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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.

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Social Security Offices Will Close Early

Beginning on August 15, Social Security offices will close 30 minutes early each day. For example, an office that is usually open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will now close at 3:30 p.m.

You do not need to visit an office to complete most Social Security services. Apply for benefits, sign up for direct deposit, replace a Medicare card, obtain a proof of income letter, or change your address or telephone number at www.socialsecurity.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).