How to Switch Your Lifeline Phone Provider


How to Change Lifeline Wireless Providers.  For whatever reason, you may decide you want to switch your lifeline wireless provider.  There are different reasons for wanting to switch your Lifeline free government phone.

Maybe you receive poor customer service, want to upgrade to a smartphone, or more talk and text time, you may want to switch providers.  As a Lifeline client, one of the most important issues is good customer service.  Is it virtually impossible to reach the company?

Does the phone prompt keep you running in circles?  The good news is, you are not locked into a yearly contract.  You can complain to the FCC or change Lifeline cell phone provider altogether.  Some think you have to first cancel with your current provider before enrolling with a new provider, but this is not true.

The Universal Service Administrative Company ( administers the Lifeline program, has particular rules that instruct phone vendors on how they must handle what they call a “Benefit Transfer” (a phone company switch) to another provider.

Change Lifeline Wireless Providers

You have the right to change your service provider when you have had service for at least 60 days.  The main thing is to make sure you have canceled your previous company.  You don’t want to get caught having several free government phones as you can lose your Lifeline Wireless benefits.  Often we get letters from readers, complaining they have a problem with their phone and when they try to call their providers they can never reach them.

We know how frustrating this can be.  When you call customer service, I want ‘service,’ and I want it right away!  Often we get letters from readers, complaining they have a problem with their phone and when they try to call their providers they can never reach them.  We know how frustrating this can be.  When you call customer service, I want ‘service,’ and I want it right away!

How to Change Lifeline Wireless Providers

If you are not satisfied with your service, or provider you can switch to a new Lifeline provider.   You can change your free cell phone provider every three months.

  • Contact the company and ask your previous service for the transfer of service.  Fill out a new application with proof of eligibility, with the application sent a request for change form.
  • Wait for a response. The provider will let you know they have received your application. 
  • You will be disconnected from your current provider and transferred to a new provider of your choice.
  • Next, log into the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) and click on “Transfer NLAD Benefit”   enter your information and “transfer benefit.”
  • Confirm you want to transfer phone services to another provider.  Once the transfer is complete, services from the old provider will stop. Remember, you can not legally more than one Lifeline provider at a time and must agree you do not have service with two or more providers.

The new company will need documents to process to change Lifeline Wireless providers.  Anyone can change their Lifeline phone provider if they are not happy.  Hopefully, you can switch over without losing any time or service interruption on your phone.

  • Provide your name
  • Provide your date of birth
  • Give physical address
  • Give phone number
  • Give verbal or written consent to change providers.
  • Provide the last four digits of your social security number
  • Confirm your household has only one lifeline plan

We can not guarantee you will not be a break in your phone services during the switch.  Make sure you provide all the needed information accurately, such as TPIV or Third-Party Identity Verification.  Also, have available proof you are financially eligible to receive Lifeline service.

Before you choose a new provider, research the phone provider.  Find a new Lifeline provider e on the Lifeline website.  Locate providers in your state HERE.  Go to the provider website and compare benefits, like minutes, phones, special offers, smartphones with upgrades, etc.

You’ve got the Power.

The great thing about the program is that you can change your provider if you do not like your provider or are not satisfied with the customer service. That’s right!  You can also file a complaint with the FCC to report these issues.  The provider needs you as much as you need phone service!  Each month each phone provider participating in the program is paid $9.95 to serve you.

How to Re-Enroll for Discount

You can lose your Lifeline discount by not re-enrolling by the program deadline, or someone in your household also has a Lifeline phone, or you have not used your phone for a long period of time can reapply and start over again. You have to start as a new subscriber, sign up, and prove that you are eligible for the program. You must also swear no one else in your home is receiving discount phone services.

More News

These Government Phone Companies Offer Free Smartphones

Phone Companies Offer Smartphones.  Many Free cell phone companies offer smartphones.   Government Lifeline assistance helps low-income families with free government cell phones and affordable phone services.  It isn’t enough to get free phones and service; now everyone wants a smartphone.  Cellular providers don’t need to offer smartphones.  This provision is up to the cell phone companies themselves.  But it is … Continue reading.

Safelink Wireless Get 1000 Free Minutes & Unlimited Text

SafeLink Wireless Phones.  Safelink Wireless 1,000 free minutes, Unlimited Texts, and wifi.   Lifeline phones are a government benefit that helps low-income consumers.   Lifeline works with Safelink to provide free government phones with plans to low-income families and individuals who qualify financially.  They even have a bring your own cell phone program.  Free cell phones help many who are disabled, have … Continue reading.

11 Replies to “How to Switch Your Lifeline Phone Provider

  1. For anyone researching providers, for the love of God, DO NOT go with Terracom or Yourtel. You WILL absolutely regret it. Service is spotty; phones are defective; outsourced, indian, rude and unhelpful, script-reading customer service; and numerous errors on their part that end up with loss of service for you.

  2. Having major customer service issues with Terracom. I pay by check with the billpay of my financial institution. They cash my check that includes my name and account number. However, they do not apply my payment to my account. Then they text, call, and cut my phone off saying I have not paid. This has happened twice. Even after I fax them proof that they received and cashed my check. They hassle me like you wouldn’t believe. I have not found any place to complain to that can or is willing to help. So I have to go it alone. Making many many calls and hours of chat time fighting with them. They are quite incompetent.

  3. I have two tracphone smartphones and I want to know if they can be used with safe-link. And what happens to the minutes I have left on them thru my tracphone
    Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime sm-s 920l
    Alcatel A 564 C

  4. I’m with safelink I want to upgrade my phone to a smartphone how can I do that.???

    1. Hello, Tarsha. Concerning a smartphone, they are not free. Depending on your provider you can purchase one on their site. If you provider does not cell phones find out which are compatible with your service.

    2. Need better phone then this one cause you can’t see the same thing as a tablet or PC

    3. Hello, Salvador. You can always purchase another phone with a larger screen. Talk with your phone provider to find out if the phone your like is compatible with your service.

Comments are closed.