Free Wireless Phones For Low Income – Dealing with the financially disadvantaged issue makes the states have to bring this idea up where they can provide free cell phone across the country especially in this tough economic condition. Obviously, with the government assistance you can get a free cell phone if you only make a very little money. Or, you can join this free wireless phones for low income if you are the part of federal programs such as SSI, Medicaid, public housing and food stamps. Basically those who are capable to purchase a wireless phone or cell phone, few dollars are allocated to others who are not lucky enough to buy a new wireless phone by themselves. So, others paid your cell phone and therefore it is possible to get free cell phone. Well, this program has been there for several years. FFC mentioned that this program has been running since 1984 and it is called LifeLine Assistance in 1996. The program ran well and then was enhanced in 2005 in Bush administration. For the first time in 2018, government has their first free LifeLine phone brand called TracFone’s SafeLink that worked to distribute the free phones.
Jose Fuentes as the director of government relations from Tracfone mentioned that their work to promote LifeLine needs to be improved because the penetration rates are low. Behind the LifeLine, there is the Universal Service Fund as the surcharge on your cell phone bill. It was established officially in 1996 and USF has great commitment to give the service even for people who live in low-income and rural areas, libraries and schools. They provide both wired and wireless phone and you cannot take two options which means you have to choose. It has been long years for phone companies with LifeLine subsidies to give discounted service such as AT&T. The difference right now is the low-cost wireless providers can provide the same or to give totally free service.
Free Wireless Phones For Low Income and How It Works
Basically, LifeLine provides about 10 dollars per months of subsidy targeted to low-income Americans’ phone lines as it is explained by Fuentes. To make 10 dollars, it only takes about 250 minutes for TracFone and Virgin Mobile. Fuentes added that the phones are not paid by the government but from the companies.
So, it is a wrong assumption that the one who pay these cell phones are the federal government. Fuentes stated that they take the monthly discount and it will be directed to a low income family so they can receive the free cell phone. The government has the task to track the states that have biggest Lifeline participation. If they can collect the data, it means that they can check the amount of low-income residents to take the service. The states with big enthusiasts are Alaska, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama and Georgia. The LifeLine users are also could be found in Indiana and Hawaii.
Three Main Free Cell Phone Providers
There are three main free cell phone providers such as Tracfone’s Safelink, Nexus Communications’ ReachOut Wireless and Sprint’s Assurance Wireless. Other companies provide discounted service of the program but they don’t offer free phones, for example AT&T.
What kind of free cell phone they will provide? It is about a very basic phone. Fuentes said that it is not a cameraphone or smartphone. It just has ringtones, caller ID and call waiting.
For example, the SafeLink Wireless as the part of TracFone will only distribute Motorola 175, LG 320 and Samsung 105 phones. These are basic phones with no cameras, but has color screen. For ReachOut, they will give a random phone such as older or refurbished Samsung, Kyocera and other brands with different designs such as bars or flip phone but if you are lucky, you can get the cameraphone.
Who is Eligible to Get Free Cell Phone?
Those three companies work for different states. SafeLink has to handle 36 states, ReachOut works for 13 states and Assurance is 17 states. Therefore, they always require you to enter your ZIP code to make sure that you are in their area.
The requirements for every state can be different. It is important to check their web pages to make sure that you are eligible or not. In New York, assume that your family only makes about less than 30,173 dollars per year and you can apply this program to get one phone. If you are also in Section 8 housing, get food stamps, Medicaid, home energy assistance, veteran’s disability pension and other programs, you are truly qualified to participate in free wireless phones for low income.