California LifeLine program connects low-income consumers

September 10-16 is National Lifeline Awareness Week—Consumer Action and AT&T promote program to Chinese community

Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 415-642-9998

SAN FRANCISCO—Staying connected to local resources and emergency services is vital to the state’s low-income and elderly residents and can even help save lives. Consumer Action has joined with AT&T California to promote the state’s landmark California LifeLine Program during “National Lifeline Awareness Week,” September 10-16. 

The purpose of National Lifeline Awareness Week is to ensure that eligible low-income consumers are aware of the Lifeline program in their state and able to obtain affordable telephone service through the assistance of this program. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the Federal Communications Commission, and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates are working to get the word out on this important program.

This year, Consumer Action and AT&T are bringing information about California LifeLine directly to San Francisco’s Chinese community, including new immigrants, participants in job training programs, young families and the disabled. Two Chinese-language presentations will be held in October.

“More than 1.6 million consumers already take advantage of California LifeLine, but many more may not even know they could qualify for discounted telephone service,” said Consumer Action Executive Director Ken McEldowney. “This year we are leveraging our multilingual outreach programs to reach California’s Chinese community, which can be less aware of benefit programs due to language barriers.”

“We’re proud to participate in the California LifeLine program and to work with Consumer Action to raise awareness and make sure as many qualified households and individuals as possible take advantage of a benefit that will help them stay connected,” said Ken McNeely, President, AT&T California.

Under the California LifeLine Program, qualifying consumers receive discounted local telephone service. All California telephone companies that provide traditional wired residential service offer discounts under the California LifeLine Program. In addition to traditional wired service, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is working to include other alternative technologies, such as wireless telephones, in the California LifeLine Program.  As more consumers struggle to pay their bills in today’s tough economy, it’s more important than ever for everyone to be aware of this program so they can stay connected. 

Rules established by the CPUC allow customers to qualify for California LifeLine in one of two ways:

  • By participating in an approved public assistance program such as: Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or CalFresh, formerly known as Food Stamps.
  • By meeting certain household income limits.

The California LifeLine Program, administered by service providers and sponsored by the CPUC, provides low-income Californians with discounted home phone service they can rely on.

Consumers can contact their service provider directly and ask about the program. AT&T California customers can call 800-446-5651 (English) or 800-882-0521 (Spanish) or go online to

General information on the California LifeLine Program can be found on  

For more information on Chinese-language presentations about the California LifeLine program, contact Audrey Perrott or Jamie Woo of Consumer Action at 415-777-9648.

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About Consumer Action

Consumer Action, a San Francisco-based national education and advocacy organization with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization, Consumer Action focuses on financial education that empowers low- to moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper. It delivers its multilingual educational programs and materials through a unique nationwide network of 7,500 community-based organizations—with approximately 3,000 located in California—and on the organization’s website (

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at and as part of an RSS feed at Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT.




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