The Lifeline program helps ensure that low-income individuals and families in every part of the United States have affordable access to phone service.
Each qualifying household can use their Lifeline discount on one landline or wireless phone service. Without this program, millions of Americans would have difficulty affording even basic phone service. This, in turn, would make it hard for them to contact emergency services, family members, doctors, employers or to get or keep a job.
Although Lifeline had limited availability when it first started back in 1984, it is now open to all eligible households in all 50 states, along with US territories and commonwealths. Qualified individuals can choose from several Lifeline service providers, such Q Link Wireless. Let's take a closer look at the benefits that this program offers.
Phone Service Discounts
The main purpose of the Lifeline program is to provide individuals and families experiencing financial difficulties with the ability to afford phone service. Lifeline does this by giving discounts on landline or wireless service. The amounts of these discounts vary by state, but they can go as high as $9.25 per month or even higher if additional state support is available. These discounts do not include surcharges, taxes or mileage charges. Those who are interested in applying for the Lifeline program should check with Lifeline service providers in their state to see how much of a discount is offered.
Many Lifeline service providers must be approved by the FCC to provide discounted or free cell phone service to qualified individuals. Companies like Q Link Wireless also provide a free cell phone to use with the free monthly minutes as a cost they subsidize themselves.
Discounts for Tribal Residents
Qualifying residents who live on federally-recognized Indian reservations or on Tribal lands, such as Hawaiian Homelands or an Alaska Native region, receive a discount on one landline or cell phone per household. The total amount saved can include additional state subsidies. Applicants must show proof that they live on a reservation or Tribal land in order to be eligible for these additional discounts. Those who live in these areas might also be eligible to receive state support, if it is available.
Each state offers different discounts for the Lifeline program. For example, California's options include discounts on Flat-Rate Local Telephone Service with unlimited local calls and Measured Local Telephone Service, which allows 60 local calls per month. Interested applicants should contact their state to find out what discounts are offered on different phone services. They can also ask about the Link Up program in order to receive financial help with installation and connection fees.
Cell Phone Benefits
The benefits offered for wireless phone service also vary by state. In general, these benefits typically include lower rates, free minutes and no-cost cell phones if given by the provider. We'll explore the different plans and features available for Lifeline wireless discounts and provide more detailed information in a later segment.
"The Lifeline program's benefits go beyond tangible ones," says Issa Asad, CEO of Q Link Wireless and Quadrant Holdings, LLC, located in Dania, Florida. As Mr. Asad explains, "having affordable phone service gives low-income families peace of mind when it comes to their financial, physical and emotional well-being."
With the help of Lifeline's discounted phone service, eligible families have reliable access to 911 and other emergency services at all times. They can also keep in touch with other family members and friends on a regular basis and contact employers about job offers. They also won't miss out on job opportunities by not having a contact number to give to potential employers.
While the Lifeline program has been a valuable help to many in need, it has also been associated with several myths and misconceptions, especially in the past few years or so. In our next segment, we'll debunk these myths and explore the facts about Lifeline in order to help those who want to learn more about this program.
Above content provided by Q Link Wireless and its parent company Quadrant Holdings, LLC.
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