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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.

33 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Categories: Cell Phones   Tags:

ReachOut Wireless

ReachOut Wireless is a regional provider of free LifeLine program cell phones for residents of certain states who meet Federal guidelines. The cell phones are currently available through ReachOut in 25 states. ReachOut is a subsidiary of Nexus Communications. Several other wireless companies also participate in the program. We recommend investigating every program available in your state to determine which program best meets your needs.

The LifeLine program is funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF) collected from the telecommunication companies in the form of the Universal Service Charge. It is not taxpayer-funded service. LifeLine companies like ReachOut Wireless receive payment for their free services from the revenues generated by the USF. The LifeLine Assistance Program exists to ensure telecommunication services are available to low-income and at-risk households.

The program ensures these subscribers can access employment and educational opportunities equally with all other Americans. Ultimately, an educated and employed workforce will continue to grow the US economy, a winning solution for taxpayers and businesses alike. ReachOut Wireless is proud to participate in this important program and to do so in accordance with the “Wireless Eligible Telecommunication Carrier Commitment to Best Practices” guidelines.

To qualify for a free LifeLine program cell phone, you must live in a qualifying state. If you receive assistance from any Federal assistance program, such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, SSI or Supplemental Security Income, Section Eight Housing, Energy Assistance, TANF, or free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program, you qualify. You will not have to provide documentation that you are receiving one of these programs to qualify for a free ReachOut phone. The only restriction is that no one else in your household can be receiving a LifeLine free phone either through wireless or a landline.

If you are not receiving Federal assistance, you may still qualify for a free Lifeline cell phone through ReachOut Wireless. Depending on your state, you may be able to qualify for a LifeLine phone if your income is below 135 to 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. You will have to provide proof of low income to apply in this manner.

With both qualification methods, the Federal LifeLine program requires you complete an application that includes your name, address, Social Security Number, and a telephone number where you may be reached. Federal guidelines require you recertify for the program every year. Failure to do so will result in your free contract being cancelled. You may still keep the phone and pay regular wireless rates for your services.

ReachOut phones vary by model and availability, as well as by the features available. They may be new or reconditioned phones. You can upgrade your phone and services or add additional minutes to your free LifeLine phone plan for small monthly fees. Every month, your free LifeLine minutes are credited to your phone account.  Once you complete the application and qualification steps, it takes 5 to 7 days to receive your phone and activation instructions.

For more information on Reachout Wireless and their service plans, visit www.ReachOut Wireless.com.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 2, 2013 at 9:16 pm

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Assurance Wireless: Free Cell Phone Program

Assurance Wireless, a part of Virgin Mobile, proudly participates in the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program. The Universal Service Fee charged on telecommunications services pays for the Lifeline program. The plan allows all people to contact 9-1-1 or other emergency services, jobs, doctors and family members free if they meet the requirements of the program. The program is a government benefit for certain people who need extra help.

Some people who receive this Federal government benefit include:

  • Adults of all ages, including seniors
  • People on disability
  • Food stamp recipients
  • Farm Aid recipients
  • General Relief recipients
  • People on Medicaid
  • People on Medicare
  • People on Social Security
  • People in Section 8 subsidized housing
  • Refugee or Entrant Cash Assistance recipients
  • People who receive SSI benefits
  • People with incomes lower than 135% of the national poverty rate

Each state has different qualifications for the program. Lifeline applicants are required to verify their eligibility for the program as part of their enrollment package.

Only one phone line per household can get the Assurance Wireless Lifeline program. However, separate households living at the same address can be eligible. This includes residents of homeless or domestic violence shelters or nursing homes. People with temporary addresses can also apply for the program. The Assurance Wireless program is available in most states.

A person eligible for Lifeline assistance through Assurance Wireless receives a free wireless phone plus 250 free talk minutes and 250 free text messages every month. The models of the phones available vary and they cannot be traded for a different kind of phone. Program participants can add money to their wireless plan to buy extra talk minutes, extra texts, or international calling features. Virgin Mobile offers Top-Up cards at many stores to help customers add money to their account. Money can be added using debit cards, credit cards or PayPal, too.

The wireless phones provided under the Lifeline program use the Sprint nationwide network for coverage. They include voicemail, call waiting and caller ID as part of the package, and there are no contracts, bills or activation fees to start the program. Calls to Assurance Wireless Customer Care are free. Participants can even keep their current home or cell number if they switch to the Lifeline program. Participants must make at least one call every 2 months to stay eligible for the program.

To enroll, complete the enrollment form online or print it and mail it. Include proof of eligibility for the program by sending COPIES of any of the following documents:

  • Benefit ID card from any public assistance program like Medicaid, Medicare, Section 8 housing, SNAP or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Eligibility letter from an authorized agency
  • Benefits statement from the current year

People who earn less than 135% of the national poverty rate are also eligible for the Assurance Wireless Lifeline program. The exact amount of annual income limits depends on the number of people in the household. A household is any person or group of people who live at the same address and share income and expenses.

To apply based on income, submit proof of income by sending a COPY of any one of these documents from the most recent 12-month period:

  • Pay stubs for the past 3 months
  • Social Security benefits statement
  • Veterans Administration benefits statement
  • Retirement or pension benefits statement
  • Unemployment benefits statement
  • Most recent Federal or state income tax return
  • Income statement from employer
  • Federal letter verifying participation in General Assistance programs
  • Divorce decree or child support document containing income information
  • Worker’s Compensation statements

Once an application for Assurance Wireless Lifeline is approved, the household receives their phone and supply of minutes and texts. People who receive the service can keep it as long as they continue to qualify based on income or participation in an assistance program. Only the head of the household can apply for the program.

Assurance Wireless contacts every program participant at least once a year to verify eligibility for the program. If the participant does not provide the information required on time, their program ends. Federal law requires this. People on the program must contact Assurance Wireless immediately if they are no longer eligible for the program. Assurance can switch that customer to a regular Virgin Mobile wireless plan at that time if needed.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 13, 2013 at 3:28 am

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Safelink Wireless Reviews

Safelink Wireless is managed by Tracfone Wireless, a household name in communications. Tracfone Wireless has partnered with the state and federal government to create a low cost wireless phone and service available to anybody with low income. For those who qualify as low income, you get a free phone plus free allowance for monthly minutes, up to two hundred fifty minutes a month for free. You could also get even more free minutes by referring a friend. These phones are meant for those who cannot afford a regular cell phone and should be used in case of emergencies.

The improved Lifeline program now covers cell phones and is preferred over a landline phone. Cell phones are cheaper to buy and maintain with monthly payments. You can also carry them anywhere. With free monthly minutes and a free cell phone provided by Safelink Wireless, this helps many of those who have hit hard times.

With the economy in a rut, there are thousands out of a job and in need of a break. Having a free cell phone would allow those unemployed to more easily find a job. To find out if you are eligible for a free phone, check the lists of states where Safelink Wireless is accessible. Requirements for eligibility will also differ from state to state, so check their website before sending in an application. If you meet all the requirements, you should be able to get a free phone.

To apply for a free phone, you will need to submit some documents to Safelink to prove eligibility. This is easily done online and is not difficult at all. After a review and approval, a free government issued cell phone is sent to you. The regular free service is an allowance of 250 minutes a month, but if you need more minutes you will have to pay for the extra minutes. This is because the wireless service is classified as a public service effort. To make sure all subscribers get some free minutes each month, the number of minutes per user is rationed and limited. To apply for more minutes visit the company website where you can add more minutes and add more features to your free phone. These extra services will vary depending on your state.

Cell phone coverage is made possible by TracFone. Depending on your state, Safelink phones will be supported by AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. For qualifying states, the coverage in your area should be very good since your phone is supported by major carriers.

SafeLink Wireless is located in Miami Florida and subscribers can visit their website or send an email to ask questions. They can also be contacted by phone for enrollment or for plan changes (1-800-SafeLink).
If you have used Safelink Wireless, please leave comments below regarding your experiences.

6 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 1, 2013 at 1:13 am

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Free Cell Phones for Poor People

I have a friend who comes from a poor family. The family barely makes enough money to put food on their table. They had to apply for many government assistance programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and housing assistance. Even with all these programs they were still just barely making it. My friend’s husband was working at a minimum wage job and my friend was a stay at home mom taking care of the three kids. To help ease their money burdens, I told them that they could apply for free cell phones for poor people.

I know that their cell phone bill is about 60 dollars per month. If they cancelled their current cell phone plan and got the free cell phone service, they would be able to save that 60 dollars and put it towards better use. I told my friend that the government has a subsidy program called Lifeline. This program pays for free phone service for low income households and it is paid for by the Universal Service Fund. The cell phone service provider such as Safelink Wireless or Assurance Wireless would supply the free cell phone along with free minutes. You would typically get a free cell phone including 250 free air times per month which would include text.

To apply for the cell phone, I instructed my friend to go to the wireless service provider’s website to apply. From there you can print out the application and fill it out. First, you have to check to see if the program is available in your state. If so, then you can fill out the application. You would then have to submit proof of your eligibility. That means you could send proof that you are receiving other government assistance. You could also send your previous year’s tax return or last three months pay stub. Once you are in the program, you would have to send proof of eligibility each year that you plan on staying on the program.

