PURA Encourages Eligible Residents to Access the Federal Lifeline Program to Stay Connected During the COVID-19 Crisis
Program helps low-income Customers access affordable broadband, telephone servicesIn light of the continued financial difficulties attributable to the ongoing public health crisis, Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) reminds Connecticut residents that the federal Lifeline Program has available resources to support low-income customers experiencing connectivity issues.
Administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), the Lifeline Program is available to help eligible low-income customers gain access to more affordable broadband internet and phone services by offering monthly discounts on certain products. Benefits are limited to one per qualifying household. Residents are eligible for the Lifeline Program if one of the following criteria are met:
- Customer participates in certain federal benefits programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Federal Public Housing or the Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit; or
- Customer’s household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.
PURA Chairman Marissa P. Gillett commented, “During these unprecedented times, gaining and maintaining access to affordable broadband and telephone services is more important than ever to meet the challenges of telework, remote education, telemedicine and generally staying connected. As many Connecticut residents find themselves facing new economic challenges borne out of the COVID-19 crisis, PURA wants to raise awareness around this valuable Lifeline Program resource.”
LifelineSupport.org provides detailed information about how to apply for benefits, eligibility requirements, and other specifics of the program, including the recent relief offered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that relaxes qualifications around qualifying for the Lifeline Program and expands access to the Lifeline Program’s National Eligibility Verifier.