With the start of the
new school year come many reminders for students and their parents in the
familiar "back-to-school" packets.
To reach eligible
consumers who may not have heard how to save money on their monthly phone
bills, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), the Department of
Education, the Office of Public Counsel, and School Superintendents in 67
counties have joined with Florida’s telephone companies in this
"Back-to-School Blitz" to promote the Link-Up Florida and Lifeline
Assistance Programs across the state.
As the information (available in
English and Spanish) in the packets states, consumers are eligible for savings
on their monthly phone bill if they participate in any of the following
programs: Medicaid, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
(TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance
(Section 8), Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), and National School
Lunch (BellSouth customers only). Or, if consumers’ household income is at or
below 125% of the poverty level, they may be able to qualify, based on income,
by contacting the Office of Public Counsel at 1-800-540-7039.
The Lifeline Assistance Program
provides up to a $13.50 credit on qualified residential local monthly phone
bills. Link-Up Florida provides a 50% reduction in the telephone service
hook-up charge, up to a maximum of $30.00.
PSC Chairman Braulio Baez
stressed the importance of this statewide campaign. "Information about
the Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance Programs, along with the simplified
application form, is being distributed to every registered student in the
public school system," he said. "The application is easy to fill
out; all parents have to do to sign up is to determine if they're qualified for
the programs and then mail in the completed application form to their local
Parents and consumers
wanting to learn more about Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance should call
their local telephone companies, the Office of Public Counsel at
1-800-540-7039, or the Florida Public Service Commission at 1-800-342-3552.
Application forms may also be accessed via the PSC's Web site: www.floridapsc.com.