The cell phone program allows 250 free minutes per month which is not a lot of minutes. The phone should mainly be used for emergencies and not for chatting with your friends. However, if you wanted, you could also purchase additional minutes. For five dollars, you could buy another 250 minutes.

After I told my friend about this program, she felt very happy because it would alleviate her financial burden a little bit. Every little bit of savings helps when you are trying to keep your expenses in check.

4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - February 20, 2013 at 4:23 am

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Free Cell Phones for Veterans

My dad is a war veteran who has now retired.  He currently lives off of Social Security and VA benefits.  It is quite hard for him to meet his monthly expenses.  He has had to scrimp and save every penny and even though life is still tough financially speaking.  I told him to eliminate all the extra expenses that are not necessary in his life such as cable TV and a cell phone.  He said that he could get rid of the cable TV but the cell phone was necessary.  He might need to make emergency calls to family and friends.  I had to agree with him on having the cell phone.  If he didn’t have one, I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with him.  But, the cell phone plan he had was still rather expensive.  He was paying about $50 per month.  I decided to do some research to find out if there were cheaper alternatives.

After doing some research, I was able to find out about the free cell phones for veterans program.  Since my dad was retired and collecting only from Social Security and VA, he was able to qualify for the program due to his income level.  The program is funded by Lifeline which is a government subsidy program and is paid for through the Universal Service Fund.  To get the free cell phone, my dad had to fill out an application through Safelink Wireless or Assurance Wireless.  Both are cell phone service providers.  Not only would they give him a free phone, but he would also get about 250 free minutes per month for calling and texting.  To get into this program, my dad had to send them proof of his income.  He used his previous year’s tax return but you could also use your pay stubs for the last three months.  Luckily for my dad, he lives in a state where this Lifeline program is available.  Apparently, this program is only currently available in 38 states.  You can check if it’s available in your state by going to Safelink Wireless or Assurance Wireless and then entering your address.  My dad would also have to show proof of his income every year if he wanted to stay on this program.

In my research for free cell phones for retired soldiers, I also came upon a non-profit organization called Cell Phones for Soldiers.  This organization aims to provide free communication services for active duty military members and veterans.  It started in 2004 and has provided about 181 million minutes of free talk time.  This program is supported by donations from others which include old cell phones and phone cards.  You can check them out at their website for more information on how to apply for a free phone.

I’m glad I was able to find a free alternative cell phone plan for my dad.  That has allowed him to save $50 per month which he uses to buy food.  This program can certainly help a lot of people that are like my dad.

19 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - February 13, 2013 at 11:49 pm

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Free Cell Phones for Low Income Families

There are literally millions of low income families in the US today. Ever since the recession hit, there has been a growing number of families that fall under the low income status. A close friend of mine was under the low income status and her family was receiving government assistance such as food stamps and Medicaid. However, they were still just barely scraping by in life. The husband works a low paying job while my friend stays at home to care for the kids. Since their household expenses are pretty tight, I told them about the free cell phones for low income families program.

They currently pay about 60 dollars a month for two cell phones. If they were to get a free cell phone, they would be able to save that 60 dollars and put it towards other expenses. I explained to them that only one free cell phone would be given to a household. They would also be able to get about 250 free minutes every month which would include text. The program is funded by a government subsidy program called Lifeline and is paid for by the Universal Service Fund. The phone would be perfect for use in emergency situations. It should not be used for making social calls as you would quickly run the minutes down.

To apply for the program I told my friend to go to Safelink Wireless or Assurance Wireless and apply through their website. These two companies are service providers. On their website, you can select the state that you are living in and it will tell you whether or not the program is available in your state. Currently, the program is available in about 38 states and more states will probably be added in the future. Once you fill out and submit the application, you will also have to send proof that you are currently receiving other government assistance benefits or you can submit proof of your income. If you submit proof of income, you would have to either submit your previous year’s tax return or you can submit your last 3 months pay stub. Once you are approved, you will have to submit proof of eligibility every year that you plan on staying on the program. My friend asked me what to do if she needed more than the 250 minutes allotted per month. I told her that she could add minutes to her plan but she would have to pay for it. However, adding extra minutes is pretty cheap. You could add another 250 minutes of airtime and text for about 5 dollars.

