What Does the Assurance Wireless Program Provide?
Through the Lifeline Assistance program, a qualifying low income family may be eligible for a free government cell phone plan. Programs like Assurance Wireless powered by Virgin Mobile USA provide both a cell phone and 250 monthly minutes for free through Lifeline. To find more information and to see if you may qualify, keep reading!
Assurance Wireless aims to provide free government cell phone service to low income families giving them access to family, friends, emergency personnel, employers, and other individuals. Lifeline provides either a cell phone through companies like Assurance Wireless or helps with landline expenses.
Those who qualify for Assurance Wireless are given a free government cell phone, currently the Assurance Wireless Jax. This simple-to-use talk and text phone features a thin design, full color screen and mobile web. In some states customers can choose to upgrade to an Assurance Wireless Loft phone for $29.99. This upgrade provides a full keyboard, 1.3 MP camera, large screen, and hands-free Bluetooth.
In addition to the free phone, customers receive 250 free minutes each month with these low income cell phone plans. Customers can choose to add more voice minutes and other options for a low monthly fee. For $5 a month, another 250 minutes are added for a total of 500 monthly minutes. If the customer wishes to have even more minutes and texting, he can pay a $20 monthly fee which upgrades his account to 1000 voice minutes and 1000 text messages a month.
Extra minutes and texts can be paid for individually as needed. Assurance Wireless offers the following competitive prices for individual minutes and texts:
- 10 cents a minute for each additional minute
- 10 cents per text
- 411 service costs $1.75 in addition to standard airtime charges
- International calling is also available
As long as there is money in the customer’s Assurance Wireless account, the extra benefits are available. If the customer fails to refill his account for whatever reason, he will still receive the 250 free monthly minutes.
How Can I Qualify?
Eligibility requirements for low income cell phone plans vary depending on state. Most states require you to be eligible for one or more of the following government-funded programs: Medicaid, Food Stamps/SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), or the National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program. You may also qualify based on your income. Most states require the consumer’s income to fall at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. You will need to check with you individual state’s requirements to see if you qualify.
Customers are required to confirm their eligibility yearly. Once a customer reaches a higher financial income, he may contact Lifeline and upgrade his phone service to a regular plan.
Through the Lifeline Assistance program, low income families have found an affordable solution for keeping in contact with the world outside their home. Virgin Mobile USA is just one cell phone company to offer this connection with Assurance Wireless.
The present economy is sinking lower and lower. More and more hard working people are losing their jobs. Money is becoming tight. Are you struggling to pay your phone bill because of your low income? Did you know there is a government sponsored free phone program? What are the qualifications to get a free government cell phone? This article will walk you through the basic information you need to know if you want to receive free government cell phone service.
Free Government Phones – How does it Work?
The US government has set up guidelines to help those in financial need. Those Americans in a specified income bracket can apply for government help in medical needs, food stamps, land-line phone service, and now cell phone service to name just a few.
The Lifeline and Link-Up phone service programs were founded in the 1990s by the FCC. Funded by the Universal Service Fund, it provides a discounted or free monthly phone service for those who meet the income qualifications.
There are more than 1500 telephone companies that participate in the government sponsored free phone service. Some of the largest providers are Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless, and ReachOut Wireless. To find out if your local companies offer this service, simply call the customer service line and ask for Lifeline and Link-up information and applications.
Free Government Phones – the Qualifications
The free government cell phone service is known as Lifeline or Link-Up. Cell phone companies will often offer a free government cell phone plan with a stated monthly minute allowance. Each state has different qualifications for enrolling in the government phone program, but it is often required that you are already receiving government help from another program.
To receive government help, your total household income must be at or below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Charts listing the specific monetary numbers can be found online.
Free Government Phone – How to Apply
When applying for a government phone, you want to be very sure you understand the terms and conditions of the plan. For example, make sure you check the overtime charges per minute. Charging an excessive overtime fee is many times one of the ways that the cell phone companies compensate for the low monthly rate. You may want to check your past minute per month usage to make sure that you will stay within the stated minute allowance.
Often, for those with bad credit histories, an initial deposit is required when you start a government sponsored cell phone program. This fee can be waived if you agree to allow your phone service to be restricted to local numbers only. This limits the potential loss a cell phone company could receive. Restricting your phone to local numbers only is another good way to appease your cell phone company after some late or unpaid bills.
If you are accepted into a government sponsored free phone service, you will receive a complimentary mobile phone, often one of the most basic models, and approximately 250 minutes of usage time per month.