Lifeline is an outstanding program that’s now helping 8 million lower income Americans in 37 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico, but we won’t be satisfied until it’s available for those who need it in every state.
(PRWEB) September 20, 2011
According to FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net, the state of Maine just became the 37th state (plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico) in which free cell phones and free monthly minutes are offered to financially disadvantaged residents.
“This is great news for the needy in Maine,” said Mark Henry, Editor at FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net. “Economic times are tough and it’s almost impossible to land a job if you don’t have a phone to call potential employers. So Lifeline is going to help a lot of people get back to work.”
Although the program’s official name is Lifeline Assistance, phone companies offer it under their own unique brand names. But no matter what it’s called, the free government cell phone program is rapidly spreading across the country.
Lifeline rules vary from state to state, but generally say that one can qualify for a free cell phone and up to 250 free monthly minutes if they receive benefits from any of a wide range of government assistance programs, such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, Section 8 Housing and SSI, or if their household income is less than 135%-150% of the poverty level.
It’s a federally-mandated program funded by the Universal Service Fund, which adds a small fee -- usually no more than a few cents and rarely more than a few dollars -- to most everyone’s phone bill each month.
“Lifeline is an outstanding program that’s now helping eight million lower income Americans in 37 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico,” Henry added, “but we won’t be satisfied until it’s available for those who need it in every state.”
The government phones are available in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Note that California and Oklahoma are nearly free, charging just one dollar per month for the phone.
The biggest government phone companies are Tracfone’s Safelink Wireless, Virgin Mobile’s Assurance Wireless and Nexus Communication’s ReachOut Wireless. Smaller players include Conexion, i-Wireless, Life Wireless, StandUp Wireless, Terracom Wireless, Yourtel Wireless, Tag Mobile and Wireless for Hope. Some states have just one company participating in the program, and others have several.
For a complete list of participating states, their specific eligibility requirements and program features go to the Free Cell Phones by State page of FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net.
Lifeline Assistance is a government-supported program that provides free cell phones and minutes to millions of needy Americans.
FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net is the leading authority on the Lifeline program. It is a one-stop source for information on the program nationwide.
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