Telephone companies recently have removed 33,000 low-income Minnesota customers from discount programs, under federal rules implemented last year that require customers to recertify their eligibility, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission announced last week.

Lifeline, a federal program, provides up to $9.25 off monthly charges, more for tribal lands residents, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Telephone Assistance Plan, a state program, provides up to $2.50 monthly for home landline service.
 
Both programs are underutilized, the department said.
 
Phone companies are responsible for providing recertification forms to customers. For more information, go to www.startribune.com/a2115 or contact your local telephone company.