6. Lifeline Cell Phone

Lifeline Program for Low-Income Consumers

“Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. In 2005, Lifeline discounts were made available to qualifying low-income consumers on pre-paid wireless service plans in addition to traditional landline service. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund.

The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands. Consumers with proper proof of eligibility may be qualified to enroll.

To participate in the program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in one of the following assistance programs:

Federal rules prohibit eligible low-income consumers from receiving more than one Lifeline discount per household.  An eligible consumer may receive a discount on either a wireline or wireless service, but not both.  A consumer whose household currently is receiving more than one Lifeline service must select a single Lifeline provider and contact the other provider to de-enroll from their program. Consumers violating this rule may also be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.”

Reference: Federal Communications Commission

Assurance Wireless

“Assurance Wireless is a federal Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile. Lifeline is a government benefit program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund. Enrollment is available to individuals who qualify based on federal or state-specific eligibility criteria. The Lifeline Assistance program is available for only one wireless or wireline account per household.

New customers who qualify for Lifeline Assistance will receive a FREE phone, 500 FREE minutes for the first 4 months and Unlimited FREE text messages each month. After 4 months, you get 250 FREE Voice Minutes each month. You will continue to receive UNLIMITED FREE texts each month for as long as you are eligible.”

Go to the link to select your State: http://www.assurancewireless.com/public/howtoqualify.aspx