Utah Department of Administrative Services Division of Administrative Rules

Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since March 1, 2014, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.


R746. Public Service Commission, Administration.

Rule R746-341. Lifeline/Link-up Rule.

As in effect on March 1, 2014

Table of Contents

R746-341-1. Applicability.

Telecommunications corporations that have been designated as eligible telecommunications carriers by the Commission, pursuant to Section 214 of the Federal Communications Act, shall establish a lifeline telephone service pursuant to the requirements of Sections 2 through 10.

R746-341-2. Definitions.

A. "Applicant" -- means the eligible telecommunications customer who owns and resides in a residential property or rents and resides in a residential property.

B. "Responsible Agency" -- means the state government agency that administers the certification, verification, and continued verification of Lifeline enrollment.

C. " ETC " -- means the eligible telecommunications carrier.

D. "Federal Poverty Guidelines" -- means the poverty guidelines issued each year by the Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Federal Register.

E. "Income " -- means gross income, whether earned or unearned, received by all members of the household including, but not limited to, salary before deductions. Income shall not include student financial aid, military housing and cost-of-living allowances, or irregular income from occasional small jobs.

R746-341-3. Eligibility Requirements.

A. Program-Based Criteria -- The ETCs shall provide lifeline telephone service to any applicant who self-certifies, under the penalty of perjury, his household is eligible for public assistance under one of the following or its successor programs:

1. Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF);

2. Work Toward Employment;

3. Food Stamps;

4. General Assistance;

5. Home Energy Assistance Target Programs/Help Program;

6. Medicaid;

7. Refugee Assistance;

8. Supplemental Security Income.

9. Federal Public Housing Assistance, including Section 8 Housing;

10. National School Lunch Free Lunch Program; or

11. Head Start Program (income qualifying standard only).

B. Income-Based Criteria -- The ETCs shall provide lifeline telephone service to any applicant who certifies via supporting documentation, under the penalty of perjury, his household income to be at or below 135 percent of the then applicable Federal Poverty Guidelines.

1. Income-based eligibility is based on family size and actual income, therefore, the Lifeline customers must certify, under the penalty of perjury, the number of individuals residing in their household.

2. A Lifeline customer must certify, under the penalty of perjury, that the documentation presented accurately represents the applicant's annual household income. The following documents, or any combination of these documents, are acceptable for Lifeline certification;

a. Prior year's state, federal, or tribal tax return;

b. Current year-to-date earnings statement from an employer or three consecutive months of paycheck stubs;

c. Social Security statement of benefits;

d. Veterans Administration statement of benefits;

e. Retirement/pension statement of benefits;

f. Unemployment/Worker's Compensation statement of benefits;

g. Federal or tribal notice letter of participation in Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance; or

h. Divorce decree, or child support wage assignment statement.

C. Certification -- The application form for participation will be supplied by the ETC or the responsible agency and contain the following:

1. applicant's name, program participating telephone number, if available, identification of the ETC which the applicant anticipates will provide service, and social security number;

2. a request for lifeline service, and where applicable, a request for Link-up America Plan participation;

3. an affirmative statement that the applicant qualifies for lifeline service.

4. a statement, under the penalty of perjury, as to whether the person is participating in one of the programs listed in Subsection R746-341-3.A or other federal eligibility criteria; or a statement, under the penalty of perjury, as to whether the person's household income is at or below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

a. If qualified by income-based criteria, a statement, under penalty of perjury, that identifies the number of individuals residing in the household and affirms that the documentation presented to support eligibility accurately represents the applicant's household income.

5. a statement that if the applicant is later shown to have submitted a false self-certification for the Lifeline program, the applicant will be responsible to pay the difference between the lifeline service rate and the otherwise applicable service rate;

6. a statement whether this is a new connection or a reconnection; and

7. the applicant's signature.

D. Documentation Retention -- The responsible agency will retain income and program eligibility certification for as long as agreed with the Commission.

E. Tribal Land Lifeline Discounts -- Customers who live on tribal lands and who qualify for the state Lifeline service rate based on the program qualifications, other federal eligibility criteria, and income qualifications set forth in R746-341-3, are eligible to receive a larger federal discount. Those federal discounts are not within the scope of, nor governed by, these rules.

