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NEWS RELEASE


09/08/2008 Contact: 850-413-6482

FPSC Chairman Kicks Off Lifeline Awareness Week in Tallahassee


TALLAHASSEE — Imagine living without a telephone in today’s world.  More than 6% of Florida households, however, do not have telephone service in their home.  The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) wants Florida to “stay connected” and is reaching out to those who need phone service but can’t afford it.

During its first annual “Lifeline Awareness Week,” September 8-13, the PSC will promote the Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance Programs which offer discounts to help Florida residents have access to affordable basic local telephone service.

PSC Chairman Matthew Carter II, who kicked off the week today in Tallahassee, said, “I’m honored that Governor Charlie Crist has proclaimed the week of September 8 as ‘Lifeline Awareness Week’ and supports our efforts to highlight the Lifeline program.  During this week, we will join with the Office of Public Counsel and Florida’s telephone companies to reach as many eligible consumers as we can, so they can enjoy the benefits of these discount programs.”

“Lifeline Assistance will help low-income families and seniors save up to $162 a year on their monthly phone bills.  That savings could provide a much-needed boost for our residents who are already managing tight budgets,” Chairman Carter added.

Link-Up Florida provides a 50% reduction in the telephone service installation charge, up to a maximum of $30, for qualifying households that do not currently have telephone service.  To qualify for Lifeline, the customer’s household income must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, or the customer must participate in one of the following assistance programs: Medicaid, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), and National School Lunch (NSL) Program’s Free Lunch Program. Those who live on federally recognized tribal land may qualify for expanded Lifeline assistance.

To access Lifeline Assistance applications and for more information on the program, visit www.floridapsc.com.
 
The PSC’s outreach teams will be available at the following times and locations:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
South County Connection Center
Lealman Park
3875 54th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, Florida

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Morris Manor
9050 Norfolk Boulevard
Jacksonville, Florida

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Centennial Towers
230 East First Street
Jacksonville, Florida

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Marks Street Senior Recreation Center Ballroom
99 E. Marks Street
Orlando, Florida

Thursday, September 11, 2008
1:00 p.m. –  3:00 p.m.
Drexel Apartments – Community Room
1745 Drexel Road
West Palm Beach, Florida

Friday, September 12, 2008
9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

North County Connection Center
Pinellas County Service Center
2431 Tampa Road
Palm Harbor, Florida

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Mary Sanders Park
4750 SW 21st Street
West Park, Florida

Saturday, September 13, 2008
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Wal-Mart
9218 S. State Road 228
Macclenny, Florida

The Chairman’s Lifeline Awareness public service announcement is available at: ConsumerAssistance/LifelineAssistance.

The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.



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