Lifeline roundtable in San Bernardino

Published: Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Consumer Action held a train-the-trainer event in Southern California to help community groups learn more about the low-income telephone assistance program, California LifeLine.

Consumer Action conducts outreach and education on the California LifeLine program under a partnership with AT&T. Last December, Consumer Action Community Advocates Nelson Santiago and Linda Williams led a free training in San Bernadino, CA to help community groups understand how their low-income clients can apply for the discounted telephone service. More than 30 local participants registered for the event, representing organizations that serve a diverse pool of clients ranging from youth to senior citizens.

California LifeLine provides discounts on basic residential phone service to eligible low-income households. Landline consumers who qualify for California LifeLine residential service pay a fraction of the regular cost for telephone connection and monthly local telephone service.

AT&T Director of Regulatory Affairs Jeff Mondon joined the training to help field questions about the California Public Utilities Commission’s regulations for California LifeLine.

The training was based on Consumer Action’s California LifeLine educational module (http://www.consumer-action.org/modules/module_california_lifeline). The materials include a brochure that explains eligibility, the application process and how to renew participation in the program (available in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese). The module also includes PowerPoint slides and classroom worksheets. A chart is also available listing companies approved to offer wireless (cell) phone service in California under the federal Lifeline program.

"Consumer Action's Lifeline Training has been a benefit to our community," said Loistine Herndon, executive director of the Temple Community Outreach Center and a participant of the roundtable. "The trainers used real life examples that show they have a concrete understanding of the people we serve."

“The California LifeLine Program is the best in the country. The discounts are great and no other state comes close to the number of consumers that benefit,” said Ken McEldowney, executive director of Consumer Action. “About 1.7 million households currently receive the California LifeLine discounts, yet thousands of eligible households aren’t on the program. Our education program aims to ensure that they are.”

 

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