Lifeline Program Home

Getting Started

National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD)

Updated October 29, 2014

General
Account Management
Batch Upload
Duplicate Resolution
Benefit Transfer
Dispute Resolution
Troubleshooting

Show All Answers

 

Q1: What is the difference between pre-production and production?

A1: The NLAD pre-production environment is only for testing purposes, so that a carrier can get familiar with the features in NLAD and preview new functionality. The pre-production environment has the look and feel of the NLAD production (live) environment. Doing something in pre-production does not affect anything in the production environment, and vice versa. Carriers can use the same user ID and password to access both of these environments.

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Q2: How do I get updates about system outages or receive other general news about NLAD?

A2: You can subscribe to the NLAD Bulletin to receive NLAD updates including outage notifications. Visit the Subscription Center and provide your name, email address, and select "LI Program NLAD Bulletin" to subscribe.

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Q3: What are the hours of operation for NLAD technical support?

A3: Our help desk is open Monday-Saturday, 8 AM-10 PM, ET. Carriers may call and leave a voicemail on Sundays, and their call will usually be returned by the next business day.

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Q4: What's the difference between the email addresses NLADSupport and NLADQuestions?

A4: Technical questions or requests for support should be directed to NLAD Support. Disputes regarding benefit transfers, duplicate phone numbers, and resolution requests should be directed to NLAD Questions. You may also submit agenda items for upcoming weekly industry calls by contacting us at NLAD Questions.

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Q5: How often do I need to recertify my subscribers, and do I enter that information in NLAD?

A5: Carriers are required to recertify each Lifeline Program subscriber annually by January 31. This information is reported on the FCC Form 555. See 47 CFR Section 54.416 for additional information about annual certification requirements.

 

Carriers may update the subscriber record in NLAD with this information, but are not required to. The recertification date can be added in NLAD by using the "Update Subscriber" feature and entering the date into the "Service Recertification Date" field.

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Q6: How do I add a SAC to NLAD? I do not see this option on the "ETC Administrator Home Page."

A6: Send your SAC requests to NLAD Questions. You should include your SPIN number and SAC information.

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Q7: Where can I locate a list of all of my company's subscribers in NLAD?

A7: You can find all of your active subscribers on your "Detail Active Subscriber Report" and all of your subscribers who are undergoing duplicate resolution on your "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report." These reports can be found under the "Reports and Tools" section of NLAD.

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Q8: How can I prevent a "Duplicate Subscriber" error along with any additional errors I may receive upon enrolling a subscriber?
A8: Prior to enrolling a subscriber into NLAD, you can first verify their information using the "Verify" feature (found at the bottom of the "Enroll Subscriber" page) to check for errors or issues that would prevent successful enrollment. This is an optional process which validates the subscriber's information and address.

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Q9: If a subscriber receives Lifeline Program support and a member of their family (residing at same address) applies for the Lifeline Program through a different carrier, will they receive support?

A9: Lifeline Program eligibility is limited to one per household. If each subscriber represents a separate economic household, they will need to complete an Independent Economic Household (IEH) form in order to receive support.

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Q10: Our state has a large minority community. Many in the community do not have a social security number (SSN) and do not receive Tribal support. Can we substitute a SSN with a benefit case number?

A10: No, the FCC Lifeline Reform Order requires Lifeline Program subscribers to provide the last 4 digits of the SSN or Tribal ID number. A benefit case number will not be accepted.

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Q11: Is the Tribal ID required if the "Tribal Address Flag" is used?

A11: A Tribal ID is required if the last four digits of a social security number are not provided. The Tribal ID is not related to the "Tribal Address Flag." The "Tribal Address Flag" is used when the carrier has verified that the subscriber's resident address is on Tribal land (address cannot be recognized by the US postal service).

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Q12: What is the "ACP Flag"?

A12: The ACP, or Address Confidentiality Program, flag is used when the subscriber is in an address protection plan (program names may vary by state). Carriers are still required to provide a deliverable address for mail distribution for these subscribers.

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Q13: Who is the benefit qualifying person (BQP)? When is the BQP required? What is the relationship between a BQP and the subscriber?

A13: In most cases, the subscriber is the person eligible for Lifeline Program-supported service. If the subscriber is eligible, there will be no BQP. If the subscriber is not eligible, but the subscriber is the guardian or caretaker of someone who is eligible for a Lifeline Program discount, the subscriber qualifies for Lifeline Program-supported service based on the status of the individual they are the guardian/caretaker of. The eligible individual, in this case, would be considered the BQP.

