A Lifeline cell phone can be a big help for those with low income. Checking to see if you qualify is easy and applying only takes a few minutes.
Lifeline will usually provide a monthly discount of $9.25 and an extra $25 for tribal communities. It’s important to stay connected and having a cell phone has become essential nowadays.
Keep reading to learn how you could get a Lifeline and what you need to apply.
Check If You Qualify
Before you start the application process, you should check to see if you qualify. You can qualify based on income, if you already use government assistance, or if you live on tribal lands.
You can check a complete list of qualifying factors and whether or not you should be able to apply. No matter where you live, Lifeline is available in all states and territories.
If someone in your household already has a lifeline cell phone, then you will not be able to apply. The program allows only one Lifeline cell phone per household, even if they come from different services.
Income requirements state you must make 135% or less of the federal poverty guidelines. The guidelines are based on your household size.
You qualify if you already use government assistance. Here are a few examples:
- Supplemental security income
- Federal public housing assistance
- Veterans pension and survivors benefit
You can see if you qualify online with the National Verifier. It will ask you questions about where you live, your income, and it will verify it with the required documents.
You will not be able to use the online verifier if you live in Texas, California, or Oregon. In this case, you could apply by mail.
Choose a Company
Once you qualify, you can move on to choosing a phone company. You will have 90 days after you qualify to choose a company before you need to repeat the process.
If you already use a phone company, you can have them apply the discount to your monthly bill. Or, you can sign up with a new company and get a discount there.
Checking only takes a few minutes. By inputting the information on where you live – whether through state, city, or zip code — you’ll be able to see a list of all phone providers in your area. Finding a phone company won’t be hard and you’ll have plenty to choose from.
Keep in mind that the Lifeline program extends beyond phone service. You could also apply the discount to internet services, but only one discount can be applied.
Use Your Benefit
After you finish qualifying and choosing a company, you can start using your benefit. A discount of $9.25 can really add up. After one year it can amount to $111 and after five years it will be $555.
Or if you can’t afford a cell phone service, then Lifeline can be just what you need to sign up for one. The importance of having a phone isn’t just about day to day life, it’s also about your safety. Wherever you are, you can call emergency services immediately.
As for day to day life, almost everything is digital now. Having a phone is important for your job, making communication easier for you and your colleagues. Modern society makes it really important to have a phone and Lifeline could make it more doable for all of us.
Keep in touch with your friends, family, and loved ones without breaking your bank.
Apply If You Think You Qualify
Not enough people know about this valuable resource, so if you think you qualify, do not hesitate to apply. Only 27% of eligible households apply, meaning most people who can use this program don’t use it.
Close the digital gap and don’t get left behind. Most things require us to have a cell phone or an internet connection and without them, we can be at a serious disadvantage.
Although you can only use one Lifeline per household, if you know someone else who qualifies then you should encourage them to apply as well. It doesn’t matter if you want to use it for a cell phone service, landline, or internet service because your discount can be applied to any of it.