Lifeline Telephone Credit Program Offers Vital Communication Link

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By Jeff Abramo, associate state director of communications for AARP New Jersey

Recent weather events and their associated power outages have led to one undeniable conclusion in regards to phone service. It is absolutely imperative that people have it. And despite all of the remarkable technologies that we have at our disposal, when you absolutely need to have contact with those you care about, and who care about you, the only reliable form of communication is telephone service. And it is vital that this service is made affordable to everyone. It is for this reason that AARP continues to support the Lifeline Telephone Credit Program.

The Lifeline Telephone Credit Program provides a discount on the monthly landline and wireless telephone bills of those families who meet a predetermined set of eligibility requirements. These requirements are based on gross income, as well as In their participation in any one of a number of other assistance programs. These include supplemental security income (SSI), Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled (PAAD), the Food Stamp Program, and Medicaid, among many others.

In other words, those who qualify for this program are struggling financially, and this program offers them critical financial assistance for resources as fundamentally important as telephone service.

Many senior Lifeline users depend on the service for usage as fundamental as having access to 911 in case they fall ill, or similarly, in conjunction with medical alert functions. Without access to the Lifeline program, these individuals would no longer have access to these resources, resources which are life dependent for many.

If you depend on your phone in times of need, or if you know someone else that does, and you want to make sure that this life necessity continues to be available and affordable to those who are severely struggling in this economic climate in which we currently find ourselves embedded, please call Senator Frank Lautenberg on the Senate Appropriations Committee to remind him just how important the Lifeline Telephone Credit Program is to you, and to those you care about!


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