HUD and FCC to Co-Host Webinar on Lifeline Program

Regulation | June 25, 2020 | by Linda Couch

HUD and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will co-host, on Tuesday, July 7, from 3 – 4pm ET, a webinar on the FCC’s Lifeline program.

HUD and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will co-host, on Tuesday, July 7, from 3 – 4pm ET, a webinar on the FCC’s Lifeline program.

Lifeline is a federal program to help make communications services more affordable for low income consumers. The program lowers the cost of eligible low income consumers’ phone or internet bills by providing a monthly discount of up to $9.25, and up to $34.25 for residents on Tribal lands.

Lifeline is an FCC Universal Service Fund program that provides qualifying low-income consumers with monthly discounts on Internet or phone service (up to $9.25 or up to $34.25 for those residing on Tribal lands). Consumers qualify for Lifeline if: (1) they participate in certain federal benefits programs (such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), federal public housing, or the Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit); or (2) their household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. The Lifeline discount is limited to one benefit per household. Consumers in most states can apply using the National Verifier, the Lifeline application system, online or by mailing in a paper application to the Lifeline Support Center.

During the COVID-19 national emergency, advocates are asking the FCC to require Lifeline providers to offer unlimited voice minutes and unlimited texting and commensurate voice-only financial support, and create an emergency Lifeline broadband benefit. Dozens of Lifeline companies have expanded their Lifeline services during the pandemic, which the FCC has encouraged by not required them to do.

On the June 30 HUD-FCC webinar, there will be a short presentation and time for questions and answers. According to HUD, this webinar will provide an overview of the Lifeline program including the qualification requirements, application process, benefits to consumers, and ways to get assistance on the application process.

All attendees must register to attend the webinar.