My friend was happy to hear about this program because it would definitely save a lot of money for her family. She said that the money saved would be able to go towards buying healthy food and paying for gas. I would imagine this program could help many families facing similar situations so they do not have to choose between buying food and paying their cell phone bill.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 4:15 am

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Free Cell Phone for Medicaid Recipients

Medicaid is a health program in the U.S. that benefits certain types of people. For those on Medicaid, your health care would be paid mostly by the government. The types of people that qualify for this program are low income adults and their kids and people with disabilities.

A lot of people are unaware that you could get a free cell phone if you are a Medicaid recipient. Under the lifeline Assistance Program, you would be able to get a free cell phone along with free minutes. This program is supported by the federal Universal Service Fund. There are several wireless companies that offer the free cell phones. One is Safelink Wireless and the other is Assurance Wireless. Typically, you would a free wireless phone plus 250 free voice and text minutes each month.

Most people that want to apply for a free cell phone must meet the total household income guidelines set in their particular state. However, if you already have Medicaid that means you already meet the income qualifications. To apply you would need to provide proof that you are on Medicaid. The free phone service program is not available in every state yet. You would have to call up the wireless company and check to see if there is service in your area. If one provider does not service your area, then check another provider. You can also go to the wireless company’s website and see which states are has this service.

Usually, there are restrictions to these free cell phone programs. For example, you are only allowed to have one cell phone per household and you must be living at the address that you provide. You will also have to certify that you are still eligible for the lifeline Assistance program every year. You can do this by showing proof that you are still in the Medicaid program.

The free cell phone program offers a certain amount of free minutes and text per month. If you wanted, you could add more minutes and text to your plan. Of course, that would mean you would have to pay some money. For those that use the cell phone for emergency purposes only, the amount of free minutes that are offered should be sufficient. Since there is no contract involved in this program, you can cancel your service at any time. It is a great program for those who do not have phone service and really need to use one on occasion.

25 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 14, 2012 at 3:16 am

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Free Cell Phone for the Disabled

A close friend of mine who has been unemployed for a while told me that he has been having trouble paying for his bills. Ever since his on the job accident, he has been living off of disability. Since disability barely pays anything, he has had to cancel some services like cable TV and internet. And due to the increasing cost of fuel and food, he has decided that he would have to cut his cell phone as well. I told him that I did not think it was a good idea to cut off his phone service because then nobody would be able to contact him. He would also have no way to contact anyone if he was in an emergency.

He told me there was nothing he could do because he had no money to pay for the cell phone service. So I recommended that he apply for free cell phones for disabled people. My friend would be able to get a free cell phone with some free minutes due to his low income. Since he’s considered to be living below the poverty level and probably meets the Income Poverty Guidelines, he should be able to qualify for this program. I told him to go to the Safelink website because that seems to be the most popular program that I know of.

Through Safelink wireless program he would be able to get a TracFone cell phone. He would not be subjected to a contract and would have no bills. The phones are all pre-paid. In addition to the free cell phone he would also get 250 free minutes each month. Once my friend was on the Safelink website, he filled out the application online and submitted it. After he submits the application, the state would contact him to verify his income level. If he is approved, the state would contact Safelink informing them that he qualifies.

Every since applying and receiving his free cell phone, my friend has been very happy with the service. After all it is free so there’s no much to complain about.

20 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 24, 2012 at 3:39 am

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Free Government Cell Phones

If you are a low income individual or come from a low income household, you may have already applied for many government assistance programs. These may include Food Stamps, Medicaid, energy assistance, and housing assistance. You may think that there are no more programs you could apply for but there is one more. Recently, I applied for the free government cell phones program. Through this program, I was able to get a free mobile phone and free airtime minutes.

There are several companies that offer this program. The two major ones are Safelink Wireless and Assurance Wireless. I picked Safelink because they had the program available where I lived. They might not be available in every state of the U.S., so you can try Assurance Wireless if that is the case. You can check to see if the program is available where you live by going to their website and putting in your zip code. The program is subsidized by the government and therefore in order to qualify you have to show proof of your income eligibility. Your household income must not reach above whatever limits the state sets. Just about anyone can apply including seniors, students, disabled people, families, or just about anyone that is in the low income range. From the Safelink website, you will find the application for the free cell phone service. Once you send in the application and everything is set, you should get your free phone and free minutes. You would probably get about 250 free minutes per month. You would also need to send in an income verification form every year that you plan on using the program.

This free phone service is meant for poor people who have no access to phones so that they can make emergency calls and keep in touch with the world. When you start using your phone, you may want to keep an eye on the amount of minutes that you use. It can be very easy to use up all those free minutes if you are not careful. They do have the option to refill your card if you were to run out but that would cost money. As for me, I never had any problem in keeping my phone usage under control. It is a great program for people like me.

28 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - August 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm

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