Consumer Advisory

Lifeline

 

Important Changes to the Lifeline Program

 

 

Lifeline is a federal/state program that permits eligible low income customers to receive discounted telephone service.  This program is available only to those who meet certain eligibility requirements.

 

Eligibility is based on (1) receive benefits from one or more certain state or federal programs (listed below) OR (2) meet certain income requirements (see chart below).  Specifically, an individual or household is eligible for Lifeline if the individual or one member of the household participates in one of the following programs:

 

  1. Emergency Aid to Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC)
  2. Fuel Assistance (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP)
  3. MassHealth or Medicaid
  4. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps)
  5. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  6. Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC)
  7. Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  8. National School Lunch Program (free meals program only)
  9. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

 

In addition, a household is eligible for Lifeline if the total household income is at or below certain levels, depending on the size of the household.  Each year the income eligibility requirements for the Lifeline program offered in Massachusetts may change. 

 

For 2014, the guidelines are as follows:

Persons in Household                                                 Annual Income

1                                                                      $15,755
2                                                                      $21,236
3                                                                      $26, 717
4                                                                      $32,198
5                                                                      $37,679
6                                                                      $43,160
7                                                                      $48,641
8                                                                      $54,122

For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $5,481 for each additional person.

More Important News:

 

  1. Applicants must choose Lifeline service for either their landline or wireless service, but not both. Moreover, only one individual in a household may receive Lifeline Service. Federal law limits Lifeline discount to one per household.
  2. Applicants must provide several certifications, including that their household receives Lifeline service from only one provider.
  3. Applicants will be required to complete an application from one of the providers for enrollment in Lifeline, along with documentation of eligibility.
  4. Applicants must respond annually directly to their Lifeline provider that they continue to meet eligibility requirements or they may lose their Lifeline discount. When your Lifeline provider asks you to recertify your eligibility, you must respond if you wish to keep your benefits.

 

For more information about Lifeline and to apply contact a provider that offers Lifeline:

 

Landline Providers:

  • Verizon - www22.verizon.com/ or call 1-800-837-4966
  • RCN - www.rcn.com/ or call 1-800-746-4726
  • Granby Telephone Company (also known as OTT Communications) - www.gogtt.net/ or call 1-413-467-9911
  • Richmond Telephone - www.richmondtelephone.com/ or call 1-413-698-2255
  • Taconic Telephone (also known as Fairpoint Communications) - www.fairpoint.com/ or call 1-800-822-6642

 

Wireless Providers:

  • SafeLink Wireless (also known as TracFone Wireless) - www.safelinkwireless.com or call 1-800-SAFELINK (1-800-723-3546)
  • Assurance Wireless (also known as Virgin Mobile) - www.assurancewireless.com or call 1-877-378-6102
  • InReach (also known as T-Mobile) - www.t-mobile.com or call 1-800-937-8997
  • Budget Mobile (also known as Budget Prepay) - www.budgetmobile.com/ or call 1-888-777- 4007
  • Stand Up (also known as Stand Up Wireless) - www.standupwireless.com or call 1-800-544-4441

 

For additional information or assistance, may contact the Department’s Consumer Division at
1-800-392-6066 or consumer.complaints@state.ma.us.

 

 

Updated March 2014