54°F
weather icon Mostly Clear

COVID-19 could make more eligible for Lifeline

Updated June 18, 2020 - 11:56 am

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s unprecedented impact on the economy and Nevada consumers, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, Federal Communications Commission and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners are partnering to increase awareness of the federal Lifeline program, which helps eligible low-income consumers access affordable broadband and phone services.

A consequence of the pandemic is many consumers eligible for Lifeline for the first time because of financial hardships such as unemployment might be unaware of the program or how to apply for benefits. The FCC recently granted temporary relief to newly unemployed consumers. Specifically, the FCC has eased documentation requirements for those seeking to qualify for Lifeline based on income.

During the current crisis, it is critical that Nevadans have the connectivity they need to stay in touch with family, telecommute, search for jobs, participate in remote learning and telehealth and maintain the social distancing necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Lifeline is a Universal Service Fund program that provides qualifying low-income consumers with monthly discounts on Internet or phone service. Consumers can receive up to $9.25 in federal Lifeline benefits and an additional $3.50 from the Nevada Lifeline fund, for a combined benefit of $12.75 for nontribal consumers. Certain eligible tribal consumers can receive up to $34.25 in federal Lifeline discounts.

Nontribal consumers qualify for Lifeline if they participate in certain, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Federal Public Housing or the Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit; or their household income is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

Until August 31, 2020, consumers may be eligible to use a submitted application for unemployment benefits to assist in demonstrating eligibility. The Lifeline discount is limited to one benefit per household. More information on program eligibility and how to apply directly through the National Eligibility Verifier, including links to a list of Lifeline providers in Nevada, is available at www.lifelinesupport.org.

Downloadable materials about the Lifeline program are available on the “Community Outreach” page, including “How to Apply” fact sheets in English and Spanish as well as for tribal consumers. For additional Lifeline application support, consumers may contact their provider of telephone or internet service, including wireless providers.

Lifeline is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, and information on the National Eligibility Verifier, along with other resources, is available at usac.org/lifeline under COVID-19.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
A heartwarming Winter Bed Build

The Nye County Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace hosted its very first Winter Community Bed Build last month and group members were not disappointed by the results.

GridLiance proposes transmission line upgrades

GridLiance is planning some major upgrades for its local transmission system and while these could certainly help support solar expansion, company officials stressed that the two proposed projects are in no way dependent upon such development.

NCSO: Two-vehicle collision claims life of Pahrump child

A Pahrump family is mourning the death of a child killed in a two-vehicle collision early Friday evening, Feb. 23. The crash occurred at the intersection of Highway 160 and Homestead Road just after 8 p.m.

Valley aquifer could reach “critical management” levels by 2055

After many months of painstaking research and calculations, a date has been placed on when the Pahrump Valley’s sole-source aquifer could reach critical management, with officials pegging the timeline at somewhere between the year 2055 and 2060. However, it was emphasized that this is an estimation and with so many variables at play, there is a possibility it could change.

How an injured and abandoned dog in Pahrump overcame the odds

A stray dog that was homeless, hospitalized and facing euthanasia earlier this month is now on the mend thanks to several in the community who helped raise thousands for its life-saving care.

Kellogg Park set for $70k expansion — here are the plans

The town of Pahrump is poised to purchase a parcel adjoining the lands dedicated to Kellogg Park, with a $70,000 offer for the 4.39 acre lot at 3781 E. Santovito St.

Guns, drugs, cash recovered in search could be part of crime ring, sheriff says

Officials from the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Unit are assisting the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in the arrest and investigation of a man allegedly found possessing a hoard of guns, drugs and cash, according to Sheriff Joe McGill.

No same-day registration for Nye’s next live tax sale

Nye County is coming up on its next delinquent property tax sale and there is going to be a big change to the process — for the first time, there will be no same-day registration available.