PUC Encourages Awareness of Telephone Discount Lifeline Program to Consumers at Risk of Isolation During Challenging Times

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today encouraged consumers across the state, especially those most vulnerable to social isolation, to understand the resources available through the Lifeline program to help them stay connected to their voice and internet services during these challenging times.

Lifeline is a federal government benefit that provides eligible low-income consumers a monthly discount on their phone or internet bill. The benefit can be used for voice (telephone), Broadband Internet Access Service (or BIAS, usually called internet service), or a combined telephone/internet service product from a landline or wireless provider.

The program provides a $7.25 per household, per month discount on landline or wireless voice service and a $9.25 per household, per month discount on your wireless or landline internet service. The discount appears in the form of a reduction on the service provider’s bill. A service provider may also offer you the minimum Lifeline Program with no additional charges. The rules and amounts of support can change over time.

Consumers or households that apply for Lifeline will be checked to see if they are eligible.  After that, they must certify every year that they are eligible for such support. Currently, in response to the public health emergency associated with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Lifeline program’s recertification and reverification requirements are waived for 60 days. More information on program eligibility, how to apply and recertify is available on the Commission’s website. More information on the federal government’s suspension of their Lifeline requirements is available at the USAC website.