Access to local emergency services and community resources is vital to South Carolinians. During “Lifeline Awareness Week,” September 14-18, 2020, the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) is sharing information on the Lifeline Program, which offers discounts to help low-income residents access voice or broadband services.
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, with support from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), have adopted the first full week after Labor Day as Lifeline Awareness Week. During the week of September 14-18, 2020, state utility commissions and consumer advocates will be calling attention to the availability of these programs to ensure that more eligible consumers understand that this assistance is available.
Lifeline helps low-income consumers connect to the nation’s communications networks, find jobs, access health care services, connect with family, and call for help in an emergency.
Under the federal Lifeline Program, low-income consumers who participate in certain public assistance and veterans’ pension programs, or qualify based on income, can receive a discount of up to $9.25 per month on their monthly bill for phone, broadband, or bundled phone and broadband service. Visit the Universal Service Administrative Company’s website for more information on program eligibility and rules.
To apply for benefits, consumers can apply online or request that an application be mailed to them. A digital version of the application can also be downloaded and returned via mail. Contact your local participating telecommunications provider for more information.
More information on the Lifeline program in South Carolina can be found on the ORS website.