Communications Assistance Programs to Get (or Stay) Connected
Telephone and broadband assistance programs are available for consumers with limited incomes. Programs are available to help keep telephone and broadband service connected, reduce monthly phone bills, help pay connection fees and avoid shutoffs. Eligibility is determined based on your income or participation in other assistance programs. Remember, when you are seeking assistance, each telephone company and/or program has different benefits and different restrictions. Some programs have restrictions on the optional services available to participants. Please contact your local telephone company if you wish to participate in any of the telephone and broadband assistance programs.
The list of eligible assistance programs has been streamlined. As of Dec. 1, 2016, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Low-Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) will be removed as qualifying programs for Lifeline Assistance eligibility. As of Dec. 2, 2016, you may qualify for Lifeline Assistance based on income (at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines) or if you participate in Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit or Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA).
If you are recertifying your eligibility for Lifeline Assistance for the 2016 program year, you must do so by Dec. 31, 2016, to continue your eligibility based on participation in the NSLP, LIHEAP, or TANF programs. Any of these will serve as qualifying programs until your next recertification. If you do not recertify by Dec. 31, 2016, you must re-enroll in the Lifeline program based on income (at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines) or participation in Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or FPHA.
Stay Connected with Lifeline - A brochure explaining telephone assistance programs.
Commissioner Letter to CEOs - All five Commissioners reached out to the CEOs of Pennsylvania telecommunications companies, requesting their assistance in educating consumers about changes to the federal Lifeline telephone assistance program and enhanced opportunities for low-income households to connect to voice and Internet service.
Lifeline Across America Website - The FCC website that provides information and resources regarding federal and state Lifeline programs.
Wireless Lifeline Providers (Word) - A chart that lists the wireless telephone companies that provide Lifeline discounts in Pennsylvania through the federal Lifeline program. The chart describes and highlights each wireless company's service plan options.
Landline Lifeline Providers - This list contains company phone numbers and web addresses for the companies, and the counties served.
Lifeline Providers by County - This list shows all of the providers in each county.
Customer Participation - Lifeline and Link-Up information for all participating telephone companies in 2016 and 2017.