Lifeline Telephone Service Credit

older woman on phone

The Lifeline Telephone Service Credit offers eligible Vermonters a discount of at least $9.25 on their monthly phone bills.

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible if you:

  1. Live in Vermont; 
  2. Get phone service through a participating company (see list below); and
  3. Qualify in one of the following ways:
    1. Based on Household Income:
      1. You are 65 or older on June 15, 2015 and your 2014 household income was less than $27,528; or
      2. You are under 65 on June 15, 2015 and your 2014 household income was less than $23,596.
         
    2. Based on Public Benefits:

      You get any of the benefits listed below:

      • 3SquaresVT
      • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
      • Fuel Assistance
      • Medicaid
      • National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program
      • Reach Up
      • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Who is part of my household?

Your household includes all adults who live with you and contribute to and share in the household income and expenses. This includes people not related to you. Only one Lifeline discount is allowed per household.


Do all phone companies participate?

No. Only some companies offer the Lifeline discount. Below is a list of the ones that currently participate:

  • FairPoint Communications;
  • Franklin Telephone Co., Inc.;
  • OTT Communications (Shoreham);
  • TDS Telecom (Ludlow, Northfield, Perkinsville & Proctorville);
  • Topsham Telephone;
  • Vermont Telephone (VTel); and
  • Waitsfield / Champlain Valley Telecom.

If your phone company is not listed, call them to ask whether they offer any similar discount to their customers.


How do I Apply? 

  1. Complete the Application for Lifeline Telephone Service Credit.
  2. Sign and date the application.
  3.  Mail your application as follows:
    • If you are applying based on income:
      Mail your completed application to the address below on or before June 15th of each year.
    • If you are applying based on benefits:
      Mail your application to the address below at any time.
       
  4. We will process your application.
  5. If we determine that you are eligible, we will notify your phone company.
  6. The phone company will apply the Lifeline discount to your phone bill. If this is your first time applying, it may take up to three months for the discount to begin.
Mail your completed & signed application to: 
The Lifeline Program - ADPC
103 S. Main Street,
Waterbury VT  05671-1500

Is there anything else I should know?

  • Make sure the information on your application matches the information on your phone bill (e.g., phone number & name of account holder). If it’s convenient, enclose a copy of your phone bill.
  • Don’t send originals; they won’t be returned.
  • If you don’t fully complete  & sign the application, Lifeline benefits may be denied or delayed.
  • Applications should not be sent to the Tax Department.
  • You must apply every year to keep getting the discount.

Where can I get more information?

  • To request a paper application form and get help applying, call our Benefits Service Center at 1-800-479-6151.
  • If you are age 60 or older and need help applying, call the Vermont Senior Helpline at 1-800-642-5119.