If money is tight and your income is lower than you’d like it to be, there are many ways you can save money. Several utility providers and even Amazon offer discounts to those with documented lower incomes. These discounts can provide necessary help to those who most need it. Here are five ways to save on utilities and Amazon.
Ways to Save on Utility
Depending on the season, utilities can cost several hundred dollars a month. If you’re at or near the poverty level, paying these bills is difficult. The following discounts can help customers meet their basic needs.
Gas and Electricity
The Connecticut Legislature lists 11 states that are required to offer discounted gas and electricity to those with lower income. The states are Arizona, California, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Most states require an income level 150% or below the poverty level. However, some issue a maximum income based on a family of four. The discounts range from 25% to 35% off to a percentage off your utility bill. The amount depends on your income as based on the federal poverty level.
A number of phone and internet providers are part of the Lifeline Program. As part of this program, low income customers can receive reduced rates on phone and internet services. Only a few states are participating. These include Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and D.C.
You are only allowed to receive Lifeline services from one provider, not multiple providers. Discounts and requirements vary by state.
Spectrum Internet Assist
Spectrum offers phone, internet and television services. Customers who receive the National School Lunch Program, or The Community Eligibility Provision, or Supplemental Social Security are eligible for Spectrum Internet Assist.
Comcast offers internet for $9.95 per month (plus tax) as well as free installation to its low-income customers. Families can qualify if their child is eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Customers are also eligible if they receive HUD housing support. In addition, Comcast has rolled out a program for senior citizens, available in select locations. To qualify, the customer must by 62 or older and receive federal or state public assistance. Lastly, community college students are also eligible if they’re enrolled and are receiving a Pell Grant.
Ways to Save on Amazon Prime
An Amazon Prime membership is $10.99 a month. However, for low-income customers, Amazon Prime offers membership for $5.99 a month. To qualify, customers must have either an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card or Medicaid card. These customers can renew their memberships yearly up to four times.
Living on a tight budget can be difficult. Yet, with these five ways to save on utilities and Amazon, you can stretch your money further. Utility discounts help low-income customers have their most basic needs provided. In addition, internet and phone service discounts help people to work from home and students do their work. Amazon Prime provides families with low-cost entertainment and cheaper goods that are delivered right to their own doors. This is especially important if low-income customers live in food deserts.
What other discounts do you know of for low-income customers?