PR-12-24 -- Discounted Telephone Service Available

Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- SEPTEMBER, 6, 2011

Missouri PSC Supports National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week

JEFFERSON CITY--- Telephone service is essential to staying connected, seeking emergency services, government services, community resources and staying in touch with family and friends.  The Lifeline and Link-Up programs can provide discounted telephone service for eligible low-income customers.
The Missouri Public Service Commission joins a national effort in observing National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week.  The week of September 12-16, 2011 has been set aside to promote the Lifeline and Link-Up programs.  Funding for these programs is primarily from the federal universal service fund; however, funding is also provided by the Missouri universal service fund.  The Missouri universal service fund also provides a $3.50 a month discount to qualifying disabled customers.
“These programs can make a difference in helping a customer maintain telephone service,” said PSC Chairman Kevin Gunn.  “Lifeline programs are important and the Missouri Public Service Commission continues to work with others in promoting their availability through efforts such as National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week.”
Customers may be eligible for Lifeline assistance if they or a member of their household participate in any of these programs: Food Stamps; MOHealthnet (or Medicaid); Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Federal Public Housing Assistance; National School Lunch Program’s free lunch program; and certain disability benefits.
In Missouri, Lifeline assistance provides discounts of up to $13.50 a month.  The discount is limited to one per subscriber.  A Lifeline subscriber cannot receive discounts for multiple phones or from multiple providers.  Under the Link-Up program, qualifying low-income individuals may receive a 50 percent reduction (up to $30) on initial connection charges.
Both landline and wireless providers currently participate in the Lifeline and Link-Up programs.
“In order to sign-up for the program, you will need to contact your preferred telephone company,” said PSC Commissioner Terry Jarrett, who chairs the Missouri Universal Service Board.  If your preferred company participates in the Lifeline or Missouri disabled program, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility.  Additional information is posted on the national “Lifeline Across America” website at www.lifeline.gov .

           

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