Lifeline

Citizens offers the Lifeline discount provided in accordance with the FCC’s Universal Service Fund. Lifeline provides one monthly discount of $9.25 per household on broadband or telephone service to eligible customers.

The Lifeline benefit can lower the cost of your monthly internet or phone bill. Only one benefit is available per household; either phone service (home or wireless) or internet (home or mobile), but not both.

If you or someone in your household participates in one of the following federal programs or meets one of the criteria listed, you may be eligible for the Lifeline discount. Please contact Citizens at 540.745.2111 or visit https://citizens.coop/lifeline / to print one a Lifeline Questionnaire. Documentation may be required for confirmation of eligibility.

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps;
  • Medicaid;
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8;
  • Federal Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
  • Household Income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

How much can I save on my monthly bill?

Qualifying applicants will save $9.25 on your broadband or basic monthly telephone bill; if you do not have internet service. This benefit applies to 10Mbps or higher internet service or local telephone service charges purchased as a flat rate service. The Lifeline discount does not apply to Long Distance Toll Calls or Expanded Local calls. Only one discount per household. your local telephone service charges that you purchase as a flat rate service. These benefits will also cover your subscriber line charge.

How do I know if I am eligible?

To be eligible, a subscriber must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Low Income Program or participate in one of the following assistance programs or be Income Eligible: Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),  Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8; Federal Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit.

As of December 2, 2016, subscribers can no longer use the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or the NSLP free lunch program to prove eligibility for Lifeline.

Based on the income-related eligibility criteria, you may qualify for this program. This means you may receive a monthly credit for your broadband or voice telephone service. This Lifeline service also includes toll blocking on phone service to qualifying customers without charge.

How do I apply for the discount?

Complete the Lifeline Questionnaire and Worksheet in the link below and return it to Citizens with proof of eligibility as described in the Questionnaire.

Lifeline Form

Are there any restrictions?

The program is limited to one benefit per household; either phone service (home or wireless) or internet (home or mobile), but not both.

What information do I need to provide to receive Lifeline benefits?

You will be asked to provide proof of your eligibility by providing a form signed under penalty of perjury that you receive benefits from or a copy of any dated document which verifies your participation in one of the qualifying programs listed above. Documentation can be obtained through your social worker or from the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). Proof of total household income may be required for income-based qualification. Your Lifeline benefits will take effect when proof of eligibility is received.

How do I apply?

Certification forms may be obtained from the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. Those claiming to qualify based on income must present acceptable documentation of the household income. Acceptable documentation includes: the prior year’s tax return, current income statement from an employer or paycheck stub, a Social Security statement of benefits, a Veterans Administration statement of benefits, a retirement/pension statement of benefits, an Unemployment/Workmen’s Compensation statement of benefits, federal or tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance, a divorce decree, child support, or other official document. The program is limited to one benefit per household, consisting of either broadband or telephone service. Consumers who willfully make false statements in order to obtain program benefits can be punished with a fine or imprisonment or barred from the program.

How do I continue to receive Lifeline benefits?

Eligibility is reviewed annually. Your benefits will be discontinued when you no longer meet the eligibility requirements according to the DHHR or when proof of eligibility is not received.

For more information visit  http://www.lifelinesupport.org/ls/ or call your local Citizens office at 540.745.2111.