The Kansas Corporation Commission, in partnership with telephone providers and the state government, created the Lifeline program in an effort to ensure low income families have access to an affordable cellular or home telephone. For those residents that meet income and other qualifications, the state will offer them a discount on their monthly phone bill.
The telephone assistance programs are focused on very low income families or those living in poverty. The state will require the household to be on some form of state or public aid as well. This is one of the key conditions to enrolling. As part of the application process, proof of income as well as copies of tax records and pay-stubs will also be required.
Lifeline is really focused on ensuring a Kansas household has some form of communication device available to them. So if an individual is disabled or maybe a senior citizen, it is often really critical for them to have a telephone in their home. Or this can also benefit lower income families with children or maybe a single moms in Kansas that need to check up on their child while they are at work. So those are some of the main beneficiaries of Lifeline.
The Kansas Link-up service is another resource available. This component is used to help a family pay for any connection fees. This can assist those residents that either never had a phone in the home to begin with, or maybe it was disconnected and they need help to turn it back on. Link-up will offer a small discount on their re-connection fees, and it can also be combined with the ongoing savings from Lifeline.
If the resident is on public aid, they will be automatically qualified for one or both of these options. But they do need to still formally apply. Kansas will allow a household to be in receipt of food stamps, General Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, SSI disability, LIHEAP and cash aid. If the child receive benefits, such as from Head Start or Free School Lunches, then this will also qualify the family for a Lifeline discount in Kansas.
To formally apply for the program, the telephone company needs to be contacted. Both cellular as well as land-line – home phones are eligible. The savings available in Kansas will generally range anywhere from $15 to $20 per month, but the budget is set by the FCC and the state of Kansas each year. Some providers will also offer other benefits such as free internet usage or lower priced long distance service.
Whether someone has their service from Verizon, AT&T, Century Link, Sprint, KanOkla Telephone Association, People Telecommunications or others, they can sign up. The phone company will process the application to Lifeline.
They will only allow this discount on one phone per home. It does not matter how many people live there, only one unit is covered. This also means that the family needs to decide whether they want a wireless phone or one inside of their home or apartment.
Every year the customer will also need to reapply for Lifeline. The discount will only last for 12 months. Even during the reapplication process the state as well as phone company that is being used will require all of the same proof as on the initial application. So if someone is no longer on public aid or if their income has increased, the the state of Kansas will no longer allow the up to $20 per month credit to be placed on their account.
If an application was denied, maybe even illegally, then this is the only time in which the Kansas Department for Children and Families should be called regarding Lifeline. That main number is 1-888-369-4777.
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