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Public Service Commission


08/30/2005 Contact: 850-413-6482

Back to School with Lifeline and Link-Up Programs

TALLAHASSEE — With the start of the new school year come many reminders for students and their parents in the familiar "back-to-school" packets. 


To reach eligible consumers who may not have heard how to save money on their monthly phone bills, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), the Department of Education, the Office of Public Counsel, and School Superintendents in 67 counties have joined with Florida’s telephone companies in this "Back-to-School Blitz" to promote the Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance Programs across the state.


    As the information (available in English and Spanish) in the packets states, consumers are eligible for savings on their monthly phone bill if they participate in any of the following programs:  Medicaid, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), and National School Lunch (BellSouth customers only).  Or, if consumers’ household income is at or below 125% of the poverty level, they may be able to qualify, based on income, by contacting the Office of Public Counsel at 1-800-540-7039.


    The Lifeline Assistance Program provides up to a $13.50 credit on qualified residential local monthly phone bills.  Link-Up Florida provides a 50% reduction in the telephone service hook-up charge, up to a maximum of $30.00.


    PSC Chairman Braulio Baez stressed the importance of this statewide campaign.  "Information about the Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance Programs, along with the simplified application form, is being distributed to every registered student in the public school system," he said.  "The application is easy to fill out; all parents have to do to sign up is to determine if they're qualified for the programs and then mail in the completed application form to their local phone company." 


Parents and consumers wanting to learn more about Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance should call their local telephone companies, the Office of Public Counsel at 1-800-540-7039, or the Florida Public Service Commission at 1-800-342-3552.  Application forms may also be accessed via the PSC's Web site: