Free Cell Phones for Medicare Recipients
I have a friend that is 68 years old and he is currently on Medicare. Since he is retired, his only source of income is from Social Security which does not pay him a lot. He needs all the financial help he can get from the government. This includes getting subsidized housing and food stamps. Recently, he also found out that he could get a free cell phone based on his income.
The free cell phone program called Lifeline Assistance is an FCC mandated government program that helps people that are living 135 to 150 percent below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The free phones that are provided are not fancy phones like Android or iPhone but they do have the basic necessary features that a regular cell phone would have. Along with a free cell phone, you would also get up to 250 minutes of airtime per month, voice mail, call waiting, and caller ID. 250 minutes is not a lot of minutes because the purpose of these phones is to allow people to make necessary emergency calls. Even if you don’t have any minutes, you can always dial 911 for real emergencies anytime. There are several companies that provide free cell phones. The three companies are Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless, and ReachOut Wireless. These companies may or may not be operating in your state so you have to check their website to see if they operate in your state.
To apply for the free cell phone you can find an application at the wireless provider’s website. When submitting your application, you have to provide proof of your income which would qualify you for a free phone. Every year that you plan on staying on the program, you have to resubmit income verification otherwise your free cell phone service will be terminated. You could then opt to continue to pay regular rates in order to use the cell phone service.
If you wanted more than the free 250 minutes and text message allotment, you could purchase additional minutes from the wireless provider. The additional minutes are generally pretty cheap. Not all Medicare recipients can get a free cell phone as the free phone service is based on income. However, since many Medicare recipients have low income, they will probably qualify for a free cell phone.