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Lifeline Assistance

On 8/2/16, the Public Service Commission of South Dakota designated Vast Broadband as an “Eligible Telecommunications Carrier” for its service area for universal service purposes.  The goal of universal service is to provide all citizens access to essential telecommunication services.

Vast Broadband the supported services – voice telephony service and broadband Internet access service –throughout its designated service area.  These supported services include:

  • Voice grade access to the public switched network;
  • Minutes of use for local service provided at no additional charge;
  • Access to emergency services provided by local government or other public safety organizations, such as 911 and enhanced 911, to the extent the local government in Vast Broadband’s service area has implemented 911 or enhanced 911 systems; and
  • Broadband Internet access service which includes the capability to send data to and receive data from the Internet, but excludes dial-up service.

Voice telephony service is provided at rates which start at $24.99 per month for residential customers and $25.00 per month for business line customers.  Broadband Internet access service is provided at rates which start at $42.99 per month for residential customers and $29.95 per month for business customers.  Vast Broadband would be pleased to provide you with specific rates for voice and broadband for your area upon request.  Use of these services may result in added charges including taxes, surcharges, and fees.

Vast Broadband also offers qualified customers Lifeline service.  Lifeline is a non-transferable, federal benefit that makes monthly voice or broadband service more affordable.  The program is limited to one discount per household.  Eligible households may apply the monthly Lifeline discount to either broadband service (home or wireless) or voice service (home or wireless) but not both.  Lifeline customers also have the option to apply the discount to a service bundle, such as home phone and home internet.  The Lifeline voice service also includes toll blocking to qualifying customers without charge.  The current discount provided under the Company’s Lifeline service is $9.25 per month for each month that the customer qualifies.

A household is eligible for Lifeline discount if the customer’s annual household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.  You may also qualify for the Lifeline program if a customer, a dependent, or the customer’s household participates in one or more o the following programs:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit

Lifeline Application

This application can be returned to one of our local stores found on our website or mailed to Vast Broadband, Attn:  Customer Care, 5100 S Broadband Lane, Sioux Falls, SD 57108.  If you have additional questions please call one of customer care agents at 1-888-745-2888

Lifeline Program Restrictions

  • Only one Lifeline service is available per household.
  • A household is defined, for purposes of the Lifeline program, as any individual or
    group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses.
  • A household is not permitted to receive Lifeline benefits from multiple providers
    (i.e., if you receive a Lifeline discount on your wireless service, you would not also qualify to receive that discount on your home phone service).

Violation of the one-per-household limitation constitutes a violation of the Federal Communications Commission’s (or “FCC”) rules and will result in the subscriber’s de-enrollment from the program.

Lifeline is a non-transferable benefit and the subscriber may not transfer his or her benefit to any other person.

Lifeline is a federal benefit and willfully making false statements to obtain the benefit can result in fines, imprisonment, de-enrollment or being barred from the program.

General Lifeline Information – For Home Phone 
Because phone service is so important in today’s world, Vast Broadband believes everyone should have access to it. We offer a discounted telephone service plan to make basic home phone service even more affordable for qualified customers. Lifeline provides qualified customers with discounted home phone service and the ability to add additional services and features.

FAQs: FCC Lifeline Rules For Home Phone

Q. What do I need to fill in on the application?
A. It is important that you fill out the application completely and accurately to ensure there are no delays in being approved for the Lifeline program. Please review the instructions on the application carefully. Required:

  • Customer Name
  • Customer Service Address
  • City, State, Zip
  • Must note if your address is permanent or temporary
  • Customer Telephone Number
  • Social Security Number (last 4 digits only)
  • Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
  • Must check qualifying program or income; if income, must provide # of persons in household
  • Must provide proof of program participation or income level
  • Must check that you have read and agree to the list of certifications
  • Signature
  • Date

Q. How do I submit the application?
A. This application can be returned to one of our local stores found on our website or mailed to Vast Broadband, Attn:  Customer Care, 5100 S Broadband Lane, Sioux Falls, SD 57108.  If you have additional questions please call one of customer care agents at 1-888-745-2888

Q. What proof do I need to bring?
A. If you qualify by program assistance, please bring in a copy of your benefits card or award letter. If you qualify by income, please bring in copies of any of the following qualifying documents — Vast Broadband. DOES NOT keep any documentation.

  • Most recent state or federal tax return
  • Retirement/pension statement of benefits
  • Current income statement from an employer
  • Unemployment/Workmen’s Compensation Statement of Benefits
  • Paycheck stubs for most recent 3 months
  • Federal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
  • Social Security Statement of Benefits
  • Veterans Administration Statement of Benefits
  • Child Support document
  • Divorce decree
  • Other official document containing income information

Q. How do I get proof of Social Security (Social Security Statement of Benefits) if qualifying by income?
A. Social Security Statement of Benefits is mailed to all recipients annually. If you need a copy, please contact your local Social Security office.

Q. Can I send a copy of my paycheck as proof?
A. We will need a copy of your paycheck stubs for three consecutive months, as proof. A copy of your paycheck is not accepted.

Q. Is Supplemental Social Security (SSI) the same as Social Security?
A. No. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It is designed to help aged, blind and disabled people who have little or no income.

Q. I’m a senior citizen, do I qualify?
A. Lifeline is not based on age. You must participate in one of the qualifying programs or meet the income guidelines to be eligible for Lifeline.

Q. I receive Medicare, do I qualify?
A. No. Medicare is not a qualifier for the Lifeline program.

Q. I babysit or am self-employed, what is acceptable for proof?
A. Please provide a photocopy of your most recent tax return.

Q. Do I have to wait until I’m approved for Lifeline to get phone service?
A. No. You must have working phone service to be approved for Lifeline.

Q. Will the Lifeline discount be on my next bill?
A. Lifeline will be applied to your account within 2 bill cycles and is retroactive back to your approval date.

Q. Why isn’t Lifeline showing on my bill anymore?
A. You may have failed to complete a Re-certification within the required 30 days. You must re-apply by using the Application for Lifeline to have the discount added back to your account.

Q. Why has my bill amount changed?
A. The FCC has changed the federal Lifeline discount amount.

Q. Why did I receive a Re-certification form in the mail?
A. The FCC is requiring all customers who have Lifeline as of June 1, 2012, to certify that they are still eligible for Lifeline according to the new guidelines.

Q. Why did FCC change its contribution to the Lifeline discount?
A. The FCC reformed many aspects of its Lifeline program and changing the old Lifeline discount rate structure to a simple, flat rate discount was one of those reforms. The FCC concluded that such a discount is easier for customers to understand.

Q. How can I find out more about these changes?
A. Visit www.usac.org

Q. How do I re-certify my eligibility?
A. You must re-certify by completing the form you received in the mail and returning it

Have questions about Lifeline Assistance? Our customer service staff is available to chat between 8 am and 5 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday.

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