Alliance Communications is required to notify all residential customers about low-income assistance programs for telephone service.
What types of discounts are available?
- The Lifeline program and Minnesota Telephone Assistance Plan offer support to qualified low-income residential consumers. The federal Lifeline and Minnesota Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP) programs provide monthly telephone service discounts on one telephone line or wireless telephone per household to eligible low-income consumers to help them establish and maintain telephone service by lowering the cost of basic, monthly local telephone service. The federal Lifeline monthly discount is typically between $8 and $10.
- The Minnesota Telephone Assistance Plan provides an additional $2.50 monthly discount on local telephone service. In addition, the Federal Universal Service Charge is not assessed to consumers participating in Lifeline.
- Long distance blocking (either toll limitation or toll blocking) is available to eligible Lifeline consumers at no cost. Consumers who are eligible for Minnesota Telephone Discounts for landline service do not have to pay a deposit if they agree to block long distance service.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
Consumers are eligible for Lifeline if they, one of their dependents or their household participate in one of the following qualifying assistance programs:
- Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps)
- Medicaid/Medical Assistance
- National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Lifeline applicants must present documentation demonstrating eligibility either through participation in one of the qualifying federal assistance programs or through income-based means. Acceptable documentation of program-based eligibility includes: current or prior year’s statement of benefits from a qualifying state, federal or Tribal program; notice letter of participation in a qualifying state, federal or Tribal program; program participation documents; or another official document evidencing the consumer’s participation in a qualifying state, federal or Tribal program.
Can I qualify based only on my income?
Yes. Consumers are eligible for Lifeline if their household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. Below are the guidelines for 2015:
- 1 person: $15,890
- 2 people: $21,506
- 3 people: $27,122
- 4 people: $32,738
- 5 people: $38,354
- 6 people: $43,970
- 7 people: $49,586
- 8 people: $55,202
- For each additional person, add $5,616
Acceptable documentation of income eligibility includes prior year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return; current income statement from an employer or paycheck stub; social security statement of benefits; Veterans Administration statement of benefits; retirement/pension statement of benefits; unemployment/workmen’s compensation statement of benefits; federal or Tribal notice of letter participating in General Assistance; or a divorce decree or child support award or other official document containing income information.
What services do I receive through the Lifeline program?
Lifeline service includes unlimited local minutes within the toll-free calling area. Lifeline does not include any long distance minutes. Long distance minutes are billed at the standard rate depending on which interexchange carrier the consumer subscribes to for long distance service. As part of the Lifeline service, Toll blocking is available to eligible consumers at no cost.
Subscribers may receive the Lifeline credit on telephone service offered in a bundle. Advertised rates do not include any applicable taxes or surcharges.
Will I need to recertify my Lifeline eligibility every year?
Lifeline recipients are required to recertify their eligibility annually. Failure to properly recertify a recipient’s continued eligibility for the Lifeline program will result in termination of the Lifeline recipient’s monthly Lifeline discount and de-enrollment from the Lifeline Program.
Are there any other restrictions in the Lifeline Program?
The Lifeline program is limited to one benefit per household, consisting of either wireline or wireless service. A household is defined, for purposes of the Lifeline program, as an individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses. Lifeline is a government benefit program, and consumers who willfully make false statements in order to obtain the benefit can be punished by fine or imprisonment or can be barred from the program.
Where can I find an application?
Click here for the application. Fill it out completely, provide proof of your eligibility, and return it to Alliance Communications, PO Box 349, Garretson, SD 57030.
For more information, dial 611 from any phone with Alliance service or call 605-594-3411.