Lifeline Low Income Assistance


Every person in America should have access to quality, affordable telecommunications service.  This principle of “Universal Service “ has been the goal of the telecommunications industry for decades.  In 1934, Congress made the goal a law and reaffirmed it in 1996 by establishing policies for the “preservation and advancement of Universal Service.”

To achieve the Universal Service goal, telephone companies have access to a fund that is generated by contributions from the telecommunications providers in the United States.  Telephone companies draw from the fund to provide two programs that support telecommunications services nationwide.  Lifeline Assistance Program (Lifeline) is part of the Fund’s Low-Income Program and are described in detail below.

Lifeline support provides discounts to eligible low-income consumers to help them maintain telephone service.

What type of discount is available?

Lifeline assistance lowers the cost of basic  monthly local telephone service. Eligible consumers will receive a discount of $9.25 and an additional state discount established by the Arkansas Public Service Commission. The rate for local monthly service, which includes unlimited local calling is $21.30. Additional charges for toll calls associated with the stand alone residential access line are billed at the rates of the long distance carrier chosen by the subscriber.

How do I know whether I am eligible?

Eligibility for Lifeline and Link-Up support depends on eligibility.  Individuals are eligible if he or she participates (or the household) in one of the following programs:

  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8
  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • National School Lunch Free Lunch Program (household children)

In addition, a consumer may be eligible if his or her household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines:

2013 Estimated Income Requirements for a Household at or Below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Persons in                              48 Contiguous   Family Unit                              States and D.C.

1                                                                     $15,889

2                                                                     $21,505

3                                                                     $27,121

4                                                                     $32,737

How do I apply for Lifeline Service and receive the discounts?

  • Visit or call your local telephone company or call: 1-866-255-6797.