If the National Verifier cannot verify a consumer’s eligibility using a state or federal data source, it will proceed to “document upload,” which prompts the customer to upload proof of eligibility.
In feedback sessions, service providers shared their experiences and challenges with uploading eligibility documentation for the Lifeline Program.
Common upload mistakes
Stakeholders shared their stories of challenges with digital document upload, and advice about how to avoid them. For example:
- Invalid documents – customers are not allowed to use expired or temporary documents, and need to be informed about this upfront.
- Personal photos – The customer may upload photos of themselves as proof of identity or photos of their home as proof of address. Stakeholders suggested we explicitly state what kind of documents we are requesting, and provide an example image.
- Cut-off photos – provide guides to help the customer upload a full picture of the document.
- Blurry photos – tell the customer to take a clear, legible photo.
- More than one document in the photo – this usually means the documents are too small to read.
- File size and type – communicate the allowed file types and sizes. Service providers recommended a maximum file size of 2 MB.
Prepare for changing documentation!
Some service providers estimate that on a nationwide basis, new versions of eligibility documentation appear 1x or 2x per week. USAC’s manual eligibility review team should be prepared with a process to identify, validate, and integrate new eligibility documentation types.
What advice do you have for USAC regarding digital documentation upload? Tell us in the comments.