Lifeline

National Telephone Discount
Lifeline Awareness Week
September 14-18, 2020

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), have designated the first week after Labor Day—this year, September 14-18, 2020—as National Lifeline Awareness Week.

The purpose of Lifeline Awareness Week is to ensure that eligible low-income families and individuals are aware of the Lifeline Program and its eligibility criteria, non-duplication rules, and annual recertification requirements. Lifeline Awareness Week also services as a way to encourage enrollment in the Lifeline Program.  The Lifeline Program provides vulnerable families and adults with a connection to voice and broadband services that allows them to stay in contact with vital emergency services and community resources.

Lifeline During COVID-19 Pandemic

To help keep Americans connected during the coronavirus pandemic, the FCC has temporarily waived recertification, reverification, general de-enrollment, subscriber usage, income documentation, and documentation requirements for subscribers residing in rural areas on Tribal lands, and has extended those waivers until Nov. 30, 2020. Five FCC orders, released March 17, March 30, April 29, June 1 and August 17 will help ensure that no current Lifeline subscribers are involuntarily removed from the Lifeline program during this time of national crisis. The orders also direct the Lifeline program administrator to pause any involuntary de-enrollment of existing subscribers until that date.

On April 29, the FCC issued an Order temporarily adjusting the acceptable documentation guidelines for Lifeline. Changes to these guidelines, which were recently extended in FCC Orders released on June 1 and August 17, will ease the documentation burden on those who are recently unemployed due to the pandemic.

Related Orders

 

More information is available at the following links: