Financial assistance through the Lifeline program is available to help eligible Iowans afford and maintain basic telephone service. Lifeline participation enables Iowans to stay connected to jobs, family, community resources, and government and emergency services. Lifeline is a federal government program that assists qualified Iowans by providing a monthly credit of $9.25 on the local telephone bill.
The Lifeline program has recently been streamlined by the Federal Communications Commission. Lifeline benefits are now limited to one wire line or wireless phone per qualified household. Households currently receiving more than one Lifeline service must select a single Lifeline service provider and de-enroll from the program with any other provider(s).
Households eligible for or already receiving Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income Program, Federal Public Housing Assistance Program, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program, or the National School Lunch Program may qualify. Consumers may also qualify based on their level of income. For more information, please see the Board's 2013 Lifeline Week news release.
A Lifeline application form is available from your local telephone service provider, the Iowa Utilities Board, or most Community Action Agencies in the state. To apply, simply complete the application form and then return it to your chosen participating provider. Additionally, residents of Tribal lands who are eligible for Lifeline, should check with their local telecommunications provider to inquire about additional benefits, including potential Link-Up telephone-installation benefits.
Re-certification forms are sent to all Lifeline subscribers each year. In order to continue receiving Lifeline assistance, these forms must be completed and returned to the subscriber’s local telecommunications provider within 30 days. If the re-certification form is not returned, the telecommunications provider will discontinue the subscriber’s Lifeline assistance.
Lifeline application forms of the largest telephone providers serving Iowa are also available online:
Information about the number of customers receiving Lifeline assistance is reported by each Iowa telephone company. For more information, call the Iowa Utilities Board toll free at 1.877.565.4450, or visit www.fcc.gov/lifeline or www.usac.org.
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