Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies - WSJ.com
: " . . . The FCC until last year allowed consumers to self-certify, without requiring documentation, that they met federal poverty guidelines. Subscribers didn't have to recertify once they were enrolled in the program, and there were few checks on whether households signed up for more than one cellphone. "The program rules we inherited were designed for the age of the rotary phone and failed to protect the program from abuse," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
said. The agency pushed through new rules last year, requiring documentation when a Lifeline customer signs up. Consumers also must certify that no one else in their households is using the program. Carriers now have to check a state or federal social-service database to confirm eligibility and must reverify eligibility every year. Carriers were required by Jan. 31 to report the number of subscribers they had removed from Lifeline as of the end of last year. The data reviewed by The Wall Street Journal came from those reports. The FCC said new verification procedures saved nearly $214 million last year, and projected total savings over the next three years would reach $2 billion. Disbursements under the program began to drop in the third quarter after 12 consecutive quarters of increases."
Self-certify? Sounds like a real give-away!
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