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Q14: How do I resolve the "INVALID_MAILING_ADDRESS" error message?

A14: This error message is generated because the subscriber's address was not recognized by the U.S. Postal Service's Address Matching System. Another error message with the same resolution process is "INVALID_PRIMARY_ADDRESS." In order to resolve these error messages, the carrier must collect documentation, such as a current pay stub, confirming that the subscriber does in fact live at the address indicated.

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Account Management

Q15: Who would be the NLAD Admin for our company - the 497 Officer or the third-party company?

A15: The 497 Officer must create the NLAD Admin account. The 497 Officer can designate themselves or another staff member to be the NLAD Admin. The NLAD Admin manages the subscriber data and has the ability to create subaccounts that will have limited permissions and functionalities.

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Q16: We have multiple vendors supporting the Lifeline Program. Can we share API and Web Portal login credentials between vendors?

A16: In production, your 497 Officer will be able to create an NLAD Admin account. That NLAD Admin account will be able to create subaccounts. You will not be "sharing accounts" but rather designating new subaccounts to your staff or vendors. Only one API account is permitted per carrier.

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Q17: I'm an NLAD user and I forgot/lost my password. What should I do?

A17: If you are an ETC Admin, contact your 497 Officer to reset your password. As a reminder, NLAD will lock your account after 3 invalid attempts at logging in. If your account has been locked out, you can either wait the 24 hour period, or contact your 497 Officer. Make sure to check the spam folder of your email address as the temporary password email may have fallen into that category. If you are a subaccount user (ETC Analyst, ETC Operations), contact the ETC Admin to reset the password.

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Q18: Why am I unable to perform a subscriber enroll/de-enroll/transfer/update?

A18: This is likely because your NLAD role is an ETC Operations user. The NLAD ETC Analyst account can perform subscriber transactions such as enroll/de-enroll/transfer/update. An ETC Operations user can only query subscriber data, create/view reports and submit resolution requests.

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Q19: How do I change/create the ETC Admin for NLAD?

A19: The 497 Officer will have to deactivate the current ETC Admin account and create a new ETC Admin account. To create an ETC Admin account, the 497 Officer will log into NLAD Production and click on the "497 Officer Home Page" link on the left hand navigation. From there, search for the person you want to designate as the admin by email address to see if he/she already exists in NLAD. If the email address is identified, that person's information will populate in the fields below the search bar. If the email address is not identified, then the 497 Officer will be able to manually type in the details. A temporary password will be sent to the ETC Admin after the completion of the form. Note, if the NLAD Admin already has an account in E-File, then he will be able to log in with the same E-File credentials and a temporary password will not be submitted. The ETC Admin has 7 days to log in.

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Q20: How do I create subaccounts?

A20: The NLAD Admin will select the "Create NLAD Subaccount" option from the left menu. You will be able to create a subaccount by entering the email address of the user that you would like to designate. If an account is found matching that address, you can select the desired role for the account from the NLAD role drop-down menu. If no matching account is found, blank fields will appear below for you to enter the new user's information. You will then determine whether the subaccount will have permissions as an NLAD ETC Analyst or NLAD ETC Operations. Once you click "Submit," the subaccount will be created.

 

An ETC Admin can create up to 2 subaccounts per SAC. If additional subaccounts are needed, send a business justification explaining why you need the extra subaccounts to NLAD Support; include the SPIN for which the extra accounts are needed. USAC will review your request and send an approval or rejection via email.

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Q21: How can I reset my API login credentials?

A21: API passwords cannot be reset. API accounts are made up of a unique, randomly generated API ID and an API key, which never expire. If the user is locked out, the ETC Admin should deactivate their current API account and create a new one. There's no technical limit on the number of API accounts that are created; however we advise you to deactivate any accounts you will not be using if they are creating a new account to replace it.

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Batch Uploads

Q22: How do I know my upload has the correct file format?

A22: If the file format is incorrect, the whole file will be rejected. You can obtain a copy of the NLAD Input Template on the NLAD Resources page.

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Q23: Can I de-enroll subscribers in duplicate resolution through a batch upload?

A23: Unfortunately, a batch upload does not provide the functionality to de-enroll multiple subscribers from the duplicate resolution table. If you need to de-enroll a subscriber from duplicate resolution, you can perform this action in NLAD NAP manually.

