Kansans get new lifeline connecting to vital services

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:51 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A new lifeline is connecting low-income Kansans to vital services.

The Kansas Corporation Commission says phone and internet services are vital for online learning, applying for jobs, accessing healthcare and calling for help in an emergency. It said the Lifeline program offers discounts to help eligible low income and unemployed Kansans connect to those services. It said over 10 million Americans, including 35,000 Kansans, are presently enrolled in the program.

The KCC said as part of National Lifeline Awareness Week, Sept. 14-18, it wants to make Kansans aware of the valuable resource. It said depending on the services provided and providers, residents may be eligible to get up to $17.02 in monthly federal and state discounts. It said subscribers living on tribal lands qualify for additional discounts.

According to the KCC, a new National Verifier program is helping speed up the approval process for applicants enrolled in assistance programs by quickly confirming Lifeline eligibility. It said residents enrolled in any of the following programs may be eligible for the Lifeline program:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FHPA)
  • Veterans Pension & Survivors Pension Benefit
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Head Start Tribal Programs (only those meeting its income qualifying standard)
  • Food Distribution Program on Tribal Lands

The KCC said those at 135% of the federal poverty level also qualify with income documentation.

According to the KCC, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement of three months of income documentation has been waived until Nov. 30, 2020, to allow those that were recently unemployed to apply for the program by submitting an official document, including notice of unemployment benefits, to confirm their income-based eligibility.

For more information on Lifeline eligibility, click here.

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