The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) is recognizing National Lifeline Awareness Week, September 14-18, 2020. Lifeline helps qualifying low-income consumers connect to family, friends, and community, as well as important emergency services. The current pandemic has made it even more clear that telephone and broadband services are essential to stay connected.
“Lifeline is an important program, and the PSC is working with the Federal Communications Commission and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners to raise program awareness, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “If consumers already participate in an approved federal assistance program, they probably qualify and can easily apply for their discount.”
Making communications services more affordable for low-income consumers, the federal Lifeline program provides a $7.25 monthly discount on stand-alone voice service and a $9.25 monthly discount for broadband. The Lifeline program can be a life changer for eligible veterans, unemployed workers, the homeless and disabled, older adults and other low-income Floridians.
The Lifeline benefit can only be used toward phone (landline or wireless) or internet (broadband), but not both. One discount is allowed per household. Lifeline customers must recertify their program eligibility every year. More information on program eligibility, rules, and key messages is available on the Federal Communications Commission’s website.
To participate in Lifeline, consumers must have an income at or below 135 percent of the federal Poverty Guidelines, or they (or someone in their household) must participate in one of these federal assistance programs:
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps
• Supplemental Security Income
• Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
• Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
• Tribal Programs (and live on federally-recognized Tribal lands)
You will need to show a card, letter, or official document, as proof that you participate in one of these programs when you apply for Lifeline. An application is available here to help you determine eligibility.
Florida’s outreach will focus on the eight senior centers in Volusia County and the Tallahassee Senior Center this year. With in-person events cancelled due to the pandemic, PSC representatives will distribute information to seniors and answer questions with the help of the senior services coordinators. Lifeline information is also readily available here on the PSC’s website.
Joining other states in celebrating National Lifeline Awareness Week, Florida’s outreach efforts strive to raise awareness and increase participation in the Lifeline program. More information on National Lifeline Awareness Week can be found here.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.