Life Line Across America: Do You Qualify?
In a day when communication is more important than ever before, many low-income individuals and families find it difficult to keep up with the payments on their monthly telephone plans. In order to relieve these trying circumstances, the government has instituted a new program, “Life Line Across America,” to make up the difference for qualified individuals who are unable to meet their phone service payments. In addition to land line service, cell phone service is also included in this program. If your income level and living situation makes you eligible for this program, participation could give you much-needed assistance to free up finances for more important purposes.
How the Program Works
Life Line is not an independent service, but rather a program that works with your existing phone service provider to lower your payments. Over 1,500 phone companies currently partner with the program, so if your service is through a major carrier, the chances are very good that you can benefit without changing service providers. Upon approval of your application (available from your provider), you will receive a discount on your monthly phone bill. The specific discount amounts available vary from state to state. A list of the program’s benefits offered in your particular state can be found on the Universal Service Administrative Company’s website.
Because the program is run by each state’s government, the income levels and other variables that affect eligibility are specific to each state. That being said, in general the states’ policies are similar to the federal policy. The federal policy states that eligibility for participation in Life Line Across America is as follows:
● Income level must total less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or:
● The individual or family must already be a member of a different federal assistance program, including Medicaid, section 8, LIHEAP, or TANF.
The poverty guidelines in Hawaii and Alaska differ from those in the lower 48 states and Washington, D.C., so make special note of this fact if you live in one of those states.
To see the exact eligibility requirements for your state’s Life Line program, visit the Universal Service Administrative Company’s website.
If you need to start phone service under the Life Line program, you may be able to avoid the deposit fee that many providers require from customers with questionable credit by excluding long distance from your phone service. If your current service carrier is not a participant in the program, you can find a list of local participating carriers on your state’s public utility commission’s website.
Telephone service is nearly indispensable in today’s society, but high costs often make it a heavy burden for individuals and families that are already struggling with financial difficulties. If you have a low income level or already benefit from a federal assistance program, a simple application process could get you much-needed help in the form of monthly discounts offered through the Life Line Across America program.
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