COLUMBUS, OHIO (Sept. 10, 2015) –The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is participating in National Lifeline Awareness Week, Sept. 14–20, 2015, reminding low-income telephone consumers that assistance is available to stay connected to local resources and emergency services. The PUCO, Federal Communications Commission, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates are committed to increasing awareness about the availability of the Lifeline Assistance program.
Eligible low-income consumers can apply for assistance to pay telephone bills in order to stay connected to the nation’s communications networks, find jobs, access health-care services, connect with family and call for help in an emergency. Consumers who wish to utilize the Lifeline Assistance program must provide proof of income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or participate in one of the following income-based programs: Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps), Supplemental Security Income, Public Housing Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), National School Free Lunch Program or Home Energy Assistance Program. A pre-screening tool is available at www.lifelinesupport.org to determine eligibility.
Telephone customers who qualify for assistance will receive a discount of at least $9.25 per month on basic telephone service. It is important to remember that only one type of Lifeline Assistance benefit — landline or wireless — is permitted per household, and existing Lifeline customers must recertify their eligibility every year.
Customers should contact their telephone service provider to apply for Lifeline assistance. For more information about utility-related matters, call the PUCO at (800) 686-PUCO (7826). For more information on low-income assistance programs available in Ohio, visit the PUCO’s website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.
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