Gov. Whitmer, MPSC salute Lifeline Awareness Week as pandemic highlights how phone and broadband are crucial to everyday life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   September 14, 2020

Media Contact: Matt Helms 517-284-8300
Customer Assistance: 800-292-9555
Michigan.gov/MPSC
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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Public Service Commission are urging eligible Michiganders to take advantage of the Lifeline telephone and broadband discount program as part of Lifeline Awareness Week.

Lifeline provides discounted voice or broadband service to veterans, seniors and low-income Michiganders, and Gov. Whitmer issued a proclamation officially designating Sept. 14-18 as Lifeline Awareness Week in Michigan, part of a nationwide effort to draw attention to the discounts. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how vital phone and broadband are to everyday life, yet both services can be out of reach for people of limited means.

“As we’ve all come to understand even more during this pandemic, having phone and broadband service is critical to ensure Michiganders have access to jobs, education, health care, and their friends and family,” Gov Whitmer said. “The Lifeline program helps low-income Michiganders stay connected in an affordable way.”

Dozens of telecommunications carriers in Michigan offer Lifeline, a federal-state program. Through Lifeline, income-eligible people under age 65 get a minimum monthly discount on their bill of $8.25. Those 65 and older receive a discount of $12.35.

To qualify for the state program, a Michigan customer must have an income that is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty level or participate in one of these programs:

  • Medicaid.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8).
  • Tribal Eligibility Programs (and living on federally recognized Tribal lands).
  • Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension Program.

According to the Universal Service Administrative Co., there were on Average 247,240 Lifeline subscribers in Michigan in 2019.

For more information about Lifeline, see the MPSC’s Federal Lifeline or Michigan Lifeline consumer tip sheets or contact the MPSC at 800-292-9555. Check this list of participating companies to see if your local landline telephone company, wireless provider, or broadband provider participates in the Lifeline program.

Read Gov. Whitmer’s Lifeline Awareness Week proclamation here.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.Michigan.gov/MPSC, sign up for one of its listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter.

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