Your Guide to the Lifeline Assistance Program for Free Cell Phone Service
Introduction to Lifeline Program
Lifeline program exists to provide low-income consumers with access to free cell phones and discounted monthly data and minutes. No one should ever be without phone and internet services, and now they don’t have to be.
Those who live in low-income conditions and don’t possess cell phones are at a distinct disadvantage in the modern world. While out and about, they can’t contact friends or family or access the internet. They also cannot reliably apply for jobs without a working phone number.
Even worse, those without phone service have no way of dialing 911 if an emergency presents itself in the home or otherwise.
Lifeline Phone Program Overview
Lifeline is a program provided by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that aims to give low-income consumers access to affordable communication services.
While the program has existed since the 1980s, only recently in March 2016 did the FCC reform and modernize Lifeline to also provide broadband services to those in need.
Before this reform, 43 percent of America’s lowest income households claimed that they could not afford modern broadband.
Now, these households can finally connect to the fast-paced modern world thanks to Lifeline.
But there is more to Lifeline eligibility than income alone.
How can you Qualify for the Lifeline Assistance Program?
To be eligible for the Lifeline Assistance program, a household must be at or fall 135% below the federal poverty line.
A subscriber could also qualify for Lifeline cell phone program if they or their children or dependent participate in any of these assistance programs:
Though this eligibility is limited to only one household, the program’s broad range of categories ensures that those who need the services most will receive them.
Some documents you can use to qualify for Lifeline Phone Program
There is no shortage of ways for a consumer to prove their Lifeline eligibility. Here are a few documents you can use to qualify for the Lifeline Phone Program:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Copy of a Benefit Check Stub from the Social Security Administration. Copy of your Social Security Statement of Benefits. Copy of other official documentation from State Agency indicating current participation
- Food Stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Copy of your Award Letter. Copy of your Food Stamp Benefit Card. Copy of other official documentation from State Agency indicating current participation
Copy of your Medicaid ID Card. Copy of other official documentation from State Agency indicating current participation
- Section 8, or Federal Public Housing Assistance
Copy of your Award Letter. Copy of your Public Housing Assistance Lease Agreement. Copy of your Section 8 Voucher. Copy of other official documentation from Public Housing Agency
- Veterans Pension or Survivor's Pension
Veterans Pension Grant Letter. Veterans Pension COLA Adjustment Letter. Survivors Pension benefit Summary Letter
What determines a household size for the Lifeline Assistance Program?
Though the answer to this question may seem cut-and-dry, it is less straightforward than it seems.
A Lifeline discount can only be allotted to one independent economic household. While most people think of a household as simply a place where one or multiple people live, Lifeline’s policies define it as a group of people who live together and share money.
This means that if you live with a spouse, the both of you are only eligible for one Lifeline discount.
However, if you live with a roommate and do not share money with them, both of you could be eligible for Lifeline.
Be sure to check the What is a Household? section of usac.org for more information.
Some things to keep in mind about the Lifeline Program:
Here are a few important items to remember about the Lifeline program:
- 1. Recertify Every Year
This is vital if you want to maintain your Lifeline benefits over the years. Remember to do this on time so you don't unexpectedly lose your Lifeline discount!
- 2. Contact Your Wireless Company If You Move
If your address changes, be sure to notify your wireless company to avoid any potential confusion.
- 3. You Can Be Disconnected for Non-Usage
Make sure that you use your Lifeline service at least once every 30 days. Otherwise, you'll receive a 15 day notice to use it before it gets turned off.
- 4. You Can Be Disconnected if you No Longer Qualify
If you become ineligible for a Lifeline discount, whether it be a change in income or another reason, you can be disconnected from the service. Make sure to keep your company up-to-date on your eligibility so the disconnection doesn't come as an unwanted surprise!
How does the Lifeline Program give away free smartphone service?
I Like What I Hear! How do I get started with the Lifeline Program?
Signing up for your free wireless service is super easy!
Click the link here to sign up and check if your area qualifies for the service.
If your area qualifies, simply enter your shipping address and contact information, choose your phone plan, then provide proof of your eligibility.
With information and communication taking such a prominent role in today’s society, each day spent without it is a day spent at a disadvantage.
To receive FREE phone service, you first must be approved through the National Verifier. You can bring your own phone and keep your number to experience our 5G network coverage. We will ship you a FREE SIM Card Kit so you can get UNLIMITED talk & text if you already participate in government programs such as SNAP and Medicaid. Once approved, you can begin the phone activation process to receive FREE phone service online.
Don’t wait to get connected with the Lifeline Program. The world around you awaits.