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LIFELINE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

THE LIFELINE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM helps make telephone service affordable to low-income customers in our state.

LIFELINE ASSISTANCE gives a credit of at least $9.25 per month on local phone bills. Over a year's time, that is a savings of at least $111.00.
The Florida Public Service Commission wants all eligible low-income residents to receive these discounts.
YOU NEED TO SIGN UP TO BENEFIT.

AM I ELIGIBLE?

Yes, if you receive state or federal help from:

  • Temporary Cash Assistance
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • National School Lunch (NSL) Program's free lunch program

In addition, if you live on a federally recognized tribal land and are eligible for benefits through the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Head Start Subsidy or the NSL, you qualify for expanded Lifeline assistance.

Yes, if you meet the INCOME GUIDELINES:

NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN HOUSEHOLD TOTAL HOUSEHOLD ANNUAL INCOME* TOTAL HOUSEHOLD MONTHLY INCOME*
1 $15,755 $1,313
2 $21,236 $1,770
3 $26,717 $2,226
4 $32,198** $2,683

* At least 135% of U.S. Poverty Guidelines
** For each additional person $5,481

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

If you receive state or federal help:

First, if you do not have phone service in your home, you will need to contact a local phone company in your area to establish service and apply for the Lifeline Assistance program.
Already have phone service? Applying is easy. You can call your local phone company and ask for help signing up for the Lifeline Assistance Program.
OR Visit the PSC's Lifeline Web page at http://www.floridapsc.com/utilities/telecomm/lifeline/ to apply online or obtain a printed application.

  • Want to apply online? Simply complete the online application using the Lifeline Automated Online Application process and click Submit to send your application directly to your telephone company.
  • Want to apply by mail or fax? Simply print the Lifeline Certification Form. Then, complete the application form and mail or fax it to the address or fax number shown on the application for your telephone company.
OR If you are a new applicant or re-certifying your eligibility at the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) for:
  • Temporary Cash Assistance
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
THEN You can choose to be automatically enrolled for the Lifeline program when you apply at the Department of Children and Families.

If you meet the income guidelines:

Call 1-800-540-7039 (Office of Public Counsel in Tallahassee) and ask for help signing up for the Lifeline Program.
OR Download an application at www.floridaopc.gov/lifeline.cfm and mail it to the Office of Public Counsel using the address at the bottom of the application

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Do most telephone companies offer the Lifeline Assistance Program?

Yes. Companies serving the vast majority of Floridians do offer the program, and this even includes some cellular companies.

Can my Lifeline local service be cut off if I have unpaid long distance bills?
No, but your long distance service can be blocked.

I don’t have service now because I haven’t paid an old phone bill. I also have a low credit rating. Can I still get Lifeline?
Yes. The phone company can require you to make payments on the local part of the old bill. If you haven’t paid for your long-distance charges, you may need to have your long distance calling blocked.

Do I have to pay a deposit for Lifeline?
If you have your long distance service blocked, the phone company cannot make you pay a deposit.

What happens to my Lifeline service when I no longer qualify?
You should call your phone company and ask for Transitional Lifeline Assistance. This state program gives 30% off the monthly flat rate for residential basic service. You can get this discount for one year after you no longer qualify for the regular Lifeline program.

Will receiving the Lifeline credits impact my benefits from other programs (for example, food stamps)?
No.

Do my assets, such as owning a car, affect my income eligibility for the programs?
No.

Is the Lifeline program just for senior adults?
No. Adults of all ages may qualify.

THE LIFELINE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
is a state program approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.
 
If you have questions, you may call the Florida Public Service Commission’s Office of Consumer Assistance & Outreach at 1-800-342-3552, fax your questions to 1-800-511-0809, or contact the FPSC via the following e-mail address: contact@psc.state.fl.us.
Or write to the
Florida Public Service Commission
Office of Consumer Assistance & Outreach
2540 Shumard Oak Boulevard
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0850
See our Internet home page at http://www.floridapsc.com.


FEBRUARY 2014



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Florida Public Service Commission
2540 Shumard Oak Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850
1-800-342-3552