please go to www.californialifeline.com and enter your zip code in the provider search link. This will allow you to access the providers’ websites, contact information, and a complete breakdown of the plans and services offered in your area.
    • Who qualifies for the California LifeLine discounts?

      Consumers who meet eligibility rules can qualify for the discounts. Consumers can qualify for landline or wireless LifeLine based on two different methods: Program-Based or Income-Based.

      Please refer to www.californialifeline.com for more information about what type of proof is required. 

    • If I change service providers, can I still get the California LifeLine discounts?

      You may continue to receive the LifeLine discounts if you transfer to another provider who also offers the LifeLine program.

      Please refer to www.californialifeline.com for more information.

    • I signed up for the wireless LifeLine program, but was not told my LifeLine landline discount would be taken away. How can I get my discount back on my landline? 

      You can only receive one LifeLine discount. If you want to receive the discount on your landline you need to contact your landline service provider and request the LifeLine discount be transferred back to the landline service.You must also cancel your wireless service to enable the transfer back.

      If the provider does not successfully transfer the LifeLine discount back to the landline account, you may file a written Informal Complaint with the Consumer Affairs Branch via mail or on our website.

    • I want to replace my lost /stolen/broken/undesirable phone. How can I get another one?
      The CPUC has no jurisdiction over cell phones or the replacement of them; you need to contact your service provider for a replacement. 
    • I am not getting the LifeLine discount I was approved for. How can I file a complaint? 

      You may file an Informal Complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission, Consumer Affairs Branch. Informal Complaints must be filed in writing. You can submit your complaint in one of three ways:

      1. Online
      2. You can mail it to:  
                           California Public Utilities Commission
                           Consumer Affairs Branch
                           505 Van Ness Ave.
                           San Francisco, CA 94102 
      3. You can fax it to (415) 703-1158  
      Please label your correspondence “Lifeline Billing Complaint”.

    • I do not wish to participate in the LifeLine program any longer.  How do I request to be removed from the program? 
      The California Public Utilities Commission does not cancel or disconnect services. You must contact your service provider to cancel your service, or contact the LifeLine administrator at 1-866-272-0349.