Low income families in Arkansas can receive a discount on their telephone bills or even a new, free cell phone from government-sponsored programs. The Public Service Commission works with the Federal Communications Commission on Lifeline, which helps households save money each month. Link-Up is a program that offers a discount of up to 50% on the set up of a new account.
The goal is to make sure all homes in the state can always communicate during an emergency. The goal of this assistance is to stop people from disconnecting their phone service if they can’t pay their bill. This program will make it possible for every family to be able to afford a mobile or home phone, which will give them access to local resources.
The assistance programs are especially important for families who have a low and fixed income. Many people in Arkansas who are seniors or have a disability rely on the Lifeline discount to keep their telephone service active. The government wants to help people in need, so they have created a program to help pay for people’s cellular phone bills. The program is not just for the most vulnerable people, it is for anyone who meets the income targets.
Phone companies are required to offer this assistance to their customers in Arkansas. The companies that provide telecommunications services are the ones that process applications and sign up consumers. The state agency regulating the Public Service Commission in Arkansas ensures that all terms and conditions set by the Commission are being followed.
Some telephone companies offer a service called Lifeline which provides discounted rates for phone service. This government program provides free cell phones to new customers in Arkansas from companies such as Safelink Wireless. Assurance is a company that provides similar services to what is being discussed.
There are other providers as well. The main cell phone companies, such as AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, all participate in this program. They will offer discounts on their services to people who meet the criteria for Lifeline and follow all state regulations. No matter which company someone deals with, they will be able to save money.
The telephone service discount is only for local, basic service. This doesn’t include long distance costs or some additional features that some households may want. Before joining the program, families should read the contract carefully.
Application process in Arkansas for phone bill programs
In order to be eligible for assistance from the state of Arkansas, applicants must fall below a certain level of income. This means that as the poverty level changes, so will the income required to be considered for assistance programs. However, in general, the government assistance programs require that a household’s income is approximately 150% above the poverty level. This means that the number of people who can live in a home will be affected by the cutoffs. This means that households with more members are allowed to have a higher income.
This means that if a family in Arkansas is receiving public assistance, they will also be automatically enrolled in Lifeline, which provides a discount on monthly phone service. This means that families who receive food stamps, LIHEAP energy bill assistance, SSI, or other benefits will be able to get a discount on their telephone bill. They just need to request this from their phone company and show proof of the benefit.
No more than one phone per home is permitted, regardless of how many people live in the house or apartment. This means that a family will need to choose between a home phone or a cell phone. If you have more than one phone with Lifeline service, you will not receive a discount on your phone bills.
For more information or to apply, contact your phone company directly. If you think you have been unfairly denied access to Lifeline or the Link-Up program, you should contact the Arkansas Public Service Commission Consumer Services Division at (800) 482-1164.