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  1. Link-Up/Lifeline Telephone Savings Program

  2. Link-Up/Lifeline – What is it? • Link-Up – Provides a 50% reduction in telephone service hook-up charge, up to a maximum of $30 • Lifeline – provides at least $13.50* credit on qualified residential local monthly phone bills ($162 per year) * $10.00 from Federal Universal Service Fund with balance from the local telephone company

  3. Link-up/Lifeline – How to get it? Eligibility Criteria/Administering Agency: • Medicaid – DCF • Food Stamps - DCF • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) - DCF • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – Social Security Admin • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8) - HUD • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) - DCA • National School Lunch Free Lunch * - DOE • Income at or below 135% of Federal Poverty Level* - OPC *Only BellSouth, Sprint and Verizon

  4. Link-Up/Lifeline – What has been done? 2002 – to Present • In 2002 BellSouth Added Income Criteria – 125% of the Federal Poverty level • In 2003 Sprint & Verizon at OPC’s request adopted criteria 2 years early • Media Kick-off – Press Conference – AARP • Public service announcements • Connect Florida Campaign • Participation by industry, FPSC, state legislators, local officials, and AARP • Community Outreach & Education • State Agency Coordination • DCF Lifeline project • FPSC Report • OPC – Income based eligibility • FPSC translation of Lifeline brochures/applications • Spanish • Creole • Braille

  5. Link-Up/Lifeline – What has been done? 2002 – to Present • FPSC gains voluntary support of agencies, organizations, and businesses regarding outreach • Continued Media Events • Press conferences • Radio and Newspaper publications • Simplified Certification Form • Added National School Lunch Free Lunch Program • 2.6 M brochures to 66 of 67 School districts, including simplified form • Increased Income Criteria to 135% • FPSC produced CD that includes: • Lifeline brochures and applications in English, Spanish, Creole • OPC’s application in English and Spanish • Lifeline posters in English, Spanish, and Creole • The Annual Lifeline Report to the Governor and Legislators • Listing of Florida telephone companies providing Lifeline/Link-Up and contact numbers • Form to request additional copies of PSC publications • Frequently asked questions regarding Lifeline/Link-Up

  6. Lifeline/Link-UP – What are Short Term Plans? • Linking Solutions - Target Agency for Work Force Innovation • Goal – facilitate distribution of self certification forms at point of contact

  7. Link-Up/Lifeline – What are future plans? • Implement F.S. 364.10 (3)(b) & (h) • Work with Agencies to Distribute Lifeline Application Forms (364.10(3)(b)) • Pursue DOE Plan (per 364.10 (3) (h)) • Pilot Project - Target 10-15 Counties with largest student population to disseminate brochures/forms; do awareness events • Placement on agenda of School Superintendents and Food Directors Annual Meeting • Continue Grassroots Efforts

  8. Link-Up/Lifeline – What is needed from agencies? Simple and Effective Partnership: • Short Term–Distribute Forms at Point of Contact • Explore expansion to Agencies (initially DCF) collecting forms, sending to distribution point (FPSC?) • FPSC to sort and send to local company • Limited Trial – Companies to provide prepaid-stamped forms, end user send directly to local company • Long Term – Explore integrating Lifeline enrollment in any future Agency’s “One Stop” process • Agencies enroll clients at point of contact and send form electronically directly to local company

  9. Link-Up/Lifeline – What does agency need? • Distribution of Application Forms • Provide forms to regional offices • Industry Provided Training • Initial training and materials for agents • Ongoing training efforts • Provide Q&A for clients

  10. Link-Up/Lifeline - Questions