Telephone program can be lifesaver

Posted9/11/2019 1:00 AM

This week is Lifeline Awareness Week, and, as chairman of the nonprofit board which helps to administer Lifeline in Illinois, I want to share some information about the program. Imagine going without a phone, unable to contact emergency services, family, employers and others we all rely on. For too many, this is a daily reality but the Lifeline program can help.

Lifeline is a federally funded program that partially subsidizes the cost of one telephone per household, either a cellphone or a landline phone. This year, there are also exciting changes to the program that mean more providers are offering internet instead of or alongside voice telephone services.


Participants in Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits programs or someone making 135% or less of federal poverty guidelines are eligible. If you believe you may be eligible, contact your landline provider or a participating phone company. Links to information about participating companies are available on our website,

In Illinois, a program funded entirely through voluntary donations also subsidizes the cost of phone, and now internet, installation for Lifeline participants.

We all rely on telephone or internet services. No one needs to go without this vital lifeline because of cost. You can learn more about the program at our website.

Allen Cherry

Des Plaines

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