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Q24: Why am I receiving the following message: "Error: This file has already been processed."?

A24: You are receiving this error message due to a duplicate upload of a batch file. This message appears when the same file is being uploaded without making any changes to the contents of the file. Make sure that the file you are trying to upload is different (different fields, headers). One possible change you could make is to enter a "0" value in any of the cells under the "TPIVFlag" field and then upload the file. The current uploaded file will replace any previous file that you have uploaded. Changing the file name will not resolve this issue.

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Q25: Why am I receiving an AMS message when I upload a batch file?

A25: If the address is a rural address or a non-deliverable address on Tribal land, be sure to use the appropriate flags (mark "1" in the appropriate flag column) to mark the addresses in the batch file.

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Q26: Why am I receiving this error: "Too Many Headers?"

A26: Ensure that the headers of your batch file match the headers of the "Sample Input File" found on the NLAD Resources page. The headers are case-sensitive and spaces are also counted as characters. The best way to ensure that the headers are correct is to copy and paste the headers from the sample file into your batch file.

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Q27: How can I view the most recent uploaded batch file?

A27: You can access your uploaded batch files in NLAD through the "Upload Subscriber File" feature. The status and feedback of uploaded batch files will be displayed in the uploaded files table.

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Q28: When I upload the subscriber file, if the first digit of a number is 0, the 0 gets dropped. What can I do?

A28: This is a Microsoft Excel issue, not an NLAD issue. To keep the leading 0, add an apostrophe in front of the numbers. For example, if the number is 0123, add the apostrophe at the front so that it reads '0123. Save the files as a .csv and upload it to NLAD. After saving the file, do not open it before uploading to NLAD, because it will revert back and drop the leading zero(s).

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Q29: Why do I still see my batch upload status as "IN_PROGRESS"?
A29: Depending on the size of the batch file and the speed of your internet connection, your file may take several minutes or longer to upload successfully. Eventually, this status will be replaced by a "REJECTED" or "SUCCESS" status. Send an email to NLAD Support if you see this status after 24 hours.

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Q30: How can I resolve a TPIV/AMS/Under 18 error in a batch upload?

A30: You can enter the appropriate T/A/M code in the "TPIVflag" field of the template spreadsheet. This column is the very last column in the template. This will override any TPIV/AMS/Under 18 error you may receive.

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Q31: Some of my rows have been rejected, what should I do?

A31: If some of the rows in your batch file have been rejected, first download the "Error File." This file will tell you what the issue is and which rows you need to resubmit. Only resubmit the exact rows that received an error and remove all other rows that were submitted without error. The rows that did not receive an error have already been accepted into the system.

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Duplicate Resolution

Q32: What does "TPIV Fail" mean? What does TPIV stand for?

A32: TPIV stands for third party identity verification. TPIV fail means that this subscriber has failed this third party verification process.

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Q33: What determines what is populated in the "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report?"

A33: The "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report" will show all subscribers who were uploaded during the migration period in which carriers were transitioning from the scrubbing stage to the NLAD production environment. Each duplicate type will undergo a separate process for duplicate resolution. For more information, visit the Duplicate Resolution page.

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Q34: What are the different types of duplicates?

A34: The different duplicate types include:

  • Duplicate Subscriber
  • Duplicate Address
  • Duplicate Subscriber and Duplicate Address
  • Migration – Duplicate Subscriber
  • Migration – Duplicate Phone Number
  • Migration – Duplicate Address
  • Migration – Duplicate Subscriber and Phone Number

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Q35: Can I continue to claim subscribers on my FCC Form 497 who are listed in the "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report?"

A35: Carriers may continue to claim all subscribers who appear on the "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report" for reimbursement on the FCC Form 497. Once the duplicate resolution process has ended for your state, you may no longer claim subscribers who appear on the "Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report" for the following month's FCC Form 497. Additionally, the subscribers who appear on the "Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report" must be removed from your internal database within 5 business days from the de-enroll start date.

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Q36: In the "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report," what does "Migration – Duplicate Subscriber" mean?

A36: "Migration – Duplicate Subscriber" refers to a subscriber who has been identified as receiving more than one Lifeline Program benefit across more than one state, thus creating an inter-state duplicate.

