The Lifeline Credit is the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) mandated program for telephone customers on state or federal assistance programs that will reduce their recurring monthly charges by $9.25 per month for local exchange service. Also, Lifeline customers receive a bill credit of $.85 for a portion of the Federal Subscriber Line Charge, and are exempt from the Local Number Portability charges and Universal Service Fund – Local charges. All providers of local telephone service are required to provide the Lifeline credit to all of their qualifying customers who request it.
Free Cell Phone: An individual may opt to use the Lifeline Credit for a cell phone instead of a landline. Assurance Wireless, Frontier Communications and Cox Communications provides this benefit in Connecticut. Included are free phone and a free cellular or landline (Home) phone plan that provides free minutes each month.
Safelink Wireless and Access Wireless do not provide phones, but do provide free service or minutes to qualified individuals.
Who is Eligible?
To qualify, a customer must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in one of the following programs by providing a card, letter, or official document, as proof that you participate in one of these programs when applying for Lifeline.
In addition, individuals are only allowed to get one Lifeline discount per household, not per person.
If someone else in a household address already gets Lifeline, the provider company will use a “Household Worksheet” to see if more than one household lives at the address.
The Lifeline credit can be used with any combination of services offered by the telephone service provider. However, the telephone service provider may refuse to offer certain premium services (like DSL High-Speed Internet) to those customers who do not have a good credit rating.
To Find Providers in Connecticut’s Community Resources Database:
Search by service name: Discounted Telephone Service
SOURCES: FCC: Lifeline; Assurance; Access Wireless; Safelink Wireless
PREPARED BY: 211/kq
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: February2020