The Federal Communications Commission and the Public Utility Commission of Texas have established Lifeline Service to make telecommunications service more affordable to eligible customers. Lifeline Service, supported in part by federal universal support mechanisms and the Texas universal service fund, is a program designed to make telecommunication services available at reduced rates to eligible residential customers.
Services supported by the federal universal service support mechanisms and the Texas universal service fund include: voice grade access to the public switched network or its functional equivalent, minutes of use for local service provided at no additional charge to the customer, access to emergency services (911), and toll limitation to qualifying low-income subscribers. Broadband meeting the minimum service standards is supported only by federal universal support.
Totelcom Communications LLC offers Lifeline Service at a reduced rate. Information about customers who qualify for Lifeline Service may be shared between state agencies and Totelcom Communications LLC.
An eligible customer for the state Lifeline discount shall be defined as an individual whose annual household income is at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines or in whose household resides a person who receives benefits or has a child who receives benefits from at least one of the following programs:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)*
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)*
Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)*
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Health Benefit Coverage under Child Health Plan (CHIP)
National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
* Also eligible for the federal Lifeline discount in addition to the Veterans Pension, Tribal Program, and Survivors Benefit Program.
An eligible customer for the federal Lifeline discount shall be defined as an individual meeting the eligibility requirements set forth in 47 C.F.R. Section 54.409. Federal Lifeline rules do differ from the state Lifeline rules.
Lifeline service is limited to one discount per household. A household is everyone who lives in the home (including children and people who are not related to the customer) and shares income and household expenses (bills, food, etc.). A customer with Lifeline service may not transfer the Lifeline benefit to any other person. Lifeline is a nontransferable benefit.
How do I apply?
The Low-Income Discount Administrator (LIDA) is the responsible party for certifying Lifeline customers. If you currently have telecommunications services and participate in one of the above eligible programs or your household income is below the Federal Poverty guideline, Please contact LIDA at 1-866-454-8387 (1-866-4-LITE-UP) to apply for Lifeline service.
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