Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate
555 Walnut Street
5th Floor Forum Place
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1923

Phone: 717-783-5048 or toll free 800-684-6560
Fax: 717-783-7152


Consumer Tip for October 2004

Toll Free Number


 (PA only)


Do you know someone without a telephone? Is phone service more than they can afford?

Do you know there is help for many customers to get phone service, or to help some customers keep their phone service?  If you qualify for Lifeline 150, which can pay up to $8.25 per month towards your local phone bill, you may also qualify for other helpful telephone programs.


Need Help?

Name of Telephone


Program That Can Help

Paying a monthly local phone bill All PA local telephone companies Lifeline 150
Paying a monthly local phone bill Verizon PA and Verizon North   Lifeline
Getting phone service connected All PA local telephone companies Link-Up America
Paying overdue bills Verizon PA Universal Telephone Assistance Program (UTAP)


You may qualify for Lifeline 150 if you take part in one of the following programs:


Ø     Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Ø     Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Ø     General Assistance (GA)

Ø     Food Stamps

Ø     Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP)

Ø     Medicaid

Ø     Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)

Ø     State Blind Pension  (Accepted by some companies)


You must also have a household yearly income of that shown in the following table, or less.

Household Size

Yearly Income











Once you qualify for Lifeline 150, there is one more thing to keep in mind.  In order to get the monthly payment, customers may only have one non-basic service on their monthly bill, such as:  Caller ID, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Voice Mail, Identi-call, etc.

Your telephone company may require a different combination of income or program participation to qualify. For more information about Lifeline 150 and other helpful programs contact your local telephone company’s customer service department. Some of their toll-free numbers are listed below.





North Pittsburgh Telephone Company








Verizon North  (former GTE Company)




Verizon-PA  (former Bell Company)




If you have any questions or concerns about your utility service, you may also contact the PA Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) at 1-800-684-6560.

Back To OCA Consumer Tips Archives


Commonwealth Website