HAVING TROUBLE PAYING FOR PHONE OR INTERNET SERVICE? YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR THE TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE PLAN OR THE FEDERAL LIFELINE CREDIT.
Farmers Mutual Telephone and Federated Telephone Cooperative are authorized to provide one federally-funded and one state-funded telephone service discount programs that are designed to promote universal service by providing low-income individuals with new telephone service installations and monthly telephone or Internet service discounts.
The federal Lifeline discount may be used for either broadband or telephone service. TAP is only available for telephone service.
TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE PLAN (TAP) AND FEDERAL LIFELINE PROGRAMS
You may be eligible for assistance in paying your telephone bill if you receive benefits from certain low-income assistance programs. For more information or an application form, please contact our office or visit https://mn.gov/puc/telecommunications/telephone-discounts/. They will do the verification process with you over the phone and can provide you with an application.
Minnesota's Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP) offers a monthly credit of $7.00 on your landline telephone service plan. You may receive the TAP credit on one landline per household.
Effective December 1, 2020: The federal Lifeline Program offers a monthly discount of $9.25 on landline telephone service plans bundled with Internet speeds equal or greater than 20 mbps or Internet Only plans with speeds equal or greater than 20 mbps. Landline only service plans receive a monthly discount of $5.25. Lifeline also offers discounts on some wireless telephone service plans and some broadband internet service plans. You may receive the Lifeline discount on one service per household.
The federal Lifeline Program incorporates the broadband discount (not applicable to TAP).
The telephone or broadband service must be in your name. You must show proof that you or a member of your household participates in at least one of the following programs or is income eligible:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/EBT)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension or Survivors Benefit
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance and living on Tribal lands
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) and living on Tribal lands
- Tribally Administered Head Start (for those meeting income-qualifying standards) and living on Tribal lands
- Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF) and living on Tribal lands
If you do not participate in any of the programs listed above, you may qualify if your income is at or below 135% of the 2020 Federal Poverty Income Guidelines: (The federal poverty guidelines are typically updated at the end of January.)
Household Size = Income
- 1 $17,226
- 2 $23,274
- 3 $29,322
- 4 $35,370
- 5 $41,418
- 6 $47,466
- 7 $53,514
- 8 $59,562
- For each additional person, add $6,048