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Lifeline is a federally funded program that is administered by local telephone companies. It provides a monthly discount on basic telephone services for eligible consumers. Starting in December 2016, consumers will be able to apply the Lifeline discount to broadband (high-speed internet) service instead.
Major changes are being made to the Lifeline program under a 2016 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order, including phasing out the current $9.25 discount for basic local phone service by December 2021. Key changes are noted below and are subject to further modification. For more information, consumers are encouraged to visit the FCC and Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) websites.
There are two ways to qualify:
1. Have a household income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, or.
2. Be enrolled in one or more of the following programs:
Enhanced Lifeline benefits are available for consumers who live on Tribal lands.
Key changes under the 2016 FCC order:
Things to know:
Efforts to combat fraud, waste and abuse in the Lifeline program have been underway at the state and federal levels for some time. If you are aware of fraud in the program, please contact the FCC toll-free at 1-855-4LL-TIPS (or 1-855-455-8477) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to apply
Read the application carefully and contact the phone company with any questions. Return the completed application directly to the phone company.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC’s mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education, and creative problem solving.
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204