We’re years past the Great Recession, but times are still tough for millions of Americans. Among all your other expenses, you might be faced with choosing whether or not you can continue paying for your mobile phone, if you even have one. Cell phones have become a necessary part of your day-to-day survival, and to be without one is unthinkable. But there is help. Did you know that the government has authorized phone companies to provide a free cell phone and service to tens of millions Americans at no charge? Yes, it’s true.
Just how much would one of these government cell phones change your life?
- An employer can more easily reach you with a job offer if you have a cell phone.
- You can you stay in touch with your doctor and other emergency medical professionals more easily with a mobile phone.
- A cell phone can help you keep in touch with family and other loved ones.
The government will pay for your cell phone and service
Thanks to the FCC-mandated, government-sponsored program, called LifeLine Assistance, the financially disadvantaged can receive a cell phone and anywhere from 250 to an unlimited number of minutes and texts every month — at no charge! And in the best deal in the country, Assurance Wireless, in conjunction with the California Lifeline program, offers an incredible unlimited talk and text plan. No cost. We see this as a trend that others will follow.
An estimated 12-15 million other Americans already participate, and tens of millions more qualify to enroll today. With the economy falling further and further behind, more and more Americans are finding themselves eligible for the Lifeline phone service program.
In the 90’s, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set up the Lifeline phone service program via a mandate by the FCC. This program, funded by Universal Service Fund fees on telephone bills, provides qualified consumers with discounted (often no charge) monthly telephone service. It began as just a landline program and a few years ago made it’s debut with cell phones. It’s been commonly called the Obama phone, but that’s a misnomer, an urban legend as the Lifeline phone program begsn under the Bush Administration.
A short six years later there millions of active owners of free government phones with service provided through the Lifeline Assistance program in nearly every state of the country.
Here’s what you get with your free cell phone
We wish we could tell you that the free government cell phone you’ll receive is the latest, greatest smartphone, but that simply isn’t always true. In most cases, Lifeline Assistance companies are likely to send you a used, but refurbished model. The companies usually buy these refurbished phones in bulk, and you never know which make or model you will receive. While a few companies offer newer smartphones such as Androids, many will send a basic feature phone. If you feel that you must have the most up-to-date technology, such as an iPhone, the Lifeline Assistance free government cell phone program may not be a good match for you.
In addition to the phone, which comes with voice mail, call waiting and caller ID and other features, you will typically get at least 250 minutes per month, but as we’ve pointed out, you could receive unlimited voice minutes (and even unlimited texting!) per month with some providers in some states. In addition, all companies offer the ability to send and receive text messages, some offering an unlimited number of texts.
How do you get this cell phone at no cost to you?
You can get your free mobile phone and service from dozens of Lifeline companies in 49 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico . From big companies such as Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless and Budget Mobile to regional providers to single state companies, odds are you’ll have an assortment of vendors to choose from.
To jump ahead to see if you qualify for the phone and service, click here now.
Since this is a federally-mandated program, there are basic features each company must offer. That said, the plans can vary measurably from company to company, so you need to check each offer in your state. You would not want to settle for 250 minutes, when a competitor will give you 1,000 minutes, would you? Some companies even offer unlimited minutes, but you have find out which ones might be in your state.
Eligibility is nearly uniform from state to state, with across the board qualification by participation in federal aid programs such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, and SSI among others. But, each state may have its own additional ways to qualify. And, if you aren’t on one of the listed programs, you’ll be able to qualify based upon your income level, even if substantially higher than the poverty level. It’s easy to qualify for a free government cell phone.
So no matter why you need a mobile phone: to look for a job, to keep in touch with your kids, or have for an emergency, you can get one at no out of pocket expense.
We invite you to explore this site and learn more about the companies, the plans and how you can get your own free cell phone. Follow the link below to learn more on how to qualify.
Lifeline cell phones authorized by the FCC