Lifeline vs. ACP? Which Benefit is Better

February 11, 2023

There are two incredibly helpful communications programs that are available to low-income Americans. These communications programs have the goal of improving communication access for Americans who do not have the resources to afford access. Communication is important for many reasons – from finding a job to scheduling a doctor’s appointment, phone and internet access are needed!

In this article, we will compare Lifeline and ACP and determine which benefit is better for Americans in need. Both programs are helpful, and both programs are available to similar demographics, but which one does it best?

Lifeline vs. ACP? Which Benefit is Better

What is the Lifeline Program?

Lifeline is brought to you by the Federal Communications Commission and helps recipients receive discounted communications. The program offers households discounts on cell phone bills and can even offer free phones through select service providers. Eligibility requirements vary by state, but the program is generally available to those who already receive SNAP benefits.

The Lifeline benefit is not paid to Americans directly but rather to the service provider that they choose to use their benefit from. As we mentioned, these providers often offer additional benefits to their Lifeline customers, such as Safelink Wireless’s free smartphone program through Lifeline.

What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?

While Lifeline focuses on access to cell service and communications via phone, the Affordable Connectivity Program is for discounted internet. Like Lifeline, the program is available to low-income households and hopes to reduce the prices of bills. For those who are eligible for the ACP, the typical discount is $30 off your internet per month.

Additionally, the ACP allows households to receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy their own device to use their internet with. These devices include laptops, desktop computers, and even tablets.

Can You Use Both Programs?

Yes, you can! You are able to use both programs to help you save money with your phone and internet bills. If you would like to, you can even combine benefits and use them on the same service plan. Additionally, you can choose to separate your benefits and receive them from different service providers.

Which Benefit is Better? Lifeline vs. ACP

It’s difficult to say which benefit is better! On its face, the ACP provides a bigger monthly discount, but the Lifeline program might just get you more out of it. For those that select service providers that offer free smartphones, the benefit is much larger. Smartphones are far more expensive than the $100 discount that the ACP offers, meaning that Lifeline users are able to receive more.

Through Safelink Wireless, you also get free data and communications in addition to the free phone, making the smartphone fully accessible for users. So, despite the accessibility and pros of both programs, we think Lifeline is the best!


Interested in both programs? Apply now through Safelink Wireless to make the most out of the Lifeline program and the ACP. You can find more information on what Safelink Wireless has to offer to those eligible here.

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