Lifeline program helps low-income families pay for phone service
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2014) — National Lifeline Awareness week, which began Monday, is a joint effort by the Federal Communications Commission, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and state utility commissions to increase participation in a program that helps low-income consumers receive telephone service.
The Lifeline program provides a discount of up to $12.75 per month on the local service portion of a telephone bill for the primary telephone in a household, whether it is a landline or wireless phone. Households are limited to one phone line receiving the Lifeline subsidy.
Eligibility for Lifeline is linked to participation in or eligibility for other low-income assistance programs, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or the National Free School Lunch program. Residence in federal public housing/Section 8 or an income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines also qualifies consumers for lifeline assistance.
“Anyone who thinks that they might be eligible, but who is not participating in Lifeline, should contact their local telephone service provider to see whether they qualify,” said PSC Chairman David Armstrong.
Telephone service providers can assist in selecting a service plan and will provide instructions on how to apply for Lifeline support. Lifeline is funded through a small (8 cents per month per line) federally mandated surcharge on all telephone service.
However, not all telephone companies participate in the program. To find a provider or learn more about Lifeline go to www.lifelinesupport.org.