If the National Verifier cannot verify a consumer’s eligibility using a state or federal data source, it will prompt the customer to upload proof of eligibility. Stakeholders shared the following advice about explaining supporting documentation to customers:

Provide specific instructions and examples

We heard many times that it’s important to have specific explanations for each “correctable denial” (unverifiable information that we need documentation to support), and explain exactly what the consumer has to do (or upload) next. For example, if the consumer needs to prove their SSN, a driver’s license is not sufficient. Continue reading “Documentation”

Communicating Expectations to Consumers

As we mentioned in the post about consumer experience, we learned about the advantages of communicating expectations to consumers. Suggestions include adding a “submitted” or “in progress” notice after the customer clicks “check my eligibility” to show that the system is processing their request (otherwise, the customer may click on the button several times, and become frustrated). Continue reading “Communicating Expectations to Consumers”

Eligibility Checking Continued

In the last post, we talked about the issue of customer names on identification documents not matching their name on program enrollment. Today, we’ll cover additional challenges that stakeholders shared about confirming consumer eligibility using a state or federal data source.

Lag time for eligibility data

We learned that some state/federal data sources are not updated in a timely manner, and there can be a lag between when a customer enrolls for a program (i.e., SNAP) and when their name appears in the database. Similarly, lag time exists for customers that change their names. We are also aware that not all eligible customers may be in the database.

Stakeholders also reminded USAC that data sources experience service outages, and USAC should be prepared for data sources to occasionally be temporarily unavailable. Continue reading “Eligibility Checking Continued”

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. Continue reading “Eligibility Checking with a Database”

Service address / mailing address

Capturing addresses is an important design consideration for Lifeline because the consumer base moves frequently, and can live in areas with non-standard addresses. During interviews, stakeholders shared their experiences with entering Lifeline consumers’ addresses, and the consumers’ diverse needs for entering where they live.

Descriptive home addresses

Rural and Tribal customers need the flexibility to add a descriptive address or coordinates, rather than a standard address.

We don’t anticipate that customers will be allowed to enter a PO Box as their home address. However, as they do now, customers can use a PO box as their mailing address. Continue reading “Service address / mailing address”

Identity checking: DOB and SSN

In this post, we’ll continue sharing the feedback we’ve heard about challenges and opportunities with the identity checking (TPIV) process for the National Verifier.

Date of birth

Entering the customer’s date of birth does not appear to have the same level of challenges as entering their name. As such, we haven’t received a lot of feedback about DOB!

One piece of advice we heard is to specifically label which fields are for day, month, and year, because some cultures enter the day first and the month second, rather than the U.S. standard of entering the month first. Continue reading “Identity checking: DOB and SSN”