On December 2, 2016, the FCC made several changes to the Lifeline Assistance Program including, but not limited to: (i) phasing down the amount of Lifeline support for stand-alone Telephone service, and (ii) adding Broadband as a supported Lifeline Assistance program.
Eligible households may apply the monthly Lifeline Assistance Program discount to either Broadband service or Telephone service, but not to both services.
Telephone Lifeline Assistance Program
For qualified subscribers who are currently enrolled in the Telephone Lifeline Assistance Program, the program changes are as follows:
The Telephone Lifeline Assistance Program provides a monthly credit for certain telephone services provided to qualified residential customers of Smart City Telecom. Qualified residential telephone service customers are eligible for the Telephone Lifeline Assistance Program until December 1, 2021, at which time this particular Program will be discontinued. This Program provides discounts on (i) basic voice only telephone services, or (ii) telephone service that is bundled with a data service that is less than the minimum of 10Mbps down/up to 1 Mbps up. This Program provides assistance on one (1) telephone line per household at the customer’s principal residence. Qualified residential telephone service customers of Smart City Telecom will receive a maximum Telephone Lifeline Assistance Program credit of $9.25 per month on their local telephone bill through November 30, 2019, after which over a two (2) year period the credit will be reduced and the Telephone Lifeline Assistance Program phased out. In order to receive Telephone Lifeline Assistance credit, qualified residential telephone service customers must also qualify by receiving benefits from any of the following programs:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Food Stamps
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs programs
- Household income no more than 150% of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines
- Veteran’s pension or Survivor’s pension benefits
Please note that new Federal Lifeline rules have removed receipt of benefits from the following previously eligible programs from qualification under the Telephone Lifeline Assistance Program:
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
However, customers enrolled under any of the above retired eligibility programs remain eligible for the credit until their next Telephone Lifeline Assistance recertification.
Telephone Lifeline Assistance Program Credit Changes and Phase Out
The Telephone Lifeline Assistance Program will begin to be phased down starting December 1, 2019 and discontinued completely effective December 1, 2021. Please refer to the schedule below for the reductions that will occur in the monthly Telephone Lifeline Assistance credit amount provided during the phase out period:
December 1, 2019: $7.25
December 1, 2020: $5.25
December 1, 2021: $0.00
What happens to my Lifeline service when I no longer qualify?
Please contact us within 30 days of you no longer qualifying for Lifeline service to request the Transitional Lifeline Assistance. This state Program gives 30% off the monthly flat rate for wireline residential basic service. You are eligible for this discount for one (1) year after you no longer qualify for the regular Lifeline program.