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Customer Support: Consumer Information: Lifeline Programs

What is Lifeline?

Lifeline is a government supported benefit for qualifying low-income consumers. Qualifying consumers receive discounted voice telephone service.

Where is Lifeline Available?

Lifeline is a national program and is available throughout the United States. Cincinnati Bell Telephone offers landline Lifeline service throughout its traditional service area. (Click here for a map of Cincinnati Bell Telephone's traditional service area.) Cincinnati Bell does not offer landline Lifeline service outside this traditional service area.

What specific benefits are provided with Lifeline?

Lifeline benefits vary by state and by service provider. Cincinnati Bell Telephone subscribers who enroll in landline Lifeline receive the following benefits depending on the state where service is located.

Kentucky

  • Monthly discount of $12.75 on local telephone service (This discount is first applied to waive the federal end user charge.)
  • Free toll blocking services
  • Service deposit waiver for local and long distance services if customer has toll blocking

Ohio and Indiana

  • Monthly discount of $9.25 on local telephone service (This discount is first applied to waive the federal end user charge.)
  • Waiver of $25.70 charge to install local telephone service (Limited to once per year per customer at a specific address)
  • Free toll blocking services
  • Special payment arrangements for past due local telephone service charges from Cincinnati Bell Telephone - $25.00 initial payment with the balance due in six equal monthly installments
  • Service deposit waiver for local telephone service
Who is eligible for Lifeline?

Customers who participate in certain social service programs or whose annual household income is below a specific threshold are eligible for Lifeline. The qualifying programs and income levels vary by state. In Cincinnati Bell Telephone's service area, the eligibility standards are as follows;

Kentucky

Program Eligibility

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Medicaid
  • National School Lunch Programís free lunch program
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly Food Stamps
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

Income

Household income at or below 135% of the federal poverty level. For 2014, 135% of the federal poverty level is the following:

Family Size Annual Income Monthly Income
1 $15,755 $1,313
2 $21,236 $1,770
3 $26,717 $2,226
4 $32,198 $2,683
5 $37,679 $3,140
6 $43,160 $3,597
For each additional person, add $5,481 $457

Ohio and Indiana

Program Eligibility

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • General Assistance, including Disability Assistance
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP, LIHEAP, E-HEAP)
  • Medicaid/Medical Assistance under Chapter 5111
  • National School Lunch Programís free lunch program
  • Social Security Disability Insurance - blind or disabled (SSDI)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly Food Stamps
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)/Ohio Works

Income

Household income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. For 2014, 150% of the federal poverty level is the following:


Family Size Annual Income Monthly Income
1 $17,505 $1,459
2 $23.595 $1,966
3 $29,685 $2,474
4 $35,775 $2,981
5 $41,865 $3,489
6 $47,955 $3,996
For each additional person, add $6,090 $508


What restrictions apply to Lifeline?

Lifeline benefits are limited to one per household, including landline and cell phones and households are not permitted to receive Lifeline benefits from multiple providers. (Household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses.) Lifeline customers must certify that their household is not receiving multiple Lifeline services and this information must be verified in a national database before Lifeline is provided. Violation of the one per household limitation is a violation of FCC rules and will result in de-enrollment from the Lifeline program.

Lifeline is a non-transferable benefit. Lifeline service may not be transferred to any other person.

Lifeline customers may be required to recertify their eligibility at any time. Failure to recertify will result in de-enrollment from the Lifeline program.

Lifeline customers must notify Cincinnati Bell Telephone within 30 days if they move or their household is no longer eligible for Lifeline.

To establish Cincinnati Bell Telephone Lifeline service, a customer must have paid or made payment arrangements on any outstanding balance or final bill for local telephone services (and long distance services in Kentucky) provided by Cincinnati Bell Telephone, and no other member of the customerís household may owe money for such services previously provided at the customerís current address.

Enrollment in Lifeline is contingent upon eligibility verification. Completion of a Lifeline application does not guarantee enrollment in the Lifeline program.

Can Lifeline customers purchase optional features?

Yes. Lifeline customers may purchase any optional services at the standard prices for those services, subject to applicable credit requirements. Remember, Lifeline benefits are limited to one per household, so a household with landline Lifeline service may have standard wireless service but may not have wireless Lifeline service. Similarly, a household with wireless Lifeline service may not have landline Lifeline service nor may the household have any additional wireless phones that receive Lifeline benefits. Consumers with wireless Lifeline service may subscribe to any standard landline telephone service.

Can Lifeline customers purchase bundles?

Yes. Lifeline customers may purchase Cincinnati Bell Telephone bundles that include local landline telephone service, subject to applicable credit requirements. The balance of the monthly Lifeline discount, after waiver of the federal end user charge, will apply to the monthly bundle price.

Does Cincinnati Bell's Lifeline service provide unlimited local calling?

Yes. Cincinnati Bell Telephone Lifeline customers may place an unlimited number of local flat-rate calls and receive an unlimited number of calls with no additional charges. Lifeline customers making long distance calls must pay standard long distance charges.

Can both new and existing Cincinnati Bell Telephone customers purchase Lifeline?

Yes. New customers who are eligible for Lifeline may enroll in Lifeline when they establish service. Existing customers who are Lifeline eligible may convert to Lifeline at any time.

How do customers apply for Lifeline?

Eligible customers must complete and sign a Lifeline application form, attach documentation of Lifeline eligibility, and send the completed, signed form and documentation to Cincinnati Bell Telephone before Lifeline benefits can be provided. Information required to receive Lifeline includes the customerís full name (no initials), service address, birthday including year, and last four digits of the Social Security number. Applications that are incomplete, not signed, or do not attach supporting documentation of eligibility will be denied. All applications are subject to verification of the applicant's eligibility for Lifeline.

Note: An application for Lifeline is not an applications for new landline telephone service. Consumers wanting to establish new service must contact Cincinnati Bell to establish service and return the completed Lifeline application.

What information is required to document Lifeline eligibility?

Acceptable documentation of eligibility includes the following:

Program Eligibility: The most current yearís statement of benefits, notice or letter of participation, or program participation documents such as ID/benefit cards or a Section 8 lease, for you or a member of your household.

Income Eligibility: The most recent state or federal income tax return, income statement from an employer, W-2, three consecutive monthís pay stubs, Social Security statement of benefits, retirement/pension statement of benefits, unemployment/workmenís compensation statement of benefits, Veteranís Administration statement of benefits, or other legal document(s) showing current income, such as a divorce decree or child support document.

Do NOT send original documents. Cincinnati Bell will not retain the documentation and documentation will not be returned.

Where can I obtain a Cincinnati Bell Telephone Lifeline application?

A copy of the Cincinnati Bell Telephone Lifeline application can be downloaded from this website using the links below.

Ohio Application Agreement

Kentucky Application Agreement


Applications are also available by calling Cincinnati Bell Telephone at 513-565-LIFE (5433) and from select social service agencies/organizations.

Where should I return the application?

The completed application and documentation of eligibility may be mailed to:

  • Cincinnati Bell Assistance Programs
  • P.O. Box 778
  • Cincinnati, OH 45201

or faxed to:

  • 1-800-213-2193
Who do I call if I have questions regarding Lifeline?

Consumers with questions regarding Lifeline should contact a Cincinnati Bell Telephone Lifeline representative at 513-565-LIFE (5433) - Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM and Saturday 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM EST.

Note: Providing false or fraudulent information and/or certifications in order to receive Lifeline benefits is punishable by law. Lifeline is a federal benefit and willfully making false statements to obtain Lifeline benefits can result in fines, imprisonment, and/or de-enrollment/being barred from the Lifeline program.