Lifeline Program Helps Low-Income Virginians Overcome Digital Divide

Utilities

SEP 15, 2021

RICHMOND – The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought remote work, education, and medical care to the forefront, underscoring the need for all Virginians to stay digitally connected. As such, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) is partnering with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) to highlight “National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week,” September 20- 24, 2021.

Lifeline is a federal program that helps low-income consumers afford 21st century broadband. The program provides a $9.25 monthly discount on broadband service and a $7.25 monthly discount on voice service, with a limit of one benefit per household. You could be eligible if your income falls below a certain level – at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines – or if you participate in one of these federal assistance programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit

Participating companies can help with enrollment. You can also use a new option – the Lifeline National Verifier (www.checklifeline.org) – to check whether you are eligible and sign up for Lifeline. Since not all companies are required to offer Lifeline service, it’s a good idea to contact the companies you want to provide you with service to see if they participate.

To learn more about Lifeline and the Lifeline National Verifier, and to see if you are eligible, call 1-800-234-9473 or email lifelinesupport@usac.org or visit www.lifelinesupport.org or the FCC website at www.fcc.gov/lifeline-consumers. You may also contact Leah Sorini with Universal Service Administrative Co., the company that administers the Lifeline program, at 202-772-6274 or at LifelineProgram@usac.org.

Contact: Ford Carson, 804-371-9141