Sonia Alvarez

Keeping the Lines of Communication Open: Affordable Phone Service for Seniors

When elderly family members and friends still live independently, it is important to ensure access to emergency services and other services. The California LifeLine Program makes it easier for your loved ones to keep their independence by giving discounts on local home phone service.

What is the California LifeLine Program?
The California Public Utilities Commission established the California LifeLine Program to provide discounted home phone service to qualified households. Consumers can get unlimited local calls for less than $7 a month. California households may qualify by meeting the annual income rules or by receiving benefits from certain public assistance programs like Medi-Cal or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Other eligibility rules do apply.

What is the importance of having a landline?
A landline offers reliability and peace of mind. Landlines do not require electricity to work so families can rest assured knowing that your loved ones have dependable access to help when they need it. Power outages and poor reception areas will not affect the ability of a landline to work. Telephones that are plugged in to an electrical outlet or use a battery will affect the exposure to the risk of a power outage.

Having a landline in your home is a reliable and economical way to have access to:

  • Friends and family
  • Health and emergency services
  • Schools and community facilities
  • Job opportunities

For more information on how California LifeLine can help you or your family, click here to view a testimonial video.

What are the benefits of the California LifeLine Program?

  • Lower monthly local home phone rates
  • Unlimited incoming and outgoing local calls
  • No deposit for basic service
  • No charge for toll-blocking
  • Only a $10 service connection or conversion fee
  • Consumers may qualify even if their phone service has been disconnected before
  • Interest-free payment plans are available

How can I get more information?
For more information, contact California LifeLine at 1-866-272-0357 or your home phone company. You can also go to the official California LifeLine website.

Are there any other programs that can help lower my utility bills?
In addition to the California LifeLine Program, the California Public Utilities Commission offers other consumer assistance programs that may assist in lowering utility bills. Click here for more information.

Elizabeth Mediano Elizabeth Mediano is the Senior Regional Outreach Specialist for the California LifeLine Program serving the Southern California Region. If a community-based organization or other entities would like to request a California LifeLine presentation, please call 866-742-8587 or email

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