By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Mississippians struggling to make ends meet may qualify for help with their phone bill from the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
The Lifeline program, funded through the Universal Service Fund, offers qualifying residents a $9.25 discount each month on their phone bill.
Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley is on a tour this week to raise awareness during national Lifeline Awareness Week.
“Telephone service is a necessity in today’s world, to be able to contact not only emergency personnel, but stay connected to the world,” said Presley. “And we’re hoping to try to promote the Lifeline program to make it the most affordable as possible for customers and to make sure people who could be getting this discount know about it and take the steps to get qualified.”
Mississippi households can qualify for the program if the household income is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
An example would be a single-person household bringing in $15,080 yearly or a two-person household with an annual income of $20,426.
Households also can qualify if they are eligible for other assistance programs like the National Free Lunch Initiative of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Each year, Mississippians pay, through their phone companies, approximately $60 million into the Universal Service Fund and the state receives between $250 million and $280 million in assistance.
To find out more about the program or sign up, call (800) 356-6428 or visit www.psc.state.ms.us.
Presley said 200,000 Mississippians currently participate.
TO FIND OUT MORE about the program or sign up, call (800) 356-6428 or visit www.psc.state.ms.us.