PUCO highlights 2017 Lifeline Awareness Week

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is participating in National Lifeline Awareness Week, Sept. 11–17, 2017, reminding low-income telephone consumers that assistance is available to stay connected to local resources and emergency services. The PUCO, Federal Communications Commission, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates are committed to increasing awareness about the availability of the Lifeline Assistance program.

Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet service.  Eligible consumers can apply for assistance in order to stay connected to the nation’s communications networks, find jobs, access health-care services, connect with family and call for help in an emergency.

Consumers who wish to utilize the Lifeline Assistance program must provide proof of income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, or participate in one of the following income-based programs:

  • Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps),
  • Supplemental Security Income,
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance,
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit,
  • Tribal Programs.

A pre-screening tool is available at www.lifelinesupport.org to determine eligibility.

Eligible customers will receive a discount of at least $9.25 per month on toward their bill. The Lifeline benefit can only be used toward phone (landline or wireless) or internet (broadband), but not both. One discount is allowed per household. Lifeline customers must recertify their eligibility every year. More information on program eligibility, rules and key messages is available at www.fcc.gov/lifeline/outreach.

Customers should contact their telephone service provider to apply for Lifeline assistance. For more information about utility-related matters, call the PUCO at (800) 686-PUCO (7826). For more information on low-income assistance programs available in Ohio, visit the PUCO’s website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.

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