Notice of Changes in Federal Lifeline Program Support Credits
The Federal Communications Commission has ordered changes in the Federal Lifeline Support Program which are scheduled to begin on December 1, 2019.
Lifeline Support Credits continue to be available to qualifying customers on voice or broadband services, but the level of the credit or the speed of the broadband service has changed as follows:
- beginning December 1, 2019, the credit available for voice service will be reduced from $9.25 to $7.25 per month,
- beginning December 1, 2019, broadband service speed purchased must be at least 20mb/3mb to be eligible for a Lifeline Credit.
If you are purchasing broadband service which meets the required speed level, your Federal Lifeline support credit will not change.
Customers that are interested in determining if they are eligible for Federal Lifeline support credits should contact our office or visit https://www.lifelinesupport.org/ls/default.aspx for information.
CTC is authorized to provide two federally-funded and one state-funded telephone service discount programs that were designed to promote universal service by providing low-income individuals with new telephone/internet service installations and monthly telephone/internet service discounts.
WHAT DO THE PROGRAMS PROVIDE?
Link-Up assistance is now available ONLY on tribal lands. The USAC webpage on Lifeline support states “Link Up can reimburse the full cost of initiating service with certain phone/ internet companies at your primary residence, up to $100. If the cost of initiating service is more than $100, the company will provide a no-interest payment plan for up to $200 for up to one year. Lifeline customers residing on Tribal lands are eligible for Link Up. Link Up is a one-time benefit per address; you can request Link Up each time you change your primary residential address.”
LifeLine provides eligible subscribers with a monthly credit on the basic local service portion of their telephone bill for broadband internet services in addition to landline services. The credit applies on the main home telephone number listed in the name of the eligible telephone company subscriber. LifeLine subscribers also may receive free blocking of long distance calling on their telephone line. Additional benefits are available to persons living on Tribal Lands/reservations.
Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP) program provides an additional monthly credit on home landline service for LifeLine subscribers.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Telephone service must be in your name and you must participate in at least one of the following public assistance programs or have income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines to be eligible:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Medical Assistance
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension Benefit
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Head Start
- Food Distribution Program
Additional qualifying programs for persons living on a reservation:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribally administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Head Start (only those meeting its income qualifying standard)
- National School Lunch Program’s free lunch program
If you do not participate in any of the above programs, you may still qualify if you prove your income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty income guidelines.
Attach any one of the following documents to your application to prove your income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty income guidelines.
- Last year’s State, Federal or Tribal Tax Return
- Current annual income statement from employer
- Three consecutive months of most recent paycheck stubs
- Veterans Administration Benefits Statement
- Unemployment/Workmen’s Compensation Statement
- Social Security Benefits Statement
- Retirement/Pension Benefits Statement
- Divorce Decree
- Child Support Document
HOW DO I APPLY?
Call NECA at 1-888-627-4255. They will do the verification process with you over the phone and can provide you with an application.
COULD I BECOME INELIGIBLE?
When you no longer participate in any of the qualifying programs listed above, you are no longer eligible for LifeLine, LinkUp or TAP. You are obligated by law to notify the telephone company and advise the company that you are no longer eligible for LifeLine, LinkUp or TAP.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you have questions about these discount programs or the application process, contact our office or NECA (888-627-4255).