Help With Phone Bills

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A telephone can save your life in an emergency when you need to contact a hospital, ambulance, fire department, doctor, caregiver or family member.

***LIFELINE - SAVE $10.50 Per Month***

IF YOU QUALIFY FOR:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Food Stamps
  • Utility Assistance (LIHEAP)
  • HUD or Section 8 Housing Assistance

YOU CAN SAVE $10.50 ON YOUR MONTHLY PHONE SERVICE!

Under a program known as LIFELINE, your basic local phone bill can be reduced by as much as $10.50 every month. The Lifeline program is based on a federal law aimed at helping everyone afford local phone service.

You will qualify for LIFELINE if you are eligible for any of the programs listed above.

***LINK-UP AMERICA - SAVE UP TO $30 AT INSTALLATION***

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PHONE:
If you qualify for any of the programs listed above and cannot afford the cost of having local phone service installed, you can get help through a program known as LINK-UP AMERICA. Under this program, the phone company will waive (not charge you for) half the cost of installation, or $30, whichever is less. You will qualify for LINK-UP AMERICA if you qualify for Lifeline.

HOW TO APPLY

To Apply for LIFELINE or LINK-UP AMERICA, contact the Customer Service Department of your local phone company.

OTHER WAYS TO SAVE ON PHONE SERVICE

Many phone bills today include charges for extra services that you may not need or use. Your local phone bill may contain a detailed list of the extra services. If not, call your local phone company and have them review your account with you, telling you how much each extra service costs.

Here is a list of extra services that you may be paying for and not need.

  • Caller ID (an answering machine can screen calls)
  • Voice Mail (an answering machine can cost less over the long run)
  • Call Waiting
  • Call Forwarding
  • Call Return [*69]
  • Unlisted number (This costs extra, but a listing as D. Smith instead of Donna Smith is free.)
  • Call blocking

If you are paying extra for any of these services, you may want to think about giving them up if saving money on your phone bill is important. If you have questions about your local service or want to make changes, contact your local phone company.

For legal advice, call your local lawyer referral service or, if you are a low-income person, contact your local Legal Services office.



Reviewed August 2009