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CenturyLink Lifeline and ACP Plans

CenturyLink, a part of Lumen Technologies, is a telecommunications company that participates in the Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs. CenturyLinkAs a participant of these Federal programs, CenturyLink offers monthly discounts to eligible low-income families.

If you're looking for a broadband company to use as your phone or internet service provider, the information below should help you decide.

CenturyLink Lifeline and ACP Discounts

The Lifeline standard discount is $9.25 for Internet and $5.25 for voice services. The Affordable Connectivity Program's monthly internet discount is $30 per month for families not living on qualified Tribal Lands and up to $75 per month for families living on qualified Tribal lands.

CenturyLink Plans and Pricing

CenturyLink offers two phone plans. There's the Basic plan for residential and the Professional Plan for businesses. They are as follows:

Basic

  • Unlimited Local and long distance
  • International calling – 500 minutes per month to Canada, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, and UK
  • Usual services: 911, caller ID, Call Waiting, Simple plug/play setup.
  • Cost $30 per month per user

Professional

  • Includes all basic features plus:
  • Receive calls anywhere on PC and phone
  • Conference calling
  • Instant message
  • Screen Sharing
  • File sharing via instant message
  • Video conferencing
  • Receive faxes by email
  • Cost: $40/month per user

CenturyLink also offers two Internet plans as follows:

Speeds up to 100Mbps

  • Unlimited data
  • No contract
  • Cost: $50

Up to 940Mbps

  • Unlimited data
  • Free Installation
  • Modem provided
  • No contract
  • Cost: $70/month

So, if you qualify for Lifeline and ACP, you can apply both discounts to the above plans. For example, the $9.25 plus $30 applied to the 100 Mbps internet plan will reduce the monthly price from $50 to $10.75. Similarly, the Basic phone plan of $30 per month minus the $5.25 lifeline discount brings the monthly cost down to $24.75.

Note: There are other phone service providers participating in the Lifeline/ACP programs that offer better monthly deals. Some provide free tablets or free phones. Please check out the Phone Provider List to compare monthly costs.

CenturyLink States of Operation

CenturyLink delivers its service over DSL (digital subscriber line) and fiber networks and is available in the following states:

Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Although your state may be listed above, it doesn't mean that they provide service at your home address. CenturyLink requires you to insert your street address when applying online to ensure they can provide service.

Qualifying for Benefits

To enjoy the benefits of Lifeline and/or ACP, you must meet the eligibility criteria. To do so, you must meet one of the following:

  1. Have a household income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines to qualify for Lifeline and a household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines to be eligible for ACP. If you qualify for Lifeline, you automatically qualify for ACP.

  2. Receive benefits from one of the following government assistance programs:

    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Medicaid
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
    • Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
    • Programs for Tribal Lands

    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
    • Tribal Head Start
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

Some states have different names for a few of the above programs. If you are unsure whether the program you participate in qualifies because it goes by a different name, visit the USAC website to find the various names that different states call the programs.

Applying for Benefits

To apply for benefits, apply to the National Verifier site. Ensure you have the supporting documentation that qualifies you for the benefits. You will need to upload the documents. In addition to the documentation, you must prove your identity with a government-issued ID. The ID could be a driver's license, passport, or military ID. Visit the USAC website for additional forms of id and proof of qualification.

Once your application is approved (typically approved on the same day as applying), you'll be given an ID number. You will need that number to apply for the monthly discounts from CenturyLink.

California and Oregon - Opt Out States

Residents of California and Oregon are not subject to the National Verifier database. If you live in either of these states, visit the governing authority for your state for more information on how to receive benefits. Below are links to the governing authorities:

Apply for CenturyLink Service

If you're a current CenturyLink customer, complete and submit the CenturyLink ACP form to have the discount applied to the account. CenturyLink will send an email notifying you of your application status.

If you're new to CenturyLink, after being approved for ACP/Lifeline, visit the CenturyLink site and purchase the monthly service that suits your needs. Next, complete the CenturyLink ACP form to have the discount applied.

The discounts are applied within one billing cycle.

CenturyLink Better Business Bureau Rating

Before committing to CenturyLink as your Internet and phone provider, do a bit more research as to the company's reliability. Fortunately, the Better Business Bureau has done all the hard work for you.

As of April 2023, the BBB has given CenturyLink a B rating. That's not the best, but it's far from the worst, but sometimes the rating doesn't give a complete picture of the company. Sometimes I find the customer reviews and complaints to be more telling.

CenturyLink BBB Complaints

As of this writing, 684 customer reviews give CenturyLink a 1.02 out of 5 stars rating. There were 1,352 complaints closed in the last 12 months, and BBB has issued an alert to let potential customers know that there is a pattern of complaints against this company. To read more about the complaints, visit CenturyLink BBB's complaint page.

An Aside: I put this site together to share information regarding free and discounted phone and Internet services as afforded by government programs. It is not my intention to disparage any of the companies I write about. However, I feel it is my responsibility to provide as much pertinent information as possible to help readers make an informed decision when choosing a phone/internet service provider.

Please review the BBB information and the information in this article above to help you make an informed decision.

Things to Know about ACP/Lifeline

  • The ACP discount applies only to the monthly bill. If there are installation charges, you are responsible for them. ACP applies to service only.

  • You can still apply for ACP and receive benefits if you have a past-due balance with your current service provider.

  • You may receive benefits with both Lifeline and ACP and combine the benefits. However, only one set of these benefits is allowed per household.

  • You are required to recertify eligibility annually to maintain your benefits.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This site was created to help people find information about free government phones. The ower of this site does not mail, activate or repair free government phones nor provide phone service. If you have questions about phone service it is suggested that you contact the phone service provider directly.

Last Modified: 18 April 2023

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