LANSING – Michiganders who apply for telephone or broadband services under the federal Lifeline program and the companies that participate in the program have begun using the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier database to determine an applicant’s qualifications, the Michigan Public Service Commission announced.

Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky began mandatory participation in the roll-out of the National Verifier database. Twenty-four other states already participate.

The federal Lifeline program lowers the monthly cost of phone and/or broadband service for qualifying low-income users. Designated landline and wireless providers in Michigan will use the National Verifier database to determine whether an applicant qualifies for the federal benefit, which is $9.25 a month.

To qualify for the federal program, applicants must have an income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty level or they must receive either Medicaid; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program aid, formerly known as food stamps; Supplemental Security Income; or Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8). Customers who participate in Tribal programs and live on federally recognized Tribal land or are part of the Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits program also qualify.

More than 363,000 Michiganders receive benefits from the federal or state Lifeline programs.

For more information about the federal program, contact the Lifeline Support Center at 800-234-9473, check this list of participating carriers, or see these federal Lifeline consumer tips.

For information about Michigan’s program, contact the MPSC at 800-292-9555 or see these Michigan Lifeline consumer tips.