It’s National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week and the FCC is asking telecommunications companies to spread the word.

The Lifeline program provides discounted telephone rates for low income households across the nation. According to the FCC website, Lifeline has helped tens of millions of low-income Americans afford basic phone service. Access to telephone service is essential for finding a job, connecting with family, or getting help in an emergency, and the percentage of low-income households with phone service has increased from 80% in 1985, when Lifeline began, to nearly 92% last year.

The main message the FCC wants to spread is the changes that have been made to the program this year.

Changes include alterations to eligibility requirements for the programs. Those who may qualify include residents who have received low-income housing assistance, food stamps, or other government programs. A full list of qualifying programs can be found at Those who live on tribal land or receive aid through tribal assistance programs may also qualify.

The program only pertains to landline phones and is limited to one line per household. It cannot be used to fund cell phone services.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Lifeline call our Customer Response Center at 1-888-343-8014 or online at

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