R746-341-4. Continuing Eligibility.

A. Annual Verification -- The continuing eligibility of customers on the Lifeline service rate shall be verified annually

B. Verification Responsibilities -- At least annually, the responsible agency shall provide the ETCs with information identifying customers who are eligible for Lifeline service or Link-up America Plan participation.

C. Verification Methods -- The responsible agency will verify the continued eligibility of Lifeline customers under the program-based and income-based eligibility criteria.

1. The responsible agency shall identify a method by which income eligibility will be verified on an annual basis including, but not limited to, annual self-certification, random beneficiary audits, a periodic submission of income documents, or the continued eligibility of a statistically valid sample of Lifeline customers.

2. Should the ETC have a reasonable basis to believe that a Lifeline telephone service customer no longer qualifies for Lifeline service in accordance with this rule, the ETC shall inform the responsible agency. If a Lifeline customer does not appear as a participant in a program on the state computer system or the responsible agency otherwise has a basis to believe that the customer no longer qualifies for Lifeline service, the responsible agency will send a notice to the Lifeline customer requesting;

a. proof of participation in any of the programs listed in R746-341-3.A or other federal eligibility criteria; or

b. documentation of eligibility under the income-based criteria set forth in R746-341-3.B.

E. False Certification Penalties -- A Lifeline telephone service customer who does not qualify and has falsely self-certified and participated in the Lifeline program will be responsible to pay the difference between the Lifeline service rate and the otherwise applicable service rate for the length of time the customer subscribed to Lifeline telephone service for which the customer was not eligible.

R746-341-5. Lifeline Telephone Service Features.

A. Discounts -- Lifeline telephone service provided by ETCs shall consist of dial tone line, usage charges or their equivalent, and any Extended Area Service (EAS) charges, less a discount of $3.50 and any other matching funds established by the Federal Communication Commission.

B. Deposits -- When customer security deposits are otherwise required, they will be waived for Lifeline telephone service customers if the customer voluntarily elects to receive toll blocking.

C. Link-Up America Plan Participation -- Companies providing Lifeline service shall apply for the Link-Up America Plan provided by the Federal Communications Commission.

D. Nonrecurring Charge Waiver -- Lifeline telephone service customers will receive a waiver of the nonrecurring service charge for changing the type of local exchange usage service to Lifeline service, or changing from flat rate service to message rate service, or vice versa, but only one such waiver shall be allowed during any 12-month period.

E. Disconnection -- Lifeline service shall not be disconnected for nonpayment of toll service.

F. Restrictions -- Lifeline telephone service will be subject to the following restrictions:

1. Lifeline telephone service will only be provided to the applicant's principal residence.

2. A Lifeline telephone service customer will only receive a Lifeline discount on one single residential access line.

G. Other Services -- A Lifeline telephone service customer will not be required to purchase other services from the ETC, nor prohibited from purchasing other services unless the customer has failed to comply with the ETC's terms and conditions for those services.

R746-341-7. Reporting Requirements.

A. Reporting Requirements -- ETCs shall submit, to the Division of Public Utilities, a semi-annual report, by June 30 and December 31, of each year, containing a description of the ETC's Lifeline program. The reports shall also contain monthly information on:

1. the forgone revenue resulting from the discounts provided to Lifeline customers;

2. the amounts of administrative, advertising, voucher and other program expenses;

3. interest accrual amounts on Lifeline and Link up funds; and

4. the number of Lifeline telephone service customers by exchange area; and

5. a detailed report of outreach efforts.

R746-341-8. Funding of Lifeline.

A. Cost Recovery -- The total cost of providing Lifeline telephone service, including the administrative costs of the ETCs and the costs incurred by the responsible agency, shall be recovered and funded as provided in 54-8b-15.

R746-341-9. Collection and disbursement of Lifeline Funds.

A. ETC Payment -- Within 30 days after review and audit of an ETC's semi-annual report, the Public Service Commission shall disburse an amount equal to the ETC's semi-annual Lifeline program expenses and Lifeline discounts granted.

KEY

telephone, telecommunications, rules and procedures, lifeline rates

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

February 24, 2014

Notice of Continuation

October 18, 2010

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

54-4-1; 54-4-4


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R746, please contact the promulgating agency (Public Service Commission, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.