Connecting Lives

Paying for phone services can be very expensive. Thanks to the following programs, eligible Marylanders can receive reduced rates and discounts:

Bank Piggy_savings_237743_lTo help keep phone rates affordable, the government has created two telephone assistance programs. These telephone assistance programs are available to Marylanders through the Tel-Life program. The Tel-Life program is available to help low-income Maryland residents secure affordable phone service through the government’s Lifeline and Link-Up program. Through Lifeline and Link-Up, eligible low-income households may qualify to receive reduced monthly telephone rates as well as discounts on line connections and wiring charges. Below are brief descriptions of each program:

Lifeline: The Lifeline program offers monthly discounts to eligible low-income families. Through Lifeline individuals may be eligible to receive a discount on basic monthly telephone service. Discounts available through the Lifeline program can be applied to either landline (home) or wireless (cell) phone service. However, individuals cannot receive a Lifeline discount on both services. The application process and total amount of discounts available varies by state and phone company.

Link Up: The Link Up program helps low-income households reduce the cost of initiating telephone service. Link Up will pay half of the installation fee (up to a maximum of $30) or waive the entire installation fee for the initiation of home phone service or the activation of a wireless phone service. However, the Link Up program will not cover charges related to wiring and telephone jacks within the home.

Who qualifies for Tel-Life?

Maryland’s Tel-Life program is available to residents who receive assistance through the following programs:


Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA)

Public Assistance to Adults (PAA)

Food Stamps/Food Supplement Program (FSP)

Medical Assistance (MA)

Temporary Disability Assistance Program (TDAP)

 Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP)

Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

How to apply?

To apply for the Lifeline and Link Up programs through Tel-Life, individuals must contact their local phone company to request an application form. If the phone company is not authorized to provide Lifeline or Link-Up discounts, contact the state’s consumer advocate office or public utility commission to locate an authorized service provider.

NOTE: As a Lifeline or Link Up customer, individuals are not protected from being disconnected if they fail to pay their telephone bill. Additionally, discounts available through Lifeline and Link Up cannot be applied to an individual’s outstanding balance with their local phone company.

For more information about Tel-Life and the Lifeline and Link Up programs, call (800) 525-0145 or contact your local phone company.

If you or a loved one has a disability and would like more information about Social Security Disability benefits or need assistance in applying for Social Security Disability benefits, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security benefits that you deserve.

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