According to CBS News, more than 72 million U.S. citizens struggle to make ends meet, despite a growing economy. Pandemic-related job loss and inflation are just two of the contributing factors. Families and the elderly have been especially hard hit, and many people struggle to afford the phones they need to stay in touch with employers and family members.
Several states have developed programs to provide residents with free and discounted phone service with these issues in mind. The California Lifeline Program offers residential phone and cell phone services to qualified households. The state provides one plan per household. Residents can contact participating providers, request California Lifeline discounts, and then begin an application.
How Lifeline Cell Phone Service Works
California social program administrators may reach out to citizens and explain that they are eligible for phone service discounts, and providers generally let customers know they can apply. Many residents visit the California consumer support website to get information. What they find here is detailed data that explains precisely how the program works and what discounts they can expect.
The program allows one discount per household unless residents include teletypewriter users or Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program members. Families may choose either a discounted cell phone or landline service.
Who Is Eligible?
Residents who believe they are eligible for discounted phone services can complete an application through a provider such as enTouch Wireless. Eligibility is based on income, and citizens participating in specific programs generally qualify. Those enrolled in Medicaid, Medi-Cal, CallFresh, SSI, and SNAP programs typically meet the requirements. It is also open to those who receive federal Housing Assistance or are enrolled in WIC. State residents can get information about the program at the California Public Utilities Commission website.
Because California Lifeline Cell Phone Service is based on income, residents whose income has been reduced can apply and determine whether they are eligible, according to realtimecampaign.com. Per AARP, California is unique in that it offers a LifeLine program to otherwise eligible low-income residents without Social Security Numbers. The state has a third-party Lifeline administrator and uses forms of identification other than Social Security numbers to guard against waste or fraud.
Features of the Lifeline Phone Program
Providers offering the discounted phone program offer detailed information about its features on their websites. The program can entitle customers to:
A new phone
A new, large Android OS
Unlimited talk and text
Free international calling
Many States Offer Similar Programs
Because recent events have impacted so many Americans economically, the lifeline phone program is not just limited to California. NPR recently reported that millions of Americans still need help with everyday needs like food and utilities. Senior citizens are often especially hard-hit since they may not be able to work.
With that in mind, many seniors are searching the Internet to get answers to questions like, “What Companies Provide Florida Lifelink Landline Service?” In fact, Florida is one of 49 states that now offer free cell phone service. Like California’s program, citizens must meet income thresholds to qualify.
America’s recent economic downturn has made it difficult for many California citizens to afford necessities such as phone service. Fortunately, the state offers the Lifeline Cell Phone Service, which provides residents with free phones and discounted service. Other states offer similar services and provide them to residents enrolled in specific assistance programs and those who meet income requirements.