Lifeline Missouri, a telephone assistance program overseen by the Missouri Public Service Commission, helped 227,000 Missourians in 2012.
Lifeline Missouri is a discounted telephone plan for those who meet the criteria for the Low-Income Discount Plan or the Disabled Discount Plan. Lifeline Missouri allows for discounts but does not cover the cost of phones or all services offered by the phone company. Some service providers will allow for free plans with certain restrictions. Additional services like call waiting, Caller ID and text messaging are not discounted. Each service provider has forms to enroll in the program.
There are numerous cell phone and landline providers in the state who are a part of the program.
The program was established in 1985 during the Regan administration. Until 2008 it only covered landlines. After Hurricane Katrina, President George W. Bush extended it to include cell phones. The federally run Universal Service Program
was established because telephones are viewed as being a necessity and not a luxury. Without a telephone low-income residents may not have access to emergency services when needed, will find it difficult to look for jobs, and stay in contact with family and others outside their homes.
Posted: August 30, 2013