Low-income consumers in CenturyLink's Oklahoma service areas may qualify for assistance programs

Low-income consumers in Oklahoma may qualify for assistance programs that will reduce the cost of initial telephone installation and basic monthly service, according to a recent announcement from CenturyLink. The company is spreading the word about the programs so consumers who potentially qualify for the services may apply for them. 

The assistance programs, known as Link-Up and Lifeline, are available to qualifying consumers in every U.S. state (territory and commonwealth). Link-Up helps consumers pay the initial installation costs of getting telephone service. The amount of the discounts varies by state and reduces up to one-half of the initial hook-up fee, up to $30, for qualified households. Lifeline provides certain discounts each month on phone bills for qualified subscribers.

Qualifications for participation also vary by state. States with their own programs have their own criteria. In states that rely solely on the federal program, the subscriber must participate in any one of the following programs: Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Head Start, the National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or if the household annual gross income is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty level.

Residents of American Indian and Alaskan Native tribal lands may qualify for an additional $25 of enhanced Lifeline support monthly and up to $70 of expanded Link-Up support beyond current levels. An individual living on tribal lands may also qualify for Lifeline and Link-Up discounts if he or she participates in one of the above programs or the Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance or Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

To find out more about the Lifeline and Link-Up programs, log on to the www.lifeline.gov site. Individuals living in a CenturyLink service area should call 800-366-8201 or visit www.centurylink.com/lifeline to inquire about eligibility.

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