InformationPlease.com says, “Although Puerto Rico has the most diversified and powerful industrial economy in the Caribbean, significant population growth and insufficient jobs have contributed to social and economic problems and to continued emigration.”
Fact is, residents of Puerto Rico face economic hardships that are completely unknown in the continental United States. The unemployment rate in the Commonwealth is a stunning 14.7% (as of June 2014). That puts a strain on a huge percentage of the island’s residents.
While things may look bleak, there is good news. The U.S. government’s Lifeline phone service program is now available to bring free cell phones and monthly minutes to Puerto Ricans. Over a half dozen cell phone companies are now offering the program here.
Free Cell Phone Providers in Puerto Rico:
Here’s a list of all the Lifeline Assistance free government cell phones in Puerto Rico. They all offer different plans with different numbers of minutes, different refill options, and serve different geographic areas. So click through them all and find the plan that’s best for you.
Lifeline Discount Companies in Puerto Rico
If you qualify for Lifeline Assistance, but you find that none of the companies offer free government cell phones where you live, you have another option. The companies below, while not offering free cell phone plans, do offer substantial Lifeline discounts off their regular mobile phone plans in Puerto Rico:
- ATT Mobility
- Claro de Puerto Rico
- Centennial de Puerto Rico
- Open Movil de Puerto Rico
- Total Call Mobile
How to Qualify for a Free or Discounted Cell Phone in Puerto Rico:
You are eligible if you receive benefits from any of these programs in Puerto Rico:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Veterans Pension and Survivor's Benefit.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
- Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Tribal Head Start (only those households meeting its income qualifying standard)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
In Puerto Rico, you may also qualify if your Total Household Income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. See chart below where we’ve done the math for you:
|Income Based Eligibility for Puerto Rico|
|Members in Household||Annual income|
|For each additional member add $5,832 annually|
Latest News for Puerto Rico:
If you have any other questions, please refer to the links in the sidebar.