LIFELINE ACROSS AMERICA (Phone Service)
Discounts on monthly phone service charges
LIFELINE ACROSS AMERICA
LIFELINE AND LINKUP:
AFFORDABLE TELEPHONE SERVICE FORINCOME-ELIGIBLE CONSUMERS
The Lifeline program provides discounts on monthly phone service charges, and Link Up provides a discount on the cost of commencing phone service for qualifying low-income households. Lifeline and Link Up are supported by the federal Universal Service Fund (USF).
Lifeline provides discounts on one basic monthly phone service (wireline or wireless) for qualified subscribers. These discounts can be up to $10.00 per month, depending on the state. Enhanced Lifeline discounts are available for qualified low-income consumers living on Tribal lands. Federal rules prohibit qualifying low-income consumers from receiving more than ONE Lifeline service at the same time. That is, qualifying low-income consumers may receive a Lifeline discount on either a home or wireless phone service but may not receive a Lifeline discount on both services at the same time. Lifeline also includes Toll Limitation Service, which enables a subscriber to limit the amount of long distance calls that can be made.
Link Up provides qualified subscribers with a one-time discount (up to a maximum of $30) off of the initial installation fee for one traditional, wireline phone service at the primary residence or the activation fee for one wireless phone service. Enhanced Link Up discounts are available for qualified low-income consumers living on Tribal lands. Federal rules prohibit qualifying low-income consumers from receiving more than ONE Link Up discount. That is, qualifying low-income consumers may receive a Link Up discount on installation or activation charges associated with either a home or wireless phone service. Qualifying consumers may be eligible for Link Up again only after moving to a new primary residence.
The Lifeline program is available to qualifying consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands. You must be eligible to enroll. Eligibility criteria vary by state. For states that rely solely on the federal Lifeline and Link Up program eligibility criteria, subscribers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in one of the following assistance programs:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8),
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP),
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or
The National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program
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As mentioned above, enhanced Lifeline and Link Up benefits are also available for low-income consumers who live on Tribal lands, which are defined as a federally recognized Indian Tribe?s reservation, pueblo, or colony; on a former reservation in Oklahoma; within an Indian allotment; or within an Alaska Native region established by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Qualified subscribers on Tribal lands can receive a Lifeline discount of up to $35 per month off of the cost of basic phone service, wireline or wireless. This discount may mean that low-income subscribers on Tribal lands can receive basic monthly phone service for as little as $1/ month. Qualified subscribers on Tribal lands can also receive a one-time Link Up discount of up to $100 on the initial installation of a traditional, wireline phone connection or the activation of a wireless phone service.
To be eligible for enhanced Lifeline and Link Up, subscribers living on Tribal lands either must have an income that is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines (as set out above) or participate in one of the income-assistance programs outlined above or one of the following programs:
Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance,
Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF),
Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met), or
State assistance programs (if applicable).
For more information on the Lifeline program, including eligibility requirements, visit the USAC website or call 1-888-641-8722. You may also contact your local phone service provider, state public service commission (PSC) or the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC. For your state's PSC contact information, visit the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners website, or look in your local phone directory?s blue pages or government section. To talk to a consumer advocate in your state, visit www.nasuca.org/archive/about/membdir.php.
Further questions can be directed to the Federal Communications Commission, at 1-888-CALLFCC.
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