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Landlines & Cell Phones and Service

Apply for Lifeline Universal Phone Service in Your State

Lifeline Landline Phones, Cell Phones & Low-Cost Internet Service

CATEGORYCOMMUNICATION
SERVICE/SUPPORT TYPELifeline Landline Phones and Cell Phones/Service
AGENCYLifeline Phone Service                                                                             
COSTFree to Low-Cost
ELIGIBILITY SUMMARYGenerally, only one Lifeline service is allowed per household. Basically, if you or your dependent child are receiving public benefits or if your income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines (https://www.lifelinesupport.org/ls/do-i-qualify/federal-poverty-guidelines.aspx) based on the household size and state, you may be eligible for a free Lifeline cell phone or Internet service. Programs include SNAP (CalFRESH in California) (used to be referred to as “food stamp” benefits), Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California), Social Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), Veteran’s Pension/Survivor’s Benefit or tribal programs while living on federal tribal lands if you participate in any of the following programs: one of the federal assistance programs, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Head Start (for those who income qualify); Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF) or a food distribution program on Indian Reservations.
WEB LINKhttps://data.usac.org/publicreports/CompaniesNearMe/Download/Report
https://www.usac.org/lifeline/
https://nationalverifier.servicenowservices.com/lifeline
Lifeline Support for Affordable Communications | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov)
APPLICATIONApply directly with Lifeline company selected by zip code or city/state and the product desired: https://www.lifelinesupport.org/how-to-get-lifeline/
ADDITIONAL INFOEnsure that if you have a current cell phone plan with a contract, you fulfill your contract guidelines and don’t just stop paying the bill. Once the contractual obligations have been met, then consider starting anew with a Lifeline phone Service. https://www.lifelinesupport.org/ls/do-i-qualify/default.aspx OTHER TIPS: Determine eligibility for a Lifeline free or low-cost landline, cell phone, or Internet. Some Lifeline cell phone carriers offer a smartphone with a SIM chip and others will offer a SIM chip that may be used in the user’s phone. Each free phone and phone service will be different. Check with the Lifeline carrier about the details of each plan. There are a number of carriers that offer significant Internet data and unlimited voice and text features, so select a plan that will meet your Internet, unlimited voice, and text needs. Another thing to keep in mind is that a number of Lifeline cell phone services don’t offer MSM text capability, so if you like to use emoticons, Bitmoji, or send pictures via text, you ought to find another way to communicate in this way. One may download an application such as Facebook Messenger, Line, or other applications, or use email to communicate other visual information. https://www.lifelinesupport.org/ls/apply-for-lifeline/default.aspx **If you own your own cell phone, determine which carrier the Lifeline carrier uses in order to determine if your new cell phone carrier’s SIM card will function with the SIM card that comes with your free Lifeline cell phone. Networks are generally CDMA, GSMA, GSM, HSPA/HSPA+.  There are also bands and frequencies to consider, but usually, matching the Lifeline network with your current cell phone network will ensure a successful transition from your current phone carrier to the Lifeline carrier you select. **Select the carrier or network to determine which Lifeline cell phone’s network will match your current cell phone’s network. Switching out service SIM cards with your own SIM card is at your own risk. Talk to the Lifeline company offering the service you select for more information about using the company’s SIM card in your pre-owned cell phone before making the SWITCH to determine if this is possible before making the SWITCH to a different carrier. Generally, one isn’t able to keep one’s phone number when opting for a Lifeline phone, so be prepared to let all of your contacts know what your new cell phone number will be if you opt for the free/low-cost cell phone and service plan.
Articles about Networks and Carriers:
https://www.cellularbackdoor.com/alt-networks/
https://www.comparecellular.com/networks/

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile has a wide range of coverage with an introductory price of $15 per month for three months and $25 per month thereafter. The deal is awesome and you can keep your phone number and check to ensure that their service will work with your current cell phone in your area before signing up for service.

Mint Mobile | Wireless that’s Easy, Online, $15 Bucks a Month

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