Approximately one out of every ten Florida households–or 833,612 eligible telecommunications customers–participate in the federal Lifeline Assistance (Lifeline) discount telephone program, according to the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) annual Lifeline report released today.
“Participation rates continue to prove that Lifeline is an important program for Florida families,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “Lifeline provides the assistance many need to afford phone service, an everyday necessity to connect with family, friends, doctors, and employers. The program also promotes public safety by providing access to 911.”
Through monthly outreach events, the PSC increases program awareness among eligible residents. Eligibility requirements and application access are covered at the events, along with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that limit benefits to one Lifeline discount per eligible household and require annual recertification to continue the benefit.
As in past years, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest qualifying program for Lifeline Assistance in Florida. Based upon June 2015 SNAP participants, Lifeline eligible households increased by 4.2 percent compared to last year’s data.
In Florida, 21 telecommunication companies participate in the federal Lifeline program. Consumers who receive certain public assistance programs qualify for a minimum discount credit of $9.25 per month, or a free Lifeline cell phone with monthly minutes from certain wireless providers.
Applying for Lifeline is easy. Florida residents can call their local phone company, the PSC at 1-800-342-3552, or the Office of Public Counsel at 1-800-540-7039 for assistance. Information is also available at www.floridapsc.com and http://www.floridaopc.gov/Pages/Lifeline.aspx.
Every year, the PSC’s Lifeline Report is sent to the Governor and Legislature, as required by Section 364.10, Florida Statutes.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.