Requirements for Universal Lifeline Telephone Service/California Lifeline
California Lifeline, formerly known as Universal Lifeline Telephone Service (ULTS), provides discounted basic residential (landline) telephone service to low-income households. You can now apply online at www.CaliforniaLifeline.com. You are strongly encouraged to watch for postcards or other notices reminding you that the ULTS contractor has not received your application. Even if you completed and mailed the form, mistakes can happen. Please make copies of what you have sent and log the dates. If you get a reminder notice after you sent the form in the right envelope and believe it should have been received, you will have no way to prove it if you do not follow up on any reminder notices. It is also recommended that all calls you make are logged and dated in case you are forced to appeal a denial letter.
|Flat-Rate Local Telephone Service||Unlimited local calls and same free access to directory assistance calls as provided to non-ULTS flat-rate residential customers.||Monthly recurring:
the lower of $5.47 to $6.84 or 1/2 of utility's residential flat-rate local telephone service.
|Measured Local Telephone Service||60 local calls per month; additional calls may be billed at different rates depending on the carrier.||Monthly recurring--lesser of the range between $2.91 to $3.66:
1/2 of utility's residential measured local telephone service ranging from
|Service Connecction and Service Conversion||For initiation of telephone service, or change of class/type/grade of service.||
For the rest of the discounts, go to http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/Public+Programs/lifelinedetails.htm#discounts
Two Steps to Enroll
1) If you think you meet the above qualifications, contact your telephone company and tell them you want to enroll in California LifeLine. If the telephone company can verbally qualify you, they will enroll you immediately.
2) Within two to three weeks California LifeLine will mail an enrollment form in a PINK envelope to you . In order to maintain your telephone discounts, you must complete the enrollment form, sign it, and return it to the California LifeLine certification agent along with any required income documentation by the due date. If you do not return the completed and signed form to the California LifeLine certification agent by the due date, you will be disqualified and removed from the program. In addition, your telephone company will bill you for any discounts you may have received.
You can qualify for California LifeLine if you or another person in your household is enrolled in any one of the following public-assistance programs:
|Medicaid/Medi-Cal||Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)|
|Supplemental Security Income (SSI)||Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8|
|Food Stamps||Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)|
|Healthy Families Category A||National School Lunch's FREE Lunch Program (NSL)|
|Tribal TANF||Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance|
|Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC)||Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)|
You can qualify for California LifeLine if your total household income is at or less than these incomes as of June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010 to meet inflation costs. Current annual income qualifications should apply until the end of 5/31/09: $22,900 for 1-2 members, $26,900 for 3 members, $32,400 for 4 m3mbers and $5,500 for each additional member.
NEW AS OF JUNE 1, 2009
ULTS Annual Income Limits
|Each additional member||$5,800|
California LifeLine Call Center if Company Cannot Answer Your Questions:
- Contact the LifeLine Call Center for general information about the California LifeLine program.
- The LifeLine Call Center can also help find telephone companies that offer California LifeLine and connect consumers to these California LifeLine approved telephone companies.
- The LifeLine Call Center's hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday. It is closed on federal holidays and weekends.
- If a consumer wants in-language help for a language not listed below, call the English toll-free number and ask for interpretation services.
- Call the applicable telephone number:
California LifeLine Administrator
- Contact the Administrator for certification and verification related questions and concerns.
- The Administrator's hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday. It is closed on state holidays and weekends.
- Call the applicable telephone number:
CPUC's Consumer Affairs Branch
For complaints or problems related to California LifeLine, contact the CPUC's Consumer Affairs Branch at 1-800-649-7570.
New LifeLine Procedures for General Order 153 Prevent Backbilling:
A new decision adopted a pre-qualification requirement for the program. Under this process, a new applicant for the program receives the discounted LifeLine rate for telephone service AFTER the Certifying Agent determines eligibility. The difference in this process and the old process is that new applicants will no longer be able to call the carrier and immediately be placed on LifeLine. The new process should prevent any backbilling by carriers if a new applicant is denied.
In order to qualify for California LifeLine based on household income, you will need to provide documents proving that your total household income is at or below the income maximum for your household size. Income documents include:
· Prior year's state, federal, or tribal tax return
· Income statements or paycheck stubs for three consecutive months within the calendar year
· Statement of benefits from Social Security, Veterans Administration, retirement/pension, unemployment compensation, and/or workmen's compensation
· Divorce decree
· Child support document
· Other official documents
Yearly Re-Certification Process
The California LifeLine program requires all existing California LifeLine customers to verify their eligibility on an annual basis. Each year, on your LifeLine anniversary date, the California LifeLine program will mail to you, in a PINK envelope, a LifeLine verification form. In order to continue receiving your LifeLine discount, you must complete and sign the form and return it to California LifeLine by the due date.
Funding Source & Administration:
California LifeLine is funded by an all-end-user surcharge billed and collected by telecommunications carriers which, in turn, remit the surcharge monies to a financial institution as directed by the Commission or its representatives. Procedures for the administration of ULTS are outlined in General Order (GO 153) at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/published/GENERAL_ORDER/40482.htm
- Public Purpose Telecommunications Programs: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/Public+Programs/
- Solix Website Demonstration Slides - April 16, 2008
- ULTS program related forms and notices for current and potential carriers
Forms, Apply Online, and Frequently Asked Questions
Samples of qualification forms, instructions for qualification forms, frequently asked questions, and online applications are available at: www.CaliforniaLifeline.com.