The Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) annual report on Lifeline Assistance (Lifeline) shows consumers continue to need the federal discount telephone program. As of June 30, more than 918,240 eligible Florida telecommunications customers participated in the Lifeline program.
The PSC also continues to increase awareness among eligible citizens and to educate residents on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule changes limiting benefits to one discount per eligible household and requiring 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 the growth in SNAP participants, Florida’s Lifeline eligible households grew by 4.8 percent compared to 2012 data. The PSC anticipates that Lifeline enrollment will continue to grow based on the current economic conditions.
“Lifeline is an important program, benefitting those who need it most to connect to potential employers, life-saving services, or friends and family,” said PSC Chairman Ronald A. Brisé. “Our Lifeline outreach program consistently educates eligible consumers and reminds current subscribers of the FCC’s annual recertification rules to prevent program fraud and abuse.”
In Florida, 24 telecommunication companies, including four wireless carriers, participate in the federal Lifeline program offering customers who participate in certain public assistance programs a discount of at least $9.25 per month, or a free Lifeline cell phone and 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 www.floridaopc.gov/lifeline.cfm. The PSC’s Lifeline Report was sent to the Governor and Legislature this week, as required by Section 364.10, Florida Statutes.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.