National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week: September 9 – 15, 2013

In a statement promoting the Lifeline Awareness Week 2013, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairperson Mignon Clyburn noted,

“Most of us take for granted that we can call 911 in a crisis and reach family, friends and employers when necessary. But for many low-income Americans, this basic necessity — phone service – remains a luxury few can afford.”

The Lifeline plan and basic cellphones supplied by providers provide a discounted service to assist low-income customers who are often elderly.

Lifeline Awareness Week

Lifeline Awareness Week

If you, your parents, your friends, or other loved ones are eligible and in need of this service, ask your local telephone service provider on how to apply for the Lifeline program.

More details are available online www.fcc.gov/lifeline.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires Lifeline service providers to verify eligibility of a consumer’s income for participation in a qualifying program.  Eligible consumers for Lifeline must have an income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, or a participant in Medicaid, Food Stamps, Federal Public Housing Assistance, National School Lunch Program, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, or Head Start.

Lifeline seeks to ensure access to communications for all Americans, regardless of income. The Lifeline program was created in 1985 under President Ronald Reagan for wireline (landline) phone service.  In 2005, Lifeline was expanded under the Bush Administration to include pre-paid wireless service. Today, supporters seek to expand the Lifeline program to include affordable broadband communications.

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau maintains a dedicated Lifeline Fraud Tip Line – 1-855-4LL-TIPS (or 1-855-455-8477), and an email address, Lifelinetips@fcc.gov – to facilitate reporting of possible fraud in the program.

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