Tips UPDATED! Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19? Get Help With Lifeline.
Updated November 17, 2020
Due to financial hardship that may be experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to be informed about the Lifeline Phone and Internet Assistance Program.
With the spread of the coronavirus and a statewide stay-at-home order, more and more people are relying on their internet connection for work, school, and entertainment. In addition, for older adults, and those with disabilities or medical conditions, landline phone service can be vital to communicating with emergency services, employers, family, and friends.
You may be eligible to receive up to $17.02 off your monthly SKT bill through the federal Lifeline Phone and Internet Assistance Program, which was created to help eligible, low-income households have access to communications services by lowering their cost.
It’s not available in all areas and income guidelines and other restrictions apply. For assistance, call the Lifeline Support Center at 800.234.9473. Fill out the application online or download a printable version.
Open to customers who reside in Atlanta, Beaumont, Burden, Cambridge, Clearwater, Dexter, Elk Falls, Grenola, Latham, Longton, Piedmont, Reece, Rosalia, and Viola.
New Guidelines Extended
The FCC has temporarily adjusted the guidelines for acceptable documentation for income-based eligibility in the Lifeline program.
Currently those who feel they are eligible based on their income must provide three consecutive months of income documentation. Due to the pandemic and recent unemployment, customers are unable to meet this requirement. Instead they are adjusting the requirement to the following:
Through February 28, 2021, consumers who do not have three consecutive months of income documentation may provide an official document that confirms their current income information. This may include a notice of unemployment benefit payments or a notice of a successfully submitted application for unemployment benefits.
To prove a consumer’s current household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, as an alternative to acceptable documentation already allowed by the rules, consumers may submit an official document that, at a minimum, includes:
- The consumer’s name, or the name of consumer’s benefit qualifying person (BQP);
- The current income information; and
- A date within the last 3 months.
Additionally, the order also states:
- De-enrollments of existing subscribers should not occur.
- Recertification is on hold for the anniversary dates between April 14, 2020 and February 28, 2021.
- All reverification activity is on hold
- Consumers will not have to confirm usage of their Lifeline service