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Program Summary

Lifeline is a utility assistance program that offers a $225 annual benefit to persons who meet the PAAD eligibility requirements or who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This includes utility customers as well as tenants whose utility bills are included in their rent.

Lifeline consists of three programs:

  • The Lifeline Credit Program provides a $225 annual benefit in the form of a credit on electric and gas utility bills for eligible beneficiaries.
  • The Tenants Lifeline Assistance Program provides a $225 annual benfit in the form of a check to eligible tenants who have the cost of gas and electric utilities included in their rent.
  • The Special Utility Supplement provides a supplement of up to $18.75 a month to recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in place of a Lifeline Utility credit or Tenants Lifeline Assistance payment.

In order to be eligible for Lifeline, beneficiaries must:

  • Be a recipient of Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) or meet the PAAD eligibility requirements; or 
  • Be a recipient of either Medical Assistance to the Aged (MAA), Medical Assistance Only (MAO) or New Jersey Care.

For 2018, in order to be eligible for PAAD, you must:

  • Be a New Jersey resident;
  • Be age 65 or older or between ages 18 and 64 and receiving Social Security Disability; and
  • Have income less than $27,189 if single or less than $33,334 if married.

If you are not a beneficiary of PAAD, but you meet the above eligibility requirements, please click here for a copy of our Universal Application (UA-1). (Word) (PDF). Persons applying for PAAD can also apply for the Lifeline benefit by answering the questions that pertain to the Lifeline programs.

Persons who are beneficiaries of Medical Assistance to the Aged (MMA), Medical Assistance Only (MAO), or New Jersey Care, are sent Lifeline applications automatically every August.

Guidelines for the Lifeline programs:

  • Only one tenant in a household is entitled to this assistance.
  • When two or more persons share a single household, Lifeline will only accept one application from that household. Also, the application must be in the applicant's or spouse name (if married).
  • Recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) should NOT file an application for Lifeline. The Lifeline benefit is automatically included in SSI checks.
  • The Lifeline benefit provides assistance for only electricity and natural gas. Other fuels, such as bottled or propane gas, oil, coal, or wood, are NOT covered.
  • If you pay utility bills directly to a single utlity company, a $225 annual credit will appear on your utility bill. If you receive service from two different companies, the $225 credit will be divided equally between the two utlities. If the cost of your utlities is included in your rent, you will receive a check for $225.
  • If you pay utility bills to two different companies (with one bill in your name and the other in your spouse's name) you must report this on your application. Your Lifeline credit will be divided equally and applied to each account.
  • The Lifeline application pertains only to your primary place of residence. Seasonal or temporary residence in New Jersey is not considered a primary residence.

For additional information, call our toll free Hotline at 1-800-792-9745.

 

 
 
 
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