News From Our Blog

Lifeline Program Helps Provide Phone Service to Low-Income Families

The Lifeline program helps low-income households get telephone service by providing discounts up to $10.00 a month on one basic monthly phone service (landline or wireless).

Currently, more than 17 million households are subscribed to Lifeline. In order to enroll in Lifeline, potential subscribers must demonstrate their eligibility by showing proof of income or participation in a qualifying program.

The Lifeline program is paid for by the Universal Service Fund (USF). According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “All telecommunications service providers and certain other providers of telecommunications must contribute to the federal USF based on a percentage of their end-user telecommunications revenues. These companies include wireline telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers.”

Some consumers may notice a “Universal Service” line item on their telephone bills. This line item appears when a company chooses to recover its USF contributions directly from its customers by billing them this charge. The FCC does not require this charge to be passed on to customers. Each company makes a business decision about whether and how to assess charges to recover its Universal Service costs.

Learn more about the Lifeline program and see if you’re eligible.

How to Apply for VA Health Benefits

If you served in the active military, naval, or air service and were honorably discharged or released, you may qualify for VA health care benefits, including hospital services. Certain Reservists and National Guard Members may also qualify. Check your eligibility.

If you qualify, you can apply online or by phone, mail, or in-person. Learn more about all the ways you can apply.

Social Security Statements Now Available Online

You can now get your Social Security Statement online. The online option is the only way to receive your statement unless you are 60 or older or turning 25 this year.

The statement provides estimates of the retirement and disability benefits you or your family may receive, making it important to have when financial planning. You can also use it to make sure your earnings are being accurately posted to your Social Security record. Incorrect reporting could mean that you won’t receive the benefits you are entitled to.

The statement also provides:

  • A list of your lifetime earnings according to Social Security’s records
  • The estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid
  • Information about qualifying and signing up for Medicare
  • Things to consider for those age 55 and older who are thinking of retiring
  • The opportunity to apply online for retirement and disability benefits
  • A printable version of your Social Security statement

To get a personalized online statement you must be able to provide information about yourself that matches information already on file with Social Security. Some people may not be successfully verified through this process. If you have trouble with verification you can request that a paper Social Security Statement be mailed to you. You can also visit your local Social Security office and present an identity document in order to create an account and gain access to the online version.

View your Social Security statement online.

Asked by Anonymous

percent of americans on welfare

In 2011, an average of 1,626,833 families per month received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, commonly called welfare.

The TANF program assists families with children whose parents or responsible caregiver cannot provide for the family’s basic needs. TANF is administered by state, territorial, or tribal governments, not the federal government.

Learn more about TANF and how to apply for benefits.

Asked by Anonymous

What benefits do immigrants get ?

Immigrants in the United States are entitled to certain benefits through the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you are here on a temporary or permanent basis, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization, permanent status, or to work in the United States.

The USCIS can help you find the right forms, see an update on your case if you have applied for citizenship, find out how to bring family to the United States and much more. Their online resources are divided by topics to help you easily find what you are looking for depending on your current situation.

Find out more information at USCIS and what benefits you can get.