Special Programs

Tribal Lifeline and Tribal Link Up Assistance Programs

Connecting for Less...

Individuals who reside on tribal lands and meet the eligibility criteria may qualify for discounts through Tribal Lifeline and Tribal Link Up programs. Tribal lands are defined as any federally-recognized Indian tribe's reservation, pueblo, or colony; Indian Allotments; and areas that fall outside the boundaries of existing Tribal lands but have been designated by the Federal Communications Commission as Tribal lands for the purpose of receiving Tribal Lifeline and Tribal Link Up support.

Tribal Lifeline helps eligible residents of tribal lands save up to $34.25 on their monthly phone bill. The discount applies to wire line or wireless residential telephone service plans and is limited to one line per household. Tribal Link Up provides a one-time discount for the connection or activation charge for new telephone service at the applicant's primary residence. The discount is a 100 percent reduction, up to $100, of the customary charge to initiate telecommunications service. Link Up also allows you to pay any remaining amount owed on initiation of service (up to $200) on a deferred schedule, interest free.

Lifeline service does not include long distance toll charges. Saddleback Communications' standard rate for domestic long distance service is $0.05 per minute of usage.

Eligible consumers may also be able to sign up for free toll blocking or toll limitation service that either blocks or limits long-distance calls from your phone.

Both programs, Tribal Lifeline and Tribal LinkUp, have eligibility requirements. You may qualify if you, one or more of your dependents, or your household participates in any of the following programs:

  • Medicaid (example: Title XIX/Medical State Supplemental Assistance)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; Arizona Quest...formerly known as food stamps)
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TTANF)
  • Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

Or, if your household income is no more that 135 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines (see table below).

2017 Federal Poverty Guidelines
Number in Residence 135% Guideline (Annual) Number in Residence 135% Guideline (Annual)
1 $16,389 5 $39,717
2 $22,221 6 $45,549
3 $28,053 7 $51,381
4 $33,885 8 $57,213
For each additional person after 8, add $5,832 to the annual guideline.
(Applicable to the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia only)
SOURCE: Federal Register, Vol. 83, No. 12, January 18, 2018, pp. 2642-2644


You will be asked to provide proof of your eligibility.

To apply for Tribal Lifeline or Tribal Link Up on Tribal Lands, contact Saddleback Communications Customer Service for a Tribal Lifeline or Tribal Link Up Assistance Application, complete the form, and then return it to Saddleback. A Saddleback Communications representative will contact you to verify your eligibility and complete the application process. You will be required to provide documentation to prove eligibility.

Important Information

  • Tribal Lifeline is Available on only one line per household. A household is defined as any individual or group of individuals living together at the same address as one economic unit. An "economic unit" consists of all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household. A household may include related and unrelated persons.
  • Tribal Lifeline and Tribal Link Up discounts cannot be applied to past due telephone bills.
  • Tribal Link Up will not cover the cost of a phone or wiring your home.
  • You must notify Saddleback Communications when you no longer qualify for the program. 

Income Documentation for those qualifying for Lifeline / Link Up based on income...

If you qualify for Tribal Lifeline or Tribal Link Up based on income, you will be asked to provide proof of your income. The following documents are acceptable proof:

  • Last year's state, federal, or tribal tax return
  • Current income statement from an employer or paycheck stub
  • A Social Security statement of benefits
  • A Veteran's Administration statement of benefits
  • A retirement/pension statement of benefits
  • An Unemployment/Worker's Compensation statement of benefits
  • A federal or tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
  • A divorce decree, child support award, or other official document containing income information

If the prospective subscriber presents documentation of income that does not cover a full year, such as current pay stubs, the prospecitve subscriber must present the same type of documentation covering three consecutive months within the previous 12 months.

Program Documentation for those qualifying for Lifeline / Link Up based on programs...

If you qualify for Tribal Lifeline or Tribal Link Up based on program-based eligibility, you may be asked to provide proof of your eligibility. The following documents are acceptable proof:

  • The current or prior year's statement of benefits from a qualifying assistance program
  • A notice or letter of participation from a qualifying assistance program
  • Program participation documents
  • An official document demonstrating that the prospective subscriber, one or more of the prospective subscriber's dependents or the prospective subscriber's household receives benefits from a qualifying assistance program

How to apply

Complete the Saddleback Lifeline Link Up application form, which can be obtained at the Saddleback Communications offices. When you have completed the form, mail the form to Sadleback or drop it off at the Saddleback office:

Saddleback Communications
10190 E. McKellips Road
Scottsdale, AZ  85256

If you have any questions about Lifeline or Link Up assistance, please call Saddleback Customer Service at (480) 362-7150 or come in to the Saddleback offices at the address above.

*Note: You may be required to accept a complete toll block (no long distance calling) if you have an outstanding bill with Saddleback. If construction is required to provide telephone service, there may be a delay until the construction is completed.

↑Back To Top↑

Department of Health and Human Services
Telephone Assistance Program (TAP)

Eligibility Requirements:

  • For enrolled SRP-MIC members and / or their spouses
  • Applicant shall reside within the geographic boundaries of SRPMIC
  • Must fall at or under the 135% poverty guidelines
  • Home currently has no telephone service (no cell phone owned by applicant or other main telephone line)
  • Individuals with a medical need as verified or documented by a medical provider. The specific medical conditions to be covered in demonstration stage are detailed on the application.
    • Insulin Dependent and has had at least one instance of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in the past twelve months.
    • Diagnosis of coronary artery disease and has had at lease one heart attack or stroke in the past twelve months.
    • Respiratory (breathing) problems that have required at least one treatment in an emergency room within the past twelve months.
    • Dialysis patient
    • Other- specified by medical provider

Services Provided:

  • Upon approval of application, TAP will pay a limit of $100 towards past due bill which includes re-activation fee. (Arrangements will need to be made by client and Saddleback Communications on payment plan for balance, if applicable).
  • The program pays for basic phone service only. The program does not pay for calling features, long distance service or Collect calls
  • If work orders are needed, prior approval from DHHS must be obtained.
  • The DHHS and Saddleback Communications will share billing and customer information, as needed to maintain program compliance.
  • Applications for services will be re-verified periodically to determine continued eligibility.


  • If there is unauthorized use of the phone services notice will be provided. If the unauthorized use does not cease telephone service will be terminated.
  • If a program participant does not provide the information needed to re-verify eligibility, services will be suspended and subsequently terminated. Contact will be made with program participant prior to suspension of services.

For further information please call DHHS, Stephanie Manning at (480)-362-4753 or Susan Nayatewa at (480) 362-4752.

↑Back To Top↑