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State Representative Alice Hausman

255 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-3824

For more information contact: Catherine Thompson 651-296-5499

Posted: Sep 8 2014 12:03PM
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Press/News Releases

Discount Telephone service available to low income Minnesotans


Rep. Alice Hausman is reminding low income Minnesotans about Lifeline and the Telephone Assistance Program (TAP). September 8-14 is National Lifeline Awareness Week.  Please read the Public Utilities Commission news release for more information:

National Lifeline Awareness Week

September 8-14 2014

In a world of ever increasing connectivity, life without basic telephone service seems unthinkable. Despite this, many Americans do not have the means for even this basic service and in these hard economic times the need is growing. People are unable to contact emergency services if an accident happens or check in on at-risk loved ones. Telephone service is a vital way to stay connected in our daily lives and a service every American should have access to.

That is why it is so important to spread the word about Lifeline and the Minnesota’s Telephone Assistance Program (TAP). These programs help provide access to phone service for people who otherwise may not be able to afford it. Lifeline discounts $9.25 off the monthly landline bill while TAP provides an additional $3.50 monthly discount.

While the discounts are primarily only offered by traditional landline telephone providers, some wireless companies in Minnesota are also participating in the programs.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has adopted the second full week in September as National Lifeline Awareness Week for state utility commissions, consumer advocates, and others to call attention to the availability of these programs.

With that in mind the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is asking for your help. Join us in raising awareness about the assistance available for one of the most basic services. Making this information available to your constituents is one way to help spread the message about these programs. Featuring a link on your website to www.lifeline.gov, which has program information, is a quick and easy way to support awareness. Another way would be to use the text below which is ready to drop into a newsletter:

 

Want to lower your phone bill? Discounts are available!

There are two discounts on one simple application:

LIFELINE: A federal discount for approved landline and wireless telephone service

TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE PLAN (TAP): A state discount for landline telephone service

To qualify for discounts:

1. Telephone service must be in your name

2. You must participate in at least one of the qualifying public assistance programs

  • Medicaid/Medical Assistance
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps
  • Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
  • National School Free Lunch Program
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribally administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Head Start (only those meeting its income qualifying standard)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDIR)

OR

Your income must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines

For an application or more information:

  • Contact your local phone company
  • Visit www.mn.gov/puc or www.lifeline.gov 
  • Call the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission at 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782
  • E-mail consumer.puc@state.mn.us

 

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