Salvation Army and Bell Atlantic Team Up to Guarantee Phone Service For Low-Income Customers

Salvation Army and Bell Atlantic Team Up to Guarantee Phone Service For Low-Income Customers

Salvation Army Administering a Bell Atlantic-funded Program

November 7, 1996

Media contacts: Sharon Shaffer 1-800-491-0190

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The Salvation Army and Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania have joined forces to preserve basic telephone service for low-income customers in times of crisis.

The basic telephone charges, either current or past due, for qualified customers may be paid for through the Universal Telephone Assistance Program (UTAP). The program is a unique financial support effort funded by Bell Atlantic and administered by the Salvation Army. UTAP does not pay for toll charges or optional services.

To qualify, customers must subscribe to Bell Atlantic's Lifeline service, which provides a $5 credit on monthly phone bills and eliminates the charge for installing the telephone line. Bell Atlantic introduced these programs earlier this year to make it easier for low income individuals to obtain and afford local telephone service. Some 1,800 customers already have been helped by UTAP.

To assist Bell Atlantic Lifeline customers who might benefit from UTAP, the Salvation Army has established a statewide toll-free hotline -- 1-800-771-3312. Applicants may call for information and assistance Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Salvation Army will confirm applicants' eligibility and determine the amount of assistance to be provided.

For more information on Lifeline Service, call Bell Atlantic, 1-800-640-4155, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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