California LifeLine Telephone Service

Struggling to Pay Your Monthly Phone Bill?

You Need a LifeLine Discount!

What Is LifeLine?

California LifeLine helps low-income households by providing discounts for home or cell phone service. Households must choose to get the discount either on

a home phone or on a cell phone, but not on both. Most

LifeLine home phone plans provide unlimited local calls.

Most LifeLine cell phone plans provide at least 1,000 minutes a month for anywhere from free to $20. You have to contact phone companies directly to find out specific features and monthly bills.

Income Eligibility for LifeLine

Who Can Receive a LifeLine Discount? To be eligible to receive California LifeLine your household must meet certain income guidelines, or

you must be enrolled in a public assistance program.

In addition, eligible LifeLine customers must live at the residence where they request service and cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person’s income tax return.

You qualify for LifeLine if your household size and income fall within these guidelines:


1–2 members               $25,500


3 members               $29,700

4 members               $35,900

Each additional person               Add $6,200

Income guidelines are accurate through May 31, 2015


Program Eligibility for LifeLine

You qualify for a LifeLine discount if anyone in your household is enrolled in:

→ National School Lunch Program (NSL)

→   Medicaid/Medi-Cal

→   Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program


→   Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

→   Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8

→   CalFresh, Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition

Assistance Program (SNAP)

→   Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)

→   Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

  • California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)
  • Stanislaus County Work Opportunity and

Responsibility to Kids (StanWORKs)

  • Welfare-to-Work (WTW)
  • Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN)

→   Tribal TANF

→   Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

→   Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)

→   Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations


Document Income or Program Eligibility

→   Income statements or paycheck stubs for 3 months in a row within last 12 months.

→   An “official document” showing the qualifying individual is receiving benefits from a qualifying benefits program.

→   Statement of benefits from Social Security, Veterans Administration, retirement/pension, unemployment compensation, and/or worker’s compensation.

→   Last year’s state, federal, or tribal tax return.

→   A divorce decree or child support document.

→   Other documents that prove your income.



If You Live in a SRO or a Shelter

The California LifeLine program allows for multiple LifeLine accounts at the same physical address as long as you meet the California LifeLine program eligibility requirements.

If you do not have a permanent residential address you must provide a temporary address, which cannot be a

P.O. Box. If you live at a temporary address, the telephone service provider or state agency may require confirmation of the address every 90 days.


Become an Informed Consumer

How to Sign Up for LifeLine

You can go to provider_search to find phone companies that provide LifeLine for home and cell service at your location. After choosing a carrier and requesting LifeLine, you may submit an online application. You can also request a LifeLine application by mail. Call 866-272-0349 (English) or 866-272-0350 (Spanish). To check the status of your application, call 877-858-7463. Once you receive the

California LifeLine application in a pink envelope, you must return it by the due date listed on the form.

You Must Renew Every Year

LifeLine customers need to renew every year on time! Even if you don’t get a reminder in the mail, it is your responsibility to renew your application and

documentation annually. If you do not renew by the due date listed on your form your LifeLine discounts will end and you would have to re-apply. You can also renew online at:


If Your Application Is Denied

If your application is denied, and you believe you meet the income or program guidelines, submit a written appeal by the date provided in your disqualification letter to:

CPUC Consumer Affairs Branch

505 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102 or fax written appeal to 415 703–1158.

  1. Send a copy of the disqualification letter
  1. Use the back of the disqualification letter to explain why you should have been approved
  2. Send in any additional proof of income or program eligibility


Exercise Your Rights

If you are denied service or assistance, you have the right to file a complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission at: cpucapplication/ or 1-800-355-8876.

However, it is important that you first contact the company to try to resolve any complaints.