Lifeline Assistance Program

This program provides a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund. The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands. All telecommunications service providers contribute to the USF, including:  wireline telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers.  Many telecommunications providers pass this charge along to its customers with a line item on their phone bill marked under "Universal Service."  However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not require that this charge be passed on to consumers.

How Lifeline Works

Lifeline provides a discount on monthly service of $9.25 per month for eligible low-income subscribers. Subscribers may receive a Lifeline discount on either a wireline or a wireless service, but may not receive a discount on both services at the same time. In the near future, Lifeline will support broadband and broadband-voice bundles. FCC rules prohibit more than one Lifeline service per household. Lifeline is available to eligible low-income subscribers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands.

To participate in the program, subscribers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines  or participate in certain assistance programs. You can see if you are eligible with the Lifeline Eligibility Pre-Screening Tool on the Universal Service Administrative website at www.lifelinesupport.org .

Following is a list of assistance programs that qualify a participant for Lifeline:

Effective December 1, 2016 for new subscribers & for existing subscribers’ first rolling recertification date

Effective December 1, 2016 for new subscribers & for existing subscribers’ first rolling recertification date

eligibility verification documentation

Acceptable documentation for Lifeline program eligibility verification includes: Current or prior year's statement of benefits from a qualifying program; notice letter of participation in qualifying program; program participation documents (or copy); or another official document of a qualifying program.

Acceptable documentation for income eligibility verification includes: The prior year's state, federal or Tribal tax return; current income statement from an employer or paycheck stub; Social Security statement of benefits; Veterans Administration statement of benefits; retirement or pension statement of benefits; Unemployment or Workers' Compensation statement of benefits; federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance; or divorce decree, child support award, or other official document containing income information. The subscriber must present the same type of documentation covering 3 consecutive months within the previous 12 months, if the documentation does not cover a full year of income.

Enroll

Apply for Lifeline through a Lifeline Program provider in your state or designated state agency. To locate a Lifeline provider in your state go to www.lifelinesupport.org  or call USAC's toll-free number (1-888-641-8722).

Required Information

The subscriber will also be required to provide certain information to the phone company or a state agency (depending how subscribers in their state sign up for Lifeline), including:

  • Name and address information. Consumers who do not have a permanent residential address must provide a temporary address, which cannot be a P.O. Box. If a consumer resides at a temporary address, the telephone service provider or state agency may require confirmation of the address.
  • Date of birth and the last 4 digits of the consumer's Social Security Number.
  • Consumers participating in the Lifeline program must notify the telephone service provider within 30 days if the consumer moves.
  • Consumers participating in the Lifeline program must notify the telephone service provider within 30 days if the consumer is no longer eligible for Lifeline.

limitations

Federal rules prohibit eligible low-income consumers from receiving more than one Lifeline discount per household. An eligible consumer may receive a discount on either a wireline or wireless service, but not both. A consumer whose household currently is receiving more than one Lifeline service must select a single Lifeline provider and contact the other provider to de-enroll from their program. Consumers violating this rule may also be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.

Lifeline Re-certification

Consumers who participate in the Lifeline Program must recertify annually that they remain eligible for the program and that no one else in their household receives Lifeline Program-supported service. If you do not complete the recertification process by the end of the year, you will no longer receive your free monthly Lifeline benefit and your phone will no longer work unless you add money to your account.

All of the information provided on this page and logo comes from the Lifeline Assistance Program website.

Access Wireless

Access Wireless service is absolutely free if you’re eligible. you’ll get a free cell phone, at least 250 voice minutes, unlimited texts per month. The minutes can be used for local or domestic long distance calling and text messaging. There are a variety of plans. 

Access Wireless customers receive a free monthly allotment of minutes on the same date of each month. This airtime can be used to make and receive voice calls or send text messages. Customers that require additional airtime can add money to their account by purchasing airtime with a debit/credit card online, over the phone, or on their Access Wireless phone, or by visiting an authorized Access Wireless retailer.

You may automatically qualify for Lifeline service provided by Access Wireless if you participate in any of the following public assistance programs:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance/Section 8
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps
  • Supplemental Security Income* (SSI)
  • Veterans or Survivors Pension Benefit
  • Tribal Qualifying Program based on state of residence

What’s included with your Access Wireless service

  • A free mobile phone*- *Free mobile phone is provided by Access Wireless.
  • 500 MB data, unlimited text messages, and 350 minutes each month**
  • Free voicemail, Caller ID & Call Waiting
  • Free domestic long distance
  • Nationwide coverage on the Sprint network
  • Exclusive Wireless Rewards program

**3G high-speed data. Customers that select a broadband service plan must maintain Access Wireless service for 12 months. Voice service plan also available. Customers that select a voice service plan must maintain Access Wireless service for 60 days. Access Wireless customers needing more airtime can purchase additional minutes/texts to add to their account.

How It Works

Access Wireless customers receive a free monthly allotment of minutes on the same date of each month. This airtime can be used to make and receive voice calls or send text messages. Customers that require additional airtime can add money to their account by purchasing airtime with a debit/credit card online, over the phone, or on their Access Wireless phone, or by visiting an authorized Access Wireless retailer.
 

How to Apply for Lifeline Service provided by Access Wireless

You can apply for Access Wireless service in a number of ways:

  1. Call 1-888-900-5899 to begin the enrollment process by speaking with an Access Wireless Customer Care representative

  2. You can download the Access Wireless Lifeline application for the state in which you live and return a completed application via US mail along with copies of your supporting documentation

  All of the information provided on this page and logo comes from the Access Wireless website.

Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless is a federal Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile. Enrollment is available to individuals who qualify based on federal or state-specific eligibility criteria. 
New customers who qualify for Lifeline Assistance will receