The Lifeline Free Government Cell Phone Program
If you’ve been left to wonder whether or not there really are free government cell phones out there, you’ve reached the right place to get all of the questions you have answered. There are, for residents of the United States, free government cell phone options out there.
The government cell phone service is called Lifeline, with the Lifeline program getting its beginnings from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in 1984. Originally it began as a program for public assistance, which the program ensured that telephone service was not only available, but available affordably to low-income subscribers. The program provides consumers that qualify with discounted rates on their home phone line and free minutes and phone through the free government cell phone program. Together they’re an additional program which is named Link-Up.
Benefits of the Free Government Cell Phone Program
You can save at least $10 monthly on your phone bill; however, the exact amount will be dependent on the state in which you live, as well as if the program is provided by the phone company that serves your area. There are some states that will provide additional discounts for local phone service in order to make it more affordable. In order to make the determination on whether or not your state is one that offers these additional discounts, contact the public utility commission in your state at: http://www.naruc.org/commissions.cfm
Free Government Cell Phone Eligibility
Although requirements will vary state by state, the most general requirements for the free government cell phone program Lifeline is that your state must use the federal categories, as well as the standards which require that the consumer doesn’t exceed 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines based upon the total of their household income. Or, in the alternative, they must participate in at least one of the subsequent list of government programs:
- SSI – Supplemental Security Income
- TANF – Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
- Section 8 – Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Free Lunch Program – National School Lunch Programs
- LIHEAP – Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Additionally, you’re able to check with your local employment office to inquire as to if your household income is either at or below the 135% requirement with regards to the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Both the figure and the chances per year are going to vary from state to state.
Throughout the country, qualified consumers are able to get the free government cell phones or Lifeline discounts. Again, eligibility does vary from state to state.
Applying For a Free Government Cell Phone
Make contact with your local phone company in order to find out if you’ll qualify for the state benefits, as well as to request a form so you can apply. If you’re research shows that your local phone company isn’t authorized to provide discounts either of Link-Up or Lifeline within your area, then make contact with either a consumer advocate office or your states public utility commission in order to locate an authorized service provider.
The companies that are leading the way in the free government cell phone program are known as the big three, and they are:
- Safelink Wireless
- Reachout Wireless
Check with the above provides to see whether or not they provide free government cell phones in your locality and sate, as well as how to apply for free cell phone benefits.
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