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Lifeline Phone Program Overview

The Lifeline program is a discounted telephone service available to qualifying low-income customers.

Lifeline is provided through select local telephone companies sponsored by the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and operated in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Lifeline phone service offers:

  • Monthly discounts on a phone line with unlimited local calling
  • Waived service deposit for the telephone line if you voluntarily elect to receive free toll blocking and/or toll restriction
  • Waived fees for the End User Common Line (EUCL) charge

Lifeline provides local telephone service for $9.27 per month, a monthly savings of $16.13 which includes a waiver of the FCC Access Charge.

How to Get Lifeline

You will need to submit a completed Lifeline Telephone Application and provide proof of your eligibility for the program. Your application and supporting documentation will be reviewed. Upon approval:

  • If you are a current Cox Telephone customer, discounts will begin to apply to your Cox telephone bill.
  • If you do not have Cox Telephone service, sign up for new service in the name of the Lifeline applicant by  visiting a Cox Solution Store or order online or by phone. After you have placed your order, mail or fax your approval application and documentation.

Lifeline program participation is evaluated yearly. You will need to re-apply each year in order to continue receiving this service.

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Find Out if You Qualify

Qualification for Lifeline requires that your primary residence be within the program's state and that you either have gross annual income at or below the program's established income thresholds or participate in the following public assistance programs:

  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Food Stamps / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • National School Lunch Plan (free lunch program only)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Alternatively you may qualify if your household gross annual income does not exceed the values in the following table.

Household Size Maximum Annual Income
1 person $15,889
2 $21,505
3 $27,121
4 $32,737
5 $38,353
6 $43,969
7 $49,585
8 $55,201
For each additional person over 8, add: $5,616

The income guidelines are based on 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. New guidelines are published each January by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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How to Apply

Print and fill out completely the application form.
Lifeline Telephone Application (PDF) – in English
Lifeline Telephone Application (PDF) – in Spanish 

You will need to:

  • answer all questions
  • sign the form
  • initial the Lifeline accountability database disclosure and consent section
  • provide your date of birth and social security number
  • provide the requested proof of eligibility

Upon completion, mail or fax the application and supporting documentation to:

Lifeline Services
PO Box 620
Charleston, IL 61920-9905

FAX: 1-855-981-5433

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