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Public Service Commission


NEWS RELEASE


12/31/2014 Contact: 850-413-6482

Florida PSC Reports Increase in Lifeline Assistance Program Participation


TALLAHASSEE — 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, 957,792 eligible Florida telecommunications customers participated in the Lifeline program, a 4.3 percent increase from last year’s subscribers.

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 June 2014 SNAP participants, however, the Lifeline eligible households decreased by 1.2 percent compared to 2013 data, which may reflect the improving Florida economy.

“Lifeline is an important program, enablingconsumers to find jobs, access health care services, connect with family and their children"s schools, and call for help in an emergency,” said PSC Chairman  Art Graham. “The PSC continues to focus on the enrollment process and outreach to make sure consumers who need Lifeline can easily get it.”

In Florida, 22 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 http://www.floridapsc.com/ and www.floridaopc.gov/lifeline.cfm. The PSC’s Lifeline Reportwas sent to the Governor and Legislature this week, as required by Section 364.10, Florida Statutes.

For additional information, visit http://www.floridapsc.com/.

 

Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.



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