For the first time, Lifeline Awareness Week, September 14-20, is being recognized nationally. Today, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) kicked off the first National Lifeline Awareness Week at the Capital Area Community Action Agency (CACAA) to help residents stay connected through the Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Awareness discounted telephone programs.
Highlighting the success of Florida’s Lifeline program, PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II, was joined at the kick off by Dorothy Inman-Johnson, Executive Director, CACAA; Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda; Representative Alan B. Williams; Bob Rackleff, Leon County Commission Vice-Chairman; J.R. Kelly, Public Counsel; and George Sheldon, Secretary of the Department of Children and Families.
“We are pleased to partner with the Capital Area Community Action Agency, whose clients can benefit from these money-saving programs, for National Lifeline Awareness Week,” said Chairman Carter. “This year’s national spotlight on Link-Up and Lifeline will bring wide-spread attention to these beneficial programs that help citizens who are struggling to afford a telephone.”
Joining other states this week to raise awareness, Florida’s kick off begins a series of statewide events to reach residents who are eligible for the programs. Events in Defuniak Springs on Wednesday and Miami on Friday will include representatives from the PSC, the local telephone company, and the Office of Public Counsel to ensure that eligible participants benefit from the programs.
“Some of the most vulnerable residents of Florida, the very poor, elderly, and disabled, depend on agencies like ours for help with very basic services and advocacy on their behalf. They are the ones who can least afford to have phone service and are required to pay a higher premium for what most of us take for granted,” said Ms. Inman-Johnson. “I applaud the Florida Public Service Commission for making these services accessible to the population which needs it the most in time of emergency and crisis. We are, therefore, excited to be an ongoing partner for these wonderful services for the citizens of Florida.”
Under the federal Lifeline program, telephone customers who participate in certain public assistance programs are entitled to receive a basic telephone service discount of at least $13.50 per month or more than $160 per year. Link-Up Florida provides a 50 percent reduction in the telephone service installation charge, up to a maximum of $30, for qualifying households that do not currently have telephone service. Both landline and wireless providers offer the Lifeline program. To access Lifeline Assistance applications and for more information on the program, visit www.floridapsc.com.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.