Free Cell Phone Assistance for Low-Income Consumers
Telephones are not just a convenience in today’s society, they are a necessity. However, monthly fees and start-up costs often prohibit income-strapped citizens from obtaining these services. The Universal Service Fund (USF) sponsors two programs to help income-eligible consumers set up and pay for monthly telephone services. These two programs, called Lifeline and Link-Up, have been operating for more than twenty years and guarantee Universal Service to citizens in the United States. Information about them can be found on the FCC’s website.
Lifeline Assistance is available to provide a discount on monthly phone service fees for lines located at primary residences. Although discounts vary from state to state, qualified subscribers could save up to $10.00 a month.
Link-Up Assistanceis available to help with start-up costs for income-eligible consumers and will pay half the cost (up to $30.00) of installation for a traditional home-based phone line. It will also pay half the activation fee for a wireless telephone located at a primary residence. Any remaining charges can be paid, interest-free, on a deferred schedule.
Free Cell Phone Assistance. In 2008 the Lifeline program expanded its assistance to include cell phone service. Reachout Wireless and Safelink Wireless are two companies working with the FCC to provide cell phone service to those eligible. To find out more, visit the links provided. Step by step directions through either service are available through the following links:
Directions for Reachout Wireless
Directions for Safelink Wireless
Directions for Assurance Wireless
Check the Monroe County Library System’s Lifesavers for a Sinking Economy webpage for links to other agencies and programs providing help to Monroe area citizens.