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NEWS RELEASE


10/13/2006 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Launches Online Application For Link-Up Florida and Lifeline


TALLAHASSEE — Customers are now able to apply for BellSouth’s Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance programs electronically on the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Web site.  The Florida Lifeline and Link-Up programs assist low-income consumers in obtaining and maintaining basic telecommunications services.

“One-step, electronic enrollment is part of our ongoing initiative to make it easier for eligible Floridians to participate in Lifeline and Link-Up.  This is a significant step forward that will also allow other state agencies to more easily enroll clients,” said PSC Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar.

The online form makes applying for assistance from BellSouth a one-step process and eliminates the need for an applicant to print out, fill out, and mail or fax a request for the benefit.  To access the application, consumers should go to www.floridapsc.com and click on “Lifeline and Link-Up” on the right hand side of the page.  Consumers then should click on “Apply On-line” and follow the instructions on how to submit an application electronically.  Applications are available in both English and Spanish.  BellSouth customers are being offered the Internet application initially and additional companies will be added to the system in the next few weeks.  The PSC has implemented a secure Web site with data encryption for these records.

Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance are available to customers enrolled in the National School Lunch Free Lunch Program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income, or Federal Public Housing Assistance.  If someone lives on federally recognized tribal land, he/she may qualify for expanded Lifeline assistance.  In addition to the online application, the PSC continues to work with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) on a way to automatically enroll eligible Floridians who may be receiving services through DCF. 

By contacting the Office of Public Counsel at 1-800-540-7039, a customer may also qualify for the programs if his or her household income is no greater than 135% of the federal poverty level.



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