 

For example, during the migration period, if a subscriber was migrated into the live environment in the state of Oklahoma (Group 1), the subscriber now exists in NLAD as a single subscriber. If this same subscriber appears on a subscriber list in the state of Arizona (Group 6), this will create a migration (inter-state) duplicate as more than one company has now claimed this subscriber during the migration period. Because Oklahoma's migration period occurred prior to Arizona's, the subscriber was not identified initially as a duplicate until after Arizona began migrating subscribers into NLAD.

 

This example also applies for the terms "Migration - Duplicate Phone Number" and "Migration - Duplicate Address."

 

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Q37: Will NLAD automatically de-enroll subscribers from the "Detail Duplicate Subscriber Report" once the duplicate resolution process has concluded for my state?

A37: All subscribers who appear on the de-enroll report will automatically be de-enrolled within NLAD. However, once the de-enroll start date has begun for your state, carriers must de-enroll all subscribers from the "Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report" from their internal company listings within 5 business days.

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Q38: A subscriber would like to continue receiving their Lifeline Program benefit from my company. Why did the subscriber appear on my "Duplicate Resolution De-Enroll Report?"

A38: If you believe a subscriber has been improperly de-enrolled from NLAD, you must contact the subscriber directly to obtain consent to perform a benefit transfer. Once consent has been granted, you may enroll the subscriber in NLAD through a benefit transfer. If you are unable to complete a benefit transfer due to the 60-day rule (if the subscriber has enrolled or has had their benefit transferred within the last 60 days), the subscriber must contact their current carrier to de-enroll from NLAD to be eligible for enrollment with a new carrier.

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Benefit Transfer Process

Q39: What information is required to complete a benefit transfer?

A39: In order to transfer a Lifeline Program benefit you will need the subscriber's last name, first name, date of birth, last four digits of the SSN, address, new phone number (or existing if carrying over), service initiation date, and eligible program. As of June 6, 2014, carriers are required to obtain proper affirmative consent in order to transfer a subscriber's Lifeline Program benefit. Visit USAC's Benefit Transfer page for more information.

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Q40: How can I verify that a benefit transfer has been completed?

A40: Completed benefit transfers can be verified by pulling the "Detail Transaction Report" and "Detail Active Subscriber Report" in NLAD.

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Q41: How will I know if a subscriber was transferred to another carrier?

A41: When a transfer is successfully completed in NLAD, both carriers with receive an email notification. Carriers can identify subscribers that were transferred in/out by reviewing their "Detail Transaction Report." The transaction type will be listed as "TRANSFERIN/TRANSFEROUT."

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Q42: How do I know which date the benefit was transferred?

A42: The "NLAD Transaction Date," found in the first column of the "Detail Transaction Report," is the date the transfer occurred.

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Q43: How do I dispute a benefit transfer?

A43: Carriers that lose a subscriber due to a benefit transfer may choose to dispute the transaction on behalf of the subscriber. The two most common reasons for a dispute are:

  1. The subscriber did not provide consent to have their benefit transferred.
  2. The subscriber was unaware of the single Lifeline Program benefit rule.

To submit a benefit transfer dispute, send an email to NLAD Questions containing the subscriber's name, Lifeline Program phone number, the date of the transfer, and the SAC number.

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Q44: If a dispute is submitted for a benefit transfer, can we claim this subscriber on our FCC Form 497 until the dispute resolution ends?

A44: No, you cannot claim this subscriber during the benefit transfer dispute resolution process. Carriers may only claim subscribers that they have successfully enrolled in NLAD on the FCC Form 497.

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Q45: What do I do if I receive a "Subscriber Not Found" error upon initiating a benefit transfer?

A45: Try to enroll this subscriber. This error message means that the subscriber is not found as an active subscriber in the NLAD production environment.

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Q46: Is there an alternative process in place to bypass the 60-day restriction for subscribers that were recently enrolled or transferred?

A46: Carriers can advise their subscribers to contact their current carrier and ask that they be de-enrolled from NLAD. Once the subscriber is de-enrolled, a new carrier will be able to enroll them.

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Q47: For a transfer from one carrier to another carrier, how is the previous carrier notified?

A47: Both carriers will be notified of the transfer via email where they will be able to view a list of all transfers made.

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Dispute Resolution

Q48: When can a carrier appeal a rejection from NLAD?

A48: Carriers will receive a resolution ID when a record is rejected from NLAD. Carriers will be able to appeal the rejection with the resolution ID online or by calling the NLAD customer support line.

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Q49: How do I resolve the following errors: TPIV, Invalid_primary_address, subscriber_under_18?

