The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today kicked off its sixth annual National Lifeline Awareness Week by showcasing the “Faces of Lifeline.” Launched in Florida in 1995, the federal Lifeline Assistance program is administered by the PSC, and more than 900,000 Florida residents currently benefit from the telephone discount program.
Highlighting the program’s success, the PSC’s “Faces of Lifeline” web page provides a personal Lifeline connection and encourages other consumers needing assistance to also apply. Program participants save at least $9.25 per month, or $111 per year on their local phone bills, but not everyone who qualifies is enrolled.
“People need phone service to find jobs, contact community services, call doctors and schools or connect to family and friends,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “During this year’s Lifeline Awareness Week, we urge you to meet the ‘Faces of Lifeline’ on our website, then identify faces within your community, maybe even some of your neighbors, who could benefit from the program.”
To qualify for Lifeline, customers must participate in certain public assistance programs or have an income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty level. Both landline and wireless providers offer the program. For further information on eligibility requirements, or to apply, review the Lifeline Brochure.
Joining other states in celebrating National Lifeline Awareness Week, September 8-14, the PSC will attend events statewide to help seniors and low-income Floridians learn about and apply for the program. The Federal Communications Commission, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates are also supporting the Week.
Last year, to curb program abuse, the FCC implemented rules limiting benefits to one Lifeline discount per eligible household and requiring annual recertification to continue the benefit. The updated rules help ensure that only those who are eligible receive Lifeline. For more information on Lifeline rules, visit www.lifeline.gov or www.naruc.org.
For information on Florida’s Lifeline Awareness Week, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.