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California LifeLine

California LifeLine provides discounted basic telephone (landline) services to eligible California households.

Types of Discounts Available

Discounted residential telephone services available to California LifeLine customers include the following:

Service

Description

Rate

Flat-Rate Local Telephone Service   Unlimited local calls  The lesser of range $5.47 to $6.84 or 1/2 of the carrier’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 The lesser of range $2.91 to $3.66 or 1/2 of carrier’s residential measured rate for local phone service. 
Phone Service for Consumers Living on Tribal Lands

Bigger discounts on local phone service for qualified consumers living on tribal lands

For more information, visit:

http://www.fcc.gov/indians/financialassistance.html and

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/tribalfactsheet.html

Local phone service for $1.00 per month.
Service Connection Initiation of telephone service The lesser of $10 or 1/2 of carrier’s connection charge for residential phone service.
Service Conversion

Change of class, type or grade within California LifeLine phone service

OR

Change from regular local phone service to California LifeLine phone service

The lesser of $10 or 1/2 of carrier’s conversion charge for residential phone service.

There will be no charge to switch from California LifeLine phone service to regular local phone service.
Deposit Deposit is waived for local phone service only.  Carriers may charge deposits for other types of services like long distance, caller ID, internet service, etc. $0 for local phone service

Toll-blocking or

Toll-restriction

Toll-blocking prevents long distance calling.

Toll-restriction limits long distance calling.
$0
Disability Accommodation California LifeLine discounts may apply to a second phone line to accommodate TTY service for any hearing impaired household members. See the rates for either flat-rate or measured-rate local phone service listed above.

 

Is California LifeLine Right For You?  

1) Program-Based: 

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
  • CalFresh, Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
  • National School Lunch Program (NSL)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • 1.  California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)
    • 2.  Stanislaus County Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (StanWORKs)
    • 3.  Welfare-to-Work (WTW)
    • 4.  Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN)  
  • Tribal TANF
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

2) Income-Based

You can qualify for California LifeLine if your household's total annual gross income is at or less than these annual income limits: 

                                                            

                                                          Effective from June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014

               

Household Size

Annual Income Limits

1-2 members

$25,100

          3             $29,300
          4             $35,400
Each additional member   Add $6,100

                                                           Effective from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015

Household Size

Annual Income Limits

1-2 members

$25,500

          3             $29,700
          4             $35,900
Each additional member    Add $6,200

 

Documentation is required to show your household income meets the annual income limits if you are qualifying by Income-Based. Acceptable proof:

  • Front page only of prior year’s state (540, 540A, 540 2EZ, 540NR, or 540X), federal (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040SS, or 1040X), or tribal tax return,
  • Income statements or paycheck stubs for 3 consecutive months within the past 12 months,
  • Statement of benefits from Social Security, Veterans Administration, retirement/pension, Unemployment Compensation, and/or Workmen’s Compensation,
  • Alimony and/or child support documents, and/or
  • Other official documents.

Application Process

flowchart of application process

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR NEW APPLICANTS

Beginning July 1, 2009, new applicants for the California LifeLine Program must be approved before the California LifeLine discounts are received. If you apply to be in California LifeLine, you will pay the regular rates for basic home phone service until your application is approved. Please be sure to ask the telephone company what they are so you will be aware of these rates and fees.

To help you pay the up-front costs of establishing your home phone service like the service installation/connection fee, service conversion fee, and deposits, you can request to be on an interest-free payment plan. This will spread out your payments in more manageable amounts while you wait for your eligibility to be approved for California LifeLine. Payment plans can vary between the different home phone companies.

After being approved by the California LifeLine Administrator you will be refunded the difference between the regular rates and the California LifeLine discounted rates for any applicable monthly service charges, service installation/connection fee, service conversion fee, and deposits for basic home phone service.

You will receive a bill credit with the California LifeLine discounts retroactive to the date your service began or the date you requested to be enrolled, whichever is later. If your bill has a net credit balance of $10.00 or more, you may request a refund check from your home phone company. Otherwise, the refund will just be a credit on your account.

 

Annual Renewal Process

(For current California LifeLine participants only.)

flowchart of application renewal process

California LifeLine requires all existing California LifeLine customers to renew their participation on an annual basis. Each year, on the consumer’s anniversary date, current participants will receive a California LifeLine renewal form with a PIN number in a PINK envelope.  

Consumers can simply go online to renew her/his participation at www.californialifeline.com. If a consumer does not renew their participation in California LifeLine, then they will be dropped from the program and lose his/her California LifeLine discounts. Regular home phone rates for basic service will then be charged. 

  

ACCEPTABLE INCOME DOCUMENTATION

  • Front page only of prior year’s state (540, 540A, 540 2EZ, 540NR, or 540X), federal (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040SS, or 1040X), or tribal tax return,
  • Income statements or paycheck stubs for 3 consecutive months within the past 12 months,
  • Statement of benefits from Social Security, Veterans Administration, retirement/pension, Unemployment Compensation, and/or Workmen’s Compensation,
  • Alimony and/or child support documents, and/or
  • Other official documents.

IMPORTANT TO MEET DUE DATES

Whether a consumer applies online OR fills out and mails the signed and completed form, he/she must respond by the due date. Consumers can find the due date on the application and renewal forms.

  • If the consumer submits an incomplete application or renewal form, the consumer will receive a new form.
  • If the consumer lost their PIN, they can call the California LifeLine Administrator to retrieve it.
  • If the consumer needs new forms, they can call the California LifeLine Administrator for a replacement.     

POSSIBLE REASONS FOR DISQUALIFICATION

  • The consumer does not return the form or register online by the due date.
  • The form is incomplete.
  • The consumer is found to be ineligible for California Lifeline.
  • The form is incorrect (and is not considered correctible).
  • The consumer did not provide the appropriate documents to prove eligibility.
  • The person signing up was claimed on someone else’s income tax return as a dependent.
  • The consumer was already receiving the California LifeLine discount, and was not eligible for a second phone line with the California LifeLine discount.
  • The form did not have the consumer’s signature.

POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF DISQUALIFICATION

  • Not receiving the discounts.
  • Paying regular rates for basic home phone service.
  • The consumer may be required to pay a service deposit.
  • Interest may be charged.
  • The consumer can still reapply and go through the application process again. The process will start over, and the consumer will have to pay a service conversion fee.
  • The consumer can also appeal a denial or disqualification by calling the CPUC’s Consumer Affairs Branch at 1-800-649-7570.

 

  

Last Modified: 6/30/2014


 
 
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