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.
Lifeline is a federal government benefit that provides eligible low-income consumers a monthly discount on their phone or internet bill. The benefit can be used for voice (telephone), Broadband internet Access Service (or BIAS, usually called internet service), or a combined telephone/internet service product from a landline or wireless provider. The program provides a $7.25 per household, per month discount on landline or wireless voice service and a $9.25 per household, per month discount on your wireless or landline internet service. The discount appears in the form of a reduction on the service provider’s bill. A service provider may also offer you the minimum Lifeline Program with no additional charges. The rules and amounts of support can change over time.
A consumer qualifies for Lifeline if they are at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or participate in specific federal programs, including: Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans’ Pension and Survivor Benefit, Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
All previous Lifeline waivers governing recertification, reverification, general de-enrollment, subscriber usage, income documentation and documentation requirements for subscribers have been extended through Nov. 30, 2020.
Stay Connected with Lifeline - A brochure explaining telephone assistance programs. Updated April 2020.
Lifeline Across America Website - The FCC website that provides information and resources regarding federal and state Lifeline programs.
Wireless Lifeline Providers - 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 2018 and 2019.
More information on the federal government’s suspension of their Lifeline requirements is available at the USAC website.