Telephone service is essential to staying connected with family and friends, seeking emergency and government services as well as community resources. The Lifeline Program can provide discounts to help eligible low-income customers “stay connected” to the opportunities and security that phone service brings. The Missouri Public Service Commission joins a national effort in observing Lifeline Awareness Week. The week of Sept. 14 through 18 has been designated to promote the Lifeline Program.
“The coronavirus pandemic has made staying connected and being able to communicate with one another even more important during this difficult time,” said Public Service Commission Chairman Ryan Silvey.
Funding for this program is primarily from the federal Universal Service Fund, but additional funding may also be provided by the Missouri Universal Service Fund. Missouri also has a separate program for eligible disabled customers.
The Lifeline or disabled discount is limited to one per household. A household cannot receive discounts for multiple wireless phones or from multiple telephone providers. Currently, eligible customers may receive a discount of up to $24 a month from either the Lifeline Program or the Disabled Program.
Customers may be eligible for assistance if their annual household income level is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty level or if a member of the household participates in any of these programs: Food Stamps; MOHealthnet (or Medicaid); Supplemental Security Income; Federal Public Housing Assistance; Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit; or certain disability benefits. Call your local telephone provider to see if it provides Lifeline service and if you qualify for that service.
The Lifeline Program is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission, but the Missouri Public Service Commission helps administer the program.
Some landline and wireless providers participate in the Lifeline Program. Please contact your local telephone company for more information. Additional information is also available at www.lifelinesupport.org.