Eligibility for Lifeline telephone discount program in Michigan now includes Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefits Program participants

January 20, 2017

Contact: Judy Palnau, 517-284-8300
Agency: Michigan Public Service Commission

LANSING, Mich. –

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today said eligibility for the Lifeline telephone discount program has been expanded to include participants in the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefits Program.

“The Lifeline telephone discount program is now available to more people in Michigan than ever before,” said MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg. “Lifeline makes basic local telephone or broadband service more affordable on a monthly basis for income-eligible families throughout Michigan. Qualified participants receive a monthly discount for telephone or broadband service.”

“The Lifeline system offers an affordable way for veterans on a pension to stay connected to vital life services, “said James Robert Redford, director of Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. “ We applaud the efforts to make these services available to participants in the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefits Program.”

Lifeline discounts range from $9.25 per month for those under age 65 to $12.35 per month for those age 65 or older (for telephone service only). Customers, depending on eligibility and service criteria, may apply the Lifeline discount toward Lifeline broadband services instead of Lifeline voice service.

The Lifeline program was expanded to include participants in the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefits Program as part of a decision made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in late 2016. The FCC’s Lifeline & Link Up Reform Order also gave Michigan until Dec. 31 to standardize and streamline eligibility criteria for the Lifeline program.

To apply for the Lifeline program, contact your local landline telephone company, wireless provider or broadband provider. Some wireless companies may provide free phones and free service for low-income customers. Contact your wireless phone company for details.

More details about the Lifeline program are included in the MPSC’s Lifeline consumer tips sheet.

For more information about the MPSC, please visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc or sign up for one of its listservs to keep up to date on MPSC matters.