A49: Review the NLAD Dispute Resolution page. Based on the documentation reviewed, carriers should use the corresponding "Resolution Error Codes" available to override errors.

  • TPIV_FAIL – "T" codes
  • INVALID_PRIMARY_ADDRESS – "A" codes
  • SUBSCRIBER_UNDER_18 – "M" codes

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Q50: How do I check on the status of a submitted resolution ID?

A50: For the current status of all submitted resolution IDs, carriers should review their "Detail Resolution Status Report" for their SAC. Carriers can create a report that shows the total number of resolution requests by status within a specified range of dates for the selected SACs. The available statuses are: "Open requests," "In progress," and "Closed requests."

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Q51: What actions should I take for a resolution request with a "CLOSED_ACCEPTED" status?

A51: A resolution request with a "CLOSED_ACCEPTED" status denotes that the subscriber was successfully enrolled in NLAD. Carriers should review their "Detail Active Subscriber Report." Subscribers with that status will appear on the report with the enrollment code "OVERRIDE_BAU."

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Q52: What actions should I take for a resolution request with a "CLOSED_REJECTED" status?

A52: A resolution request with a "CLOSED_REJECTED" status denotes that the subscriber could not be enrolled in NLAD. Carriers should review their "Detail Resolution Status Report" for the rejection reason. Carriers can also contact NLAD Support for additional assistance.

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Q53: What is the process for expediting a dispute resolution?

A53: Review the NLAD Dispute Resolution page and locate the "Dispute Resolution Template" (Excel). Carriers should submit all requests to NLAD Questions.

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Q54: What is the typical turnaround time for a submitted resolution request review to be completed?

A54: Normally it takes 24 to 48 hours to address resolution requests submitted for review. If additional errors are identified for a submitted resolution ID, the resolution process may take longer.

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Troubleshooting

Q55: Why do I see the error message: "Subscriber Not Found"?

A55: If you are receiving the "Subscriber Not Found" error message, double check that you are entering the subscriber's last name, date of birth, and the last four of their SSN ("Transfer Lifeline Benefit," "Lookup Subscriber") or phone number ("Update Subscriber," "De-enroll Subscriber") correctly. If the information is accurate and you are still receiving this message, the message confirms the subscriber is not active in NLAD based on the information provided.

 

The "Lookup Subscriber" feature will not identify subscribers/addresses undergoing duplicate resolution. If you are unsure how to proceed with the message above, send an email to NLAD Support or contact our technical support team at (877) 524-1325.

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Q56: I am trying to enroll a subscriber but I received the error, "Duplicate Subscriber." What are my options?

A56: The "Duplicate Subscriber" error message means that the subscriber already exists in NLAD as an active subscriber. A subscriber is identified by the last name, DOB, and last four digits of the SSN. To resolve this error message, obtain consent from the subscriber to transfer their Lifeline Program benefit to you.

 

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Q57: How do I enroll a subscriber if I receive a "Duplicate Address" error?

A57: Carriers will receive this error message if another subscriber is currently claiming this address in NLAD. To resolve this error message, collect a Lifeline Household Worksheet from the subscriber. In the "Subscriber Eligibility Information" section on the "Enroll Subscriber" page, select 'Yes' for "Independent Economic Household," enter the date in "IEH Certification Date," then proceed with enrollment.

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Q58: Why are we receiving a "Duplicate Phone Number" error? We have verified this phone number is not currently in use.

A58: It may be that the previous carrier with this phone number has not updated their NLAD records. Send an email to NLAD Questions with proof that this number has been ported to your carrier and we will investigate further. In the meantime, we recommend enrolling the subscriber with a new phone number in NLAD.

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Q59: Why is the subscriber's address not being accepted? I have verified this is a correct address.

A59: There may be cases where an address is not recognized by the USPS database. If the appropriate proof of address is reviewed by the carrier for an address that does not appear in the USPS database, the carrier can check the "Non-Deliverable Rural Address" flag to ensure that the record can be added to NLAD. Additionally, you can override an AMS error by selecting one of the available "A" codes in the "Resolution Error Codes" drop box in the "Subscriber Eligibility Information" section. You can read more about A-codes on our Dispute Resolution page.

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Q60: I unintentionally enrolled a subscriber with the wrong SAC? How do I rectify this?

A60: De-enroll the subscriber and then re-enroll the subscriber with the correct SAC.

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