People in Ohio who are facing tough economic times received a little bit more help this month, as Assurance Wireless became the second provider of no-cost Lifeline cell phones to the poor there. The Buckeye State becomes the 25th state, plus the District of Columbia, to approve service from this Sprint/Nextel company.
Under these government programs, low income and otherwise needy Americans are able to receive a mobile phone and monthly minutes for free. The program has become a huge success, now helping an estimated 6-8 million people in need across the country, and in Puerto Rico.
Previously, only Safelink Wireless was certified in Ohio to provide free cell phones and up to 250 free minutes under the Lifeline/Link-Up government assistance program. But the heat is on for Safelink; just last week we published a story on how Assurance Wireless is gaining on Safelink Wireless at a rapid pace.
As is standard with these wireless companies who offer Lifeline phones, the recipient gets voice-mail, Caller ID, and of course access to 911. Other services like text messaging are international dialing are available for a fee.
If text messaging is important, be sure to take a look at Safelink Wireless as they offer some limited text messaging at no cost.
Residents of Ohio qualify for a Lifeline phone if their Total Household Income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if they are already participating in one of the following programs:
- Food Stamps
- Section 8/Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Free National School Lunch Program (NSL)
- General Assistance/Disability Assistance
- Home Energy Assistance (HEAP)
- Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI)
- Ohio Works First or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
We’d like to hear from anyone regarding their experiences with either of these companies. Please leave a comment below.