Phone Access and Protections

Phone Access and Protections

Learn about telephone access and protections.


Your Rights With the Phone Company

It was not long ago that everyone dealt with the same phone company for phone service and for billing. With the de-regulation of telephone companies and the onset of cellular phones, there are countless numbers of phone companies now providing services. As with everything, some companies are better than others. Iowa has a number rules that protect consumers from inappropriate billing practices.

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By: Iowa Legal Aid


Help with Phone Equipment for Iowans with a Hearing Disability

If you are an Iowan and have a hearing disability, you can get help with special phone or other equipment to make it easier to talk or communicate by phone. This program is called "Telecommunications Access Iowa."

It pays 95% of the cost of amplified phones, special ringers, Text Telephones (TTYs) and other special telephone devices. To get help under this program, you must:

  • Be an Iowan;
  • Have telephone service;
  • Be over five (5) years old;
  • Need the equipment;
  • Have less than the following annual household income:
    • 1 person - $46,000
    • 2 persons - $54,000
    • Add $8,000 for each additional person.

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By: Legal Hotline for Older Iowans


Lifeline Discounted Phone Program

There is a program called Lifeline that helps low-income Iowans pay for basic telephone service.  Lifeline provides qualifying households with only one phone bill a discount of $9.25 monthly for a primary home phone, whether a land line or cell phone.

Iowans with annual household income at or below 135% of federal poverty guidelines may qualify.   Also, if you get help from any of the following assistance programs, you may qualify for Lifeline*: 

  • Medicaid
  • Food Assistance Program
  • Social Security benefits
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance Program
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Family Investment Program (FIP)
  • National School Lunch Program
*You will have to prove eligibility when you apply. 

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By: Iowa Legal Aid


Telephone Slamming

Telephone slamming occurs when a telephone company changes your telephone service without your consent. Slamming is illegal, and you can protect yourself from being slammed by following a few tips.

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By: Iowa Legal Aid