Two-thirds of the world today is connected through mobiles, and it is the ideal way to stay in touch with your family and friends. While you can’t always afford mobile and internet plans, it can be a problem during emergencies.
When you’re looking for the ideal mobile or internet plan along with a free government phone, opt for the Lifeline program. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
What is a Lifeline Program?
The Lifeline program is an ongoing government scheme to make communication services like calling, texting, and data accessible to all income groups. Still, it is specifically targeted at low-income households.
You can get a discount on your monthly broadband, phone, or bundled services plan from Lifeline wireline and wireless service providers. This discount is given monthly and can go up to $34, giving you the chance to access educational and professional opportunities with a single click.
This program is managed by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), and you may have to renew your enrollment into the program after a year when USAC contacts you.
To be eligible for the Lifeline program, you have to ascertain that no one else in your household is already receiving benefits under this program. If you have an average income of less than or equal to 135% of what it stipulates in the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you can apply for the program.
Suppose you are a beneficiary under the Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension benefit, or any other program. In that case, you will also be qualified to apply for this program.
To apply, you must be registered under the National Verifier application system. It makes it efficient for USAC to approve your documentation and eligibility and renew your application once the year has passed.
The National Verifier system is not available in all states, so you need to check whether you must apply under the National system or through the federal one.
Suppose you have doubts or are having trouble filling out your application. In that case, you can always contact a local Lifeline program service provider who will ensure that your application is filled correctly and submitted.
Temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
As a part of the relief efforts since the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has introduced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. The FCC operates the EBB program, where the qualifications to apply are the same as the Lifeline program.
The EBB plan can provide you with monthly discounts on your broadband plan. If you are already covered under a Lifeline service provider, you simply have to request to be enrolled for the EBB plan as well.
Depending on your coverage area and service provider, your data download and upload speeds can differ. Many service providers are providing 5G services under this program.
Get Your Free Government Phone with the Ideal Service Provider
With the EBB program, you may be eligible to receive a free government phone along with a data pack, unlimited texting, and calling. Contact your Lifeline service provider to inquire whether you can receive a free phone under this program.
Since this is a temporary plan, opt for the program before it expires to make the most of it. Most providers will inform you about your eligibility to other similar permanent and temporary programs.
Similar to the Lifeline program, only one member per household can receive the program benefits.
What to Do When Your Plan Ends?
If you cannot get your Lifeline program benefits extended, you still have the option to remain with your Lifeline service provider. You may have to pay more after the expiration of your Lifeline program, but the prices tend to remain affordable.
If you are still eligible for the Lifeline program but have issues with getting the renewal, contact your Lifeline service provider for help.
Get an Affordable Plan with Free Government Phone
If you’re wondering whether your current phone number can be used for the Lifeline program, then yes, it can. You have to request your Lifeline service provider to port your number.
Once you get in touch with the customer service executive, they will usually handle the procedure for you. Most Lifeline service providers offer plans that work on most GSM phones, but if that’s not the case for you, you can purchase a new phone from your provider too.
Currently, your online Lifeline application can let you get the benefits of the EBB program, too, with no extra hassle. Converse with your friends and family without having a fear of running out of minutes when a secure Lifeline service provider covers you.