Reviewed: The 7 Best Cellular Lifeline Service Providers
Last Updated: August 11, 2017 by
For those who are elderly, down on their luck, or find themselves in low-income situations, the need for a secure form of communication at an affordable cost becomes more important than ever. Lifeline is a federal program dedicated to providing substantial discounts on phone and internet services to low-income consumers. The program has been in use for over 30 years. It makes it possible for people to connect to jobs, family, and emergency responders without the concern for costly service plans.
The Lifeline program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company. They handle data collection and benefit disbursement for the program. Lifeline is available in every state and on tribal lands. The program distributes a monthly stipend toward either voice or broadband internet services.
Lifeline eligibility requires proof of participation in one of several government assistance programs. All providers will require these forms of proof. They can include Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income, among others. Qualification is met when a household's total income is at one hundred thirty-five percent or less than the federal poverty guidelines. USAC defines a household as a group of people living together and sharing money. This is regardless of whether they are related to each other. Examples include a married couple sharing money or an adult who lives with friends offering financial support. By contrast, 3 roommates living together, but who do not share money, would be considered 3 separate households.
Lifeline service providers allow one discount per household. Depending on the company chosen, annual re-certification or renewal is also a requirement. The service must also be used at least once within a thirty-day period for your account to remain active.Important notice: When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue.
Q Link is a free cell phone provider under the federal Lifeline program. Similar to services like Assurance, it is designed for people who could not otherwise afford a phone plan. They offer basic calling and data services for free to qualifying residents of the states they cover. Eligibility is dependent on state regulations. Q Link will help you determine if you fit the bill and guide you through the approval process.
EnTouch Wireless is a nationally-based wireless communication company supporting the Lifeline program. Located in Hiawatha, Iowa, the company promotes safe and community-connected engagement. EnTouch has been representing the Lifeline program for the last five years. One of its target demographics includes young mothers living below the poverty line. The company strives to ensure that such customers have the ability to stay connected to their communities. Additional EnTouch customers include veterans, the elderly, and tribal members.
Life Wireless provides customers with free smartphones and cell service through the federal Lifeline program. It is available in over 30 states and Puerto Rico. While eligibility varies by state, they can help you through the process of determining and proving you are qualified. In most cases, those receiving federal assistance of any kind can join the program. The plans they offer also vary by state. Most include some free minutes, data, and unlimited texting each month.
TerraCom Wireless is a multi-state regional provider of Lifeline cell phones for low-income consumers. The service is available in 13 states. Upon verification of Lifeline eligibility, a cell phone is provided free of charge. No credit checks, contracts, or deposits are required. Service features include caller ID, call waiting, three-way calling, call forwarding and voicemail functions.