Lansing, MI - Urging income-eligible residents to sign up for discounts for home broadband and phone service, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Public Service Commission marked the beginning of Lifeline Awareness Week on Monday, September 12, 2022 to draw attention to programs helping keep Michiganders connected.
Lifeline is both a state and federal program that provides discounted voice or broadband service to veterans, seniors, and low-income Michiganders. This year, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, in partnership with the Federal Communications Commission and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, has designated Sept. 12-16 as Lifeline Awareness Week to raise awareness and increase participation in Lifeline to make home internet and phone service more affordable to income-qualified customers.
“I urge qualified Michiganders to reach out and take advantage of Lifeline to help defray the costs of vital services that keep us connected to our family and friends, work, school, and healthcare providers,” said Governor Whitmer, who issued a proclamation marking this as Lifeline Awareness Week in Michigan. “Lifeline helps keep money in people’s pockets, giving eligible seniors, veterans and low-income families more money for their other critical needs.”
Dozens of telecommunications carriers in Michigan offer Lifeline, and there are currently 101,911 Lifeline subscribers in the state, with many more eligible who have not subscribed to receive the benefit. Lifeline provides income-eligible people under age 65 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% of the federal poverty level or participate in one of these programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- 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.
In addition to Lifeline, the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) also is available for income-qualified households, providing a monthly discount on home internet service and other benefits. As of the beginning of September, 473,000 households in Michigan had enrolled in the ACP, but many more eligible households have yet to sign up.
According to the FCC, you’re likely eligible for the ACP if your household’s income is below 200% of the federal poverty line, or if you or someone you live with currently receives a government benefit like Lifeline, SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Pell Grant, or Free and Reduced-Price Lunch.
Eligible households for the ACP may receive:
- Up to a $30 per month discount on internet service — up to $75 per month discount if you live on qualifying Tribal lands.
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer, with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50.
- A low-cost service plan that may be fully covered through the ACP.
For more information, go to www.affordableconnectivity.gov.