Eligibility Checking with a Database

Back to sharing what we’ve learned so far from stakeholder feedback, which helps inform the design of the National Verifier.

The ability to confirm a subscriber’s eligibility directly using state/federal data sources is the cornerstone of the National Verifier. When a customer enters their name, DOB, last 4 of SSN and address, the National Verifier will check these sources for a record of whether the customer participates in a qualifying program, which proves the customer’s eligibility for Lifeline.

We spoke with many stakeholders about the opportunities and challenges with verifying eligibility through a database. One concern we heard is:

Different name on database record

A relatively frequent challenge is when a customer’s form of identification does not match their name as it appears in the eligibility program (whether in the database or on their card/documentation). Most of the time, this is because of a name change due to marriage or divorce, but we also heard examples of misspelled names.

Stakeholders recommend that USAC create a process for how to handle these cases in the National Verifier, and consider collecting the customer’s name as it appears in the eligibility database. For example, asking “Is your legal name different than the name that appears on your eligibility documentation?” and providing a path for customers to resolve inconsistent names.

In the next post, we’ll cover more opportunities and challenges that stakeholders shared about eligibility checking with a database.

Tell us in the comments: what opportunities or challenges do you foresee with the verifying customer eligibility through a database?

Author: lifelineprogram

The Lifeline Program helps families in need afford voice and broadband connectivity services.

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