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National Lifeline Awareness Week Sept. 9-13
Kansas Ag Connection - 09/09/2019

Access to emergency services and community resources is vital to all Kansans. The Lifeline program offers discounts to help eligible low-income families and individuals connect to voice and broadband networks to call for help in an emergency, access health care, find jobs, take classes and connect with family.

As part of National Lifeline Awareness Week, Sept. 9-13, the Kansas Corporation Commission wants to make residents aware of the assistance the program can offer. Under the federal Lifeline Program, low-income consumers can receive up to $9.25 per month off their monthly bill for phone (residential or wireless), broadband, or bundled phone and broadband service. Some may also be eligible for the state Lifeline program that provides an additional $7.77 monthly discount.

Lifeline serves more than 10 million Americans, nearly 41 thousand in Kansas. Forty-nine companies currently offer Lifeline services in the state. The program has provided discounted phone service for qualifying consumers since 1985. In 2016, the program was expanded to include broadband.

Residents enrolled in any of the following assistance programs are eligible for the Lifeline program: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FHPA), Veterans Pension & Survivors Pension Benefit, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Head Start Tribal Programs (only those meeting its income qualifying standard), and the Food Distribution Program on Tribal Lands. Those at 135% of the federal poverty level also qualify. Participants must provide three consecutive months of statements as documentation of income, or provide a copy of their tax return for the previous year. Recertification is required each year.

A Lifeline Awareness Week information sheet is attached. More information on program eligibility, enrollment, and annual recertification is available on the KCC's website: /kcc.ks.gov/telecommunications/lifeline. For a list of Kansas providers, go to data.usac.org/publicreports/CompaniesNearMe/State/StateOption/KS.

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