While the pandemic has emphasized social distancing norms, the telecom industry is booming. People choose to stay connected with their loved ones and employees over the internet and or with their mobile phones. Free wireless phones under the lifeline program offer several benefits to families that can’t afford one.
What is the Free Lifeline Service in the US?
For many years, the state and federal governments in the US have been providing free or affordable wireless services to low-income families. People who fall under the predetermined cut-off range of income can avail of these services.
As a part of the Universal Service Fund, the program is available to consumers from every state and territory in the United States.
If you want to apply for a free wireless phone, here are the basic questions you need to ask to avail the best service in your area.
Are You Eligible to Get a Connection?
According to recent research, around 12-15 million Americans have a Lifeline cell phone, and about 10 million more are qualified to enroll in the program to avail of this service.
As a potential candidate to apply for a free wireless phone, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. The specific requirement for each customer differs from state to state. According to the federal poverty guidelines, your household income must be below or up to 135 percent to qualify for a free wireless service.
Lifeline benefits are limited to a single member per household. To apply for a service, you can enroll in any of the following programs:
- Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Section 8 Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA).
Which Company Provides the Best Service in My Area?
Several local companies provide free wireless phones in many US cities. It is always advisable to research the best company in the area and select one based on customer reviews.
There are top national companies that provide free wireless services for a lifetime. It is recommended to choose one of these depending on your location and availability.
What Documents Do You Need to Submit?
Once you choose your service provider, you must complete the application process to get a connection. It is critical to fill out all the necessary details and submit the application on time.
You may also need to submit a few sets of documents:
- Proof of income
- Participation certificate in federal or state assistance program
It is advisable to read the instructions properly and follow the steps of the application to avoid unwanted errors. Failure to submit necessary documents may lead to the cancellation of the application.
What Kind of Services Does the Package Include?
Before you select a package, you must understand the different services that it includes.
Some of the benefits that free wireless phones will give are:
- Unlimited text messaging
- Call waiting and call bearing
- Nationwide free calling
- Caller ID service
- Voice Mail
- Zero roaming charges
- Free emergency calling service
What are the Additional Benefits?
Many service providers in your locality will give you additional benefits like:
- Free activation
- Loyalty or reward points
- Prompt customer service
- Zero penalty fees for termination of services
- Easy renewal facilities
When Will Your Free Lifeline Service Expire?
According to the US Government, consumers should use their free wireless phones once every 30 days, failing which the service will be terminated.
It is advisable to make a call, send a message, or use the internet at least once every 30 days to enjoy uninterrupted, free lifeline services.
The lifeline program offers people a discount on monthly telephone service, broadband Internet service, or bundled voice-broadband packages if they already have a phone but need assistance paying their bills.
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