This week, fast-growing Assurance Wireless, who provides free cell phones and airtime to the poor, introduced their service to Kentucky.
This is great news for financially disadvantaged Kentucky residents, as there are over 211,600 residents in the hard hit state that are now without a job and more than 617,000 living below the federal poverty level.
Assurance Wireless, a company of Virgin Mobile, joins competitor Safelink Wireless as the two major companies who participate in the federal government’s Lifeline and Link-Up programs in Kentucky. Lifeline/Link-Up provide funding to telephone companies who provide the complimentary phone and minutes to those who qualify.
In Kentucky, someone qualifies if their total household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Additionally, being on one of the following public assistance programs automatically qualifies someone:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance/Section 8 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- National School Lunch Program (NSL)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
Qualifying customers will receive a modern mobile phone, with standard features such as voice-mail, caller ID, and call waiting, along with 250 minutes of free airtime each month. If you need additional services they’re available at very reasonable prices. For example, for just $5 per month you will receive: 500 total voice minutes per month. And for just $20 per month you will receive 1,000 total voice minutes per month plus 1,000 texts per month.
Assurance Wireless is now available in 24 states, plus Washington D.C. The states include: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
While Safelink Wireless is the largest Lifeline cell phone provider in the United States, number two Assurance Wireless is growing much more quickly. This is detailed with specific numbers in our article, Assurance Wireless gaining on Safelink.