Lifeline Awareness Week promotes telephone and broadband resources available to help low-income Kansans stay connected
Topeka — Access to local emergency services and community resources is vital to all residents. Lifeline offers discounts to help low-income consumers connect to the nation’s voice and broadband networks, find jobs, access health care services, connect with family, and call for help in an emergency.
The Kansas Corporation Commission wants to create awareness of the Lifeline program during National Lifeline Awareness week, September 10-14. Under the federal Lifeline Program, low-income consumers can receive up to $9.25 per month off their monthly bill for phone, broadband, or bundled phone and broadband service. Some may also be eligible for the state Lifeline program that provides an additional $7.77 monthly discount. Forty-eight companies currently offer Lifeline services in Kansas.
Residents enrolled in any of the following assistance programs are eligible: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FHPA), Veterans Pension & Survivors Pension Benefit, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Head Start Tribal Programs (only those meeting its income qualifying standard), the Food Distribution Program on Tribal Lands. Those at 135% of the federal poverty level also qualify. Participants must provide three consecutive months of statements as documentation of income, or provide a copy of their tax return for the previous year. Recertification is required each year.
Since 1985, the federal Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying consumers. In 2016, the program was extended to include broadband.
More information on program eligibility, enrollment and annual recertification is available on the KCC’s website: http://kcc.ks.gov/telecommunications/lifeline. For a list of Kansas providers, go to https://data.usac.org/publicreports/CompaniesNearMe/State/StateOption/KS.