Without a phone, it’s easy to become trapped in a vicious low-income cycle. You’re trying to get a job, so you need a phone… but you can’t afford a phone without a job. What can you do?
Thanks to the low income Lifeline program, the solution is easy. In just a few minutes, you can apply for a phone program that will provide you with basic coverage for absolutely no charge. Although it’s certainly not luxurious and doesn’t include many extras, this program effectively solves the job-phone dilemma.
What is the low income Lifeline Program? What is Safelink Wireless?
The Lifeline Program provides eligible customers with discounts on their monthly cell phone service. Safelink Wireless offers a Lifeline program that provides basic monthly cell phone service and a free cell phone for absolutely no cost to you.
There are no bills and no contracts. Service continues as long as you remain eligible for the program and make at least one call every 60 days. Eligibility is reviewed annually, although customers who cease to meet eligibility requirements are expected to contact Safelink immediately.
What is included in a free cell phone plan?
Safelink Wireless offers three plans for clients to choose from. These plans offer 250 free monthly minutes, 125 free monthly minutes, or 68 free monthly minutes respectively.
All of these plans include:
- Local calls
- National long distance
- Nationwide texting (up to 1,250 texts per month)
- Voice mail
- Caller ID
- Call waiting
- FREE roaming
- FREE 911 (even if you don’t have any remaining minutes)
- FREE 411 directory assistance
Minutes carry over each month on the 68 and 125 minute plans. However, the minutes provided by the 250 minutes per month plan do not carry over unless you purchase additional airtime.
Although each plan offers 1,250 text messages per month, sending and receiving messages will reduce the number of minutes you have available. On the 68 minute plan, a minute of airtime is equal to 18.5 text messages. On the 125 minute plan, 10 text messages count as one minute. On the 250 minute plan, 5 messages are equivalent to one minute of airtime. It is important to note that the terms and conditions state that this rate applies to your account regardless of what is stated on any additional minute cards you purchase.
The Safelink program is sponsored by Tracfone, so Tracfone minutes can be purchased for additional airtime. However, purchasing additional time through the Safelink website will allow you to receive additional minutes for free. For example, purchasing 30 additional minutes for $9.99 will actually give you an additional 100 minutes on your account.
Am I eligible for free cell phone service through Safelink?
The requirements and benefits of this program vary by state. However, clients generally must receive an income at this 135% or less of the federal Poverty Guidelines and/or participate in one of the following programs:
- Food Stamps (SNAP)
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8 Housing).
Lifeline programs require verification of financial eligibility, although clients who are also served by the programs mentioned above may be able to verify their enrollment automatically through the application process.
Unfortunately, Safelink Wireless does not serve all 50 states yet.
Unfortunately, Safelink Wireless is not available in all states yet. As of July 10, 2014, Safelink Wireless is available in the following areas:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington DC
- West Virginia
Can I enroll in Safelink if I already have a Lifeline plan? Can my spouse and I each get a phone?
Unfortunately, no. There is a limit of one Lifeline plan per household. If you already receive service through a Lifeline program and would like to sign up for Safelink instead, you must first de-enroll from your current program before enrolling in the new program.
According to Lifeline, the term ‘household’ refers to any individual or group of individuals who live at the same address and contribute to or share the expenses of a household. By this definition, roommates are also considered part of a household. When necessary, applicants may demonstrate that they are part of a separate household from other individuals that share an address.
How can I get a free cell phone plan?
Simply click the link below! Once you arrive at the Safelink webpage, you’ll need to enter your zip code to get started. Be sure to check the page for special offers before you begin! Right now, they’re offering an additional 500 free minutes for the first three months!