California LifeLine Subsidy Program: Affordable Phone Services

The California LifeLine Subsidy Program is designed to make phone services more affordable for eligible households in California. It can help you save money on your home phone and cell phone bills, allowing you to stay connected without straining your budget.

Key Points to Know:

  • Discounted Services: The program offers discounts on either home phone or cell phone services, helping you choose what suits you best. For information on the types of discounts available go to California LifeLine Eligibility
  • Eligibility: If you’re part of specific public assistance programs or meet income criteria, you might be eligible for these discounts.
  • Who Can Benefit: The program is open to low-income families, veterans in need, people with disabilities, seniors, and local school students.
  • Fair Access: To ensure fairness, each household can get only one discounted phone service—this is to help as many people as possible.

Saving Money:

If you’re approved, you’ll enjoy reduced monthly phone bills, giving you more financial flexibility. Additionally, there’s a chance you could even get a discount on a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.

Stay Connected Easily:

The California LifeLine Subsidy Program aims to keep you connected without worrying about high costs. It’s about making communication accessible to everyone.

Am I Eligible?

If you answer YES to ANY of the following questions, you are eligible! 

1. Is your combined household income at or below the following limits? 

Household Size Combined Household Income
1-2 $32,500
3 $37,700
4 $45,900
For each additional person, add: $8,200

Effective June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024

2. Do you or anyone in your household participate in ANY of these assistance programs?

  • Medicaid/Medical
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing or Section 8
  • CalFresh, Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
  • National School Lunch Program (NSL)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)
    • Stanislaus County Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (StanWORKs)
    • Welfare-to-Work (WTW)
    • Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN)
  • Tribal TANF
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Federal Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit Program

For more information and to confirm your eligibility, please visit the California LifeLine official website.

Enrollment Process for California LifeLine Program

To enroll in the California LifeLine Program and start benefiting from its discounted services, follow these steps:

  1. Contact Phone Company: Begin the enrollment process by getting in touch with your chosen phone company. They will guide you through the eligibility verification and application process for the California LifeLine discounts or enhanced lifeline discounts.
  2. Eligibility Review: During the initial conversation, the phone company will review the eligibility rules with you. This step ensures that you meet the necessary criteria to qualify for the California LifeLine Program.
  3. Receive Application Form: Within approximately three weeks of the eligibility review, you will receive an application form. This form will be enclosed in a PINK envelope and will include a Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  4. Online or Paper Process:
    1. Online Process: You have the option to apply online at using the provided PIN. This is a convenient and efficient way to submit your application.
    2. Paper Process: Alternatively, you can complete, sign, and submit the application form by mail. This traditional method also requires the use of the PIN.
  5. Required Documentation: Regardless of the chosen application process (online or paper), you will need to provide documentation to demonstrate that you qualify for the telephone discounts. Prepare the necessary documentation in advance to streamline the application process.
  6. Application Review: After submitting your application, the California LifeLine Administrator will review your information and eligibility documents.
  7. Approval or Disqualification: Following the review, you will receive either an approval letter for your enrollment or a letter indicating disqualification. If you’re approved, you can look forward to benefiting from the California LifeLine discounts.

Important Information for New Applicants

Effective Date: Starting July 1, 2009, new applicants must receive approval before the California LifeLine discounts are applied. During the approval period, you will be billed at regular rates for basic home phone service until your application is approved. Up-Front Costs: To assist with upfront costs like service installation/connection fees and deposits, you can request an interest-free payment plan. This plan spreads out payments while you await approval. Reimbursement: After approval, you will be reimbursed for the difference between regular rates and discounted California LifeLine rates, covering applicable monthly service charges, fees, and deposits. Billing Credit: Your bill will show a credit retroactive to your service start date or enrollment request date, whichever is later. If your bill has a net credit balance of $10.00 or more, you can request a refund check. Remember, these steps ensure that you successfully enroll in the California LifeLine Program and take full advantage of its benefits. If you have questions or need further assistance, reach out to your chosen home phone company or visit the official California LifeLine website for more details.

Where can I get more information?

You can access more information on the program and the eligibility on California LifeLine Eligibility.

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