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Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies

Posted By yihan On February 12, 2013 @ 11:55 am In Money Watch | Comments Disabled

Spencer E. Ante
The Wall Street Journal [1]
February 12, 2013

The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven’t proved they are eligible to receive them.

The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren’t cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

Suspecting that many of the new subscribers were ineligible, the Federal Communications Commission tightened the rules last year and required carriers to verify that existing subscribers were eligible. The agency estimated 15% of users would be weeded out, but far more were dropped.

A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn’t demonstrate their eligibility or didn’t respond to requests for certification.

Full story here. [1]


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URLs in this post:

[1] The Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323511804578296001368122888.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection

[2] You’re Paying Every Month for the Obama Phone Boondoggle: http://www.prisonplanet.com/youre-paying-every-month-for-the-obama-phone-boondoggle.html

[3] Obama Phone: Gov to Spend $2.4 Billion On Millions of Free Phones In 2012: http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-phone-gov-to-spend-2-4-billion-on-millions-of-free-phones-in-2012.html

[4] Billionaire Foreigner Profits Off Obama Phone Socialism: http://www.prisonplanet.com/billionaire-foreigner-profits-off-obama-phone-socialism.html

[5] Me and My Obamaphones: http://www.prisonplanet.com/me-and-my-obamaphones.html

[6] Outrageous! The Government Is Giving Out Free Cell Phones And Free Cell Phone Minutes To Welfare Recipients: http://www.prisonplanet.com/outrageous-the-government-is-giving-out-free-cell-phones-and-free-cell-phone-minutes-to-welfare-recipients.html

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