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Lifeline

LINK-UP FLORIDA AND LIFELINE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

Lifeline Assistance Programs are helping to make telephone service affordable to low-income customers in our state. The programs are designed to ensure that the basic telephone connection (hook-up) and service remain affordable to all residents of Florida. Link-Up Florida gives a 50% rebate in the telephone hook-up charge (up to $30.00). Lifeline Assistance gives $13.50 credit per month on local phone bills. Over a year's time, that is a savings of $162.00. The Florida Public Service Commission is committed to making sure that eligible low income residents receive these discounts, but, to benefit, you need to apply.

AM I ELIGIBLE?

If you receive state or federal help from:

  • Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA)
  • 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 TANF, Head Start Subsidy or the NSL, you qualify for expanded Lifeline assistance.

Alternatively, if you meet the income guidelines below:

NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN HOUSEHOLD TOTAL HOUSEHOLD ANNUAL INCOME* TOTAL HOUSEHOLD MONTHLY INCOME*
1 $13,784 $1,149
2 $18,482 $1,540
3 $23,180 $1,932
4 $27,878** $2,323


* 135% of U.S. Poverty Guidelines
** For each additional person, add $4,698

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

If you receive state or federal help:

Call your local phone company and ask for help signing up for Link-Up Florida or the Lifeline Program. The number is usually located in the first few pages of the telephone directory.
OR Print the Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Certification Form at http://www.floridapsc.com/utilities/telecomm/lifeline/ (select English, Spanish or Creole certification form). Then, complete the application form and mail or fax it to the address at the bottom of the application.
OR Use the Lifeline Automated Online Application process at https://secure.floridapsc.com/public/lifeline/lifelineapplication.aspx by completing the application online and clicking on the submit button.

If you meet the income guidelines:

Call 1-800-540-7039 (Office of Public Counsel in Tallahassee) and ask for help signing up for Link-Up Florida or 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

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Question: Can I participate in both the Link-Up and Lifeline programs?


Answer: Yes.


Question: Do most telephone companies offer Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance Programs?


Answer: Yes. Companies serving the vast majority of Floridians do offer the programs and this even includes some cellular companies.


Question: Can my Lifeline local service be cut off if I have unpaid long distance bills?


Answer: No, but your long distance service can be blocked.


Question: I don’t have service now because I haven’t paid an old phone bill. Can I still get Lifeline?


Answer: 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.


Question: Do I have to pay a deposit for Lifeline?


Answer: If you have your long distance service blocked, the company cannot make you to pay a deposit.


Question: What happens to my Lifeline service when I no longer qualify?


Answer: 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.


If you have questions, you may call the Florida Public Service Commission’s Division of Regulatory Compliance and Consumer Assistance 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. See our Internet home page at http://www.floridapsc.com.

Or write to the Florida Public Service Commission Division of Regulatory Compliance and Consumer Assistance 2450 Shumard Oak Boulevard Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0850




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