Bridge to Benefits - SD - Telephone Service Discounts
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Telephone Service Discounts 

Lifeline helps consumers who already have telephone service save a significant amount of money on their monthly phone bill. The discount applies to basic local telephone service on one line per household.

Link-Up pays one-half, up to a maximum of $30, of the installation or activation fee for new telephone service at the applicant’s primary residence. Link-Up also allows you to pay the remaining amount owed on installation or activation on a deferred schedule, interest-free.

Both programs have eligibility requirements. You may qualify if you participate in any of the following programs:

  • Medicaid (example, Title XIX/Medical State Supplemental Assistance)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • National School Lunch Free Lunch Program
  • Or, if your household income is no more than 135 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines (see table below).

2009 Federal Poverty Income Guidelines

Number in Residence 135% Guideline (Annual) 135% Guideline (Monthly)   Number in Residence 135% Guideline (Annual) 135% Guideline (Monthly)
1 $14,621 $1,218   5 $34,817 $2,901
2 $19,670 $1,639   6 $39,866 $3,322
3 $24,719 $2,060   7 $44,915 $3,743
4 $29,768 $2,481   8 $49,964 $4,164
For each additional person after 8, add $5,049 to the annual guideline or $421 to the monthly guideline.
To apply for Lifeline or Link-Up, complete this form (print off and fill out) and return it to your local telephone company. A company representative will contact you to verify your eligibility and complete the application process.
Important Information
  • If you qualify based on participation in a federal aid program, the phone must be in the name of the person who receives those benefits in order to be part of Lifeline or Link-Up. If you qualify based on the National School Lunch Free Lunch Program, the phone can be in the name of an adult.
  • Lifeline is available on only one line per household.
  • Lifeline and Link-Up discounts cannot be applied to past due telephone bills.
  • Once you are on Lifeline, you will be periodically asked to verify that you remain eligible. If you do not respond, the phone company is required to stop the discounts.
  • It can take up to two months for the discounts to show up on your bill as a credit. You must pay the bill until that time.
  • Link-Up will not cover the cost of a phone or wiring your home.
  • You must notify the telephone company when you no longer qualify for the program.