TELEPHONE BILL CREDIT PROGRAMS

THE LIFELINE CREDIT AND THE TELEPHONE CONNECTION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

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.

The Telephone Connection Assistance Program (CTCAP), also known as Link-Up America, gives a discount on telephone line connection charges.

Free Cell Phone: An individual may opt to use the Lifeline Credit for a cell phone instead of a landline. Safeline Wireless provides this benefit in Connecticut. Included are a free Safelink phone and a free cellular plan that provides 64 free minutes each month. For more information, go to: https://www.safelinkwireless.com/EnrollmentPublic/home.aspx

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:

  • Care 4 Kids
  • Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)
  • Contingency Heating Assistance Program (CHAP)
  • SNAP (Food Stamps)
  • Personal Care Assistance
  • Refugee Program
  • Rental Assistance
  • SAGA
  • State Supplement to the Aged, Blind or Disabled
  • SSI
  • Temporary Family Assistance
  • Medicaid (including Husky and Healthy Start)
  • Head Start
  • School Lunch Program

In addition, residence customers requesting the Lifeline program must apply for a single telephone line at his/her principal place of residence, put service in the name of the person applying for the Lifeline credit, and must not be a dependent for Federal income tax purposes, unless he or she is more than 60 years of age.

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 program name: Lifeline Credit

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SOURCES:

PREPARED BY: 211/kq
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: February2014

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