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Telephone Assistance Program 

Lifeline and Link-Up are federal programs that help income-eligible consumers afford local telephone service. These programs are administered by local telephone companies. Lifeline and Link-up will not help with long distance costs, but ask your long distance provider about possible discounts.

How these programs can benefit you

LifeLine provides a monthly discount on basic local telephone service for eligible consumers. The Lifeline program is available for only one phone line per eligible home.

Link-Up provides eligible consumers with discounts on connection charges for new local telephone service and may enable you to finance your portion of the connection charges interest-free for one year. The discount is available for only one telephone line per eligible home.

Who is Eligible?

Consumers enrolled in one or more of the following assistance programs may qualify for Lifeline and Link-Up benefits:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Food Stamps
  • National School Free Lunch Program
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8

    IMPORTANT NOTE: * As of 6-22-05, a consumer will also qualify for Lifeline/Link-Up if his or her household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. Information regarding the poverty guidelines is available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at http://www.hhs.gov/ or by calling 1-877-696-6775.

The following conditions are required for Lifeline and Link-Up eligibility:

Telephone service must be listed in your name. You cannot be listed as a dependent on another person’s tax return. Telephone service must be for your primary residence (not a business or second home)

How to Apply

A simple application is available from your local telephone company or accessed through the Downloads section of this page.

When returning the completed application to your phone company, you must include documentation showing that you participate in at least one of the public assistance programs listed above under Who is eligible? section of this page.


  • LifeLine/LinkUP Application: pdf | html
  • OUCC OpenLines FactSheet [pdf]
  • LifeLine/LinkUP InfoSheet [pdf]

Solicitud de Lifeline y/o Link-Up para servicios telefónicos

La campaña OpenLines se asegura de que los Hoosiers entiendan sus derechos y responsabilidades al comprar y usar servicios de telecomunicaciones. Todas las publicaciones están disponibles sin cargo extra en la página electrónica del OUCC, o llamando al 1-888-441-2494 (número de teléfono gratis).

Solicitud: PDF | HTML

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