Some time back we reported that Safelink Wireless was expanding into additional states — including the four that were not yet being served by the Lifeline Assistance free government cell phone program.
Well, it took a lot longer than we expected and it looks like Montana, Nebraska and Vermont are still out in the cold, but financially-strapped residents of the Pacific paradise can now get free government cell phones from Safelink, the biggest name in the Lifeline business.
If you qualify, you’ll get 500 minutes and unlimited texts each month for the first four months. (Be aware that after that initial four months introductory period, the program will revert back to 350 minutes and unlimited each month.)
Of course, all those free minutes and texts won’t do you much good if you don’t have a cell phone, so Safelink Wireless will give you one of those, too, if you qualify.
If you’re the talkative sort, and if you use up all your allotted monthly minutes, you can purchase additional minutes and top up by purchasing a TracFone Airtime Card. They’re available at any TracFone retailer — including Walmart, CVS, Kmart, Target, Radio Shack, Walgreens, Rite Aid stores, Family Dollar and Dollar General. Odds are you can probably find one of those stores right in your neighborhood.
Here’s how you qualify, hoaloha!
The rules and regulations in Hawaii mirror those in the other states and territories covered by Safelink. The requirements may vary a tad from state to state, but the two means of qualifying are generally very similar:
(1) You must have an income that is at or below 135% of Federal Poverty Guidelines, or (2) You must participate another government assistance programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP).
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8).
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
- The National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF).
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
- Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met).
- Other Hawaiian assistance programs
Say mahalo to Safelink
Now that Safelink Wireless has come to Hawaii, low income residents of the the Aloha State have more choices than ever. Six companies now offer Lifeline Assistance free government cell phones.
The others are American Assistance, Blue Jay Wireless, Budget Mobile, Total Call Mobile, and Tempo Communications. Each company offers slightly different plans with different numbers of minutes and texts and with slightly different restrictions.
Although Safelink is the biggest company in the free government cell phone business, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the best. We strongly recommend that you check out each company, assess the various plans, and choose the one that most closely fits your needs.
Shaka, shaka, wahines and Kānes.