The Florida Public Service Commission voted Tuesday to expand the
qualifying criteria for Lifeline and Link-Up -- programs that are designed to
make basic telephone service more affordable to the consumers of the state who
are most in need.
The Commission also added a self-certification option, making the
program more accessible to more consumers.
“Access to basic
phone service for all Americans is an important national and state goal,”
Commission Chairman Braulio L. Baez said. “This vote significantly expands the
pool of individuals eligible for service, which is an appropriate stimulus for
reaching the objective of universal access.”
The Commission vote:
- Expands the income-based criteria
for Lifeline and Link-Up to 135 percent of federal poverty guidelines from
the existing 125 percent.
- Adds the National School Lunch
program to the list of programs for which Lifeline and Link-Up eligibility
- Provides a self-certifying option
for individuals enrolled in needs-based programs. Individuals who elect
the self-certification option would receive a monthly credit of $8.25 that
is applied toward basic phone service.
Commission’s action today is a very positive step forward in our efforts to
enroll more eligible Floridians in the Lifeline program,” Baez said. “By
streamlining the steps necessary to enroll in Lifeline, the self-certification
option should dramatically increase the number of people who will qualify.”