FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- September 20, 2021
Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
Lifeline Assistance Helps You "Stay Connected"
Missouri PSC Supports National Lifeline Awareness Week
JEFFERSON CITY---Telephone service is essential to staying connected with family and friends, seeking emergency and government services as well as community resources. The Lifeline Program can provide discounts helping eligible low-income customers access broadband and phone services.
The Missouri Public Service Commission joins a national effort in observing Lifeline Awareness Week. The week of September 20-24, 2021 has been designated to promote the Lifeline Program.
“The Lifeline Program can help eligible low-income customers stay connected to vital services,” said Public Service Commission Chairman Ryan Silvey. “For example, it can help someone who is trying to find a job, access health care services, get assistance in an emergency or just wants to stay in touch with friends and family.”
Funding for the Lifeline Program is primarily from the federal Universal Service Fund, but additional funding may also be provided by the Missouri Universal Service Fund. Missouri also has a separate program for eligible disabled customers. The Lifeline or disabled discount is limited to one per household. A household cannot receive discounts for multiple wireless phones or from multiple
Customers may be eligible for assistance if their annual household income level is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty level or if a member of the household participates in any of these programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps; MOHealthnet (or Medicaid); Supplemental Security Income; Federal Public Housing Assistance; Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit; or certain disability benefits. Call your local telephone provider to see if it provides Lifeline service and if you qualify for that service.
In addition, Congress last December created a temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program which provides eligible households with discounted broadband service. EBB can be combined with Lifeline benefits by opting-in through your current Lifeline provider.
The Lifeline Program is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission but the Missouri Public Service Commission helps administer the program.
Some landline and wireless providers participate in the Lifeline Program. Please contact your local telephone company for more information.