Kentucky Lifeline telephone program.
The lifeline program in Kentucky was created in partnership with the federal government FCC, telephone companies across the state, and the Kentucky Public Service Commission. The objective is to provide discounts to low income families, seniors, and the disabled for their monthly phone bills, and it can also help with the installation costs.
Since many struggling or lower income families have difficulty in paying for a phone or their communication expenses, Lifeline was initiated in an effort to ensure that residents of all income levels have some type of cell or home telephone service available to them. It is even more important for households with an elderly member or a young child, as they may need it for an emergency more so than other people. So the federal government funded program can preserve and promote phones for families across the state of Kentucky.
There are different aspects to the program when it comes to passing on the discounts. Some of the main conditions are as follows.
- Only one phone per address is covered, and it can be a cellular or wireless phone or a landline.
- There are not discounts for any extra features, such as call waiting. Savings are only for basic service.
- The money discount in Kentucky will be anywhere from $10 to $15 per month.
- All companies participate, including Verizon, Safelink, AT&T, Sprint, Assurance, and others.
- A similar offering known as Lifelink helps with the set up of a new account.
Other assistance from the telephone assistance program includes free toll blocking service, waiver of universal service fee, streamlined billing, waiver of deposit for local service, and also a reduction in the monthly residence line charge. So the savings will add up each month, and Lifeline can save households in Kentucky a significant amount of money on their bills.
In order to apply for help, the customer needs to call their phone company directly. While the program is supported by the state and was created by the FCC, all applications are processed directly by the provider. So customer service representatives from your phone company will take information and answer questions on Lifeline.
Lifeline is only for very low income families with limited assets and savings to their name. The thresholds are set by the government, and will be loosely based on roughly 150% of poverty levels. In addition to that, the discounts will be offered to any household in Kentucky that receives any type of public aid.
As an example, families in Kentucky that receive utility bill help from the low income energy assistance (LIHEAP), food stamps, SSI disability, section 8 vouchers, Medicaid, TANF, or even free school lunches will be automatically enrolled. They should tell this to their phone company, and be prepared of proof of the benefits.
The account holder needs to be in good standing as well. They need to enter into a payment plan for any outstanding bills they have on their account, or have some type of program in place to catch up. So while the federal government rules limit each household to one discount, and only one phone, there are a number of conditions that need to be met.
In order to apply, residents need to contact their local or wireless telephone company for enrollment details. When starting this process, the person seeking the discount will need to provide proof of participation in a qualifying benefit program. In addition to that, they will need to proof of income and all assets for all household members.
If a phone company does not approve a customer, and they think they were incorrectly denied or are being discriminated against, then this is when the state can step in. The Kentucky Public Service Commission is the agency to call in this case. They can be reached at 1-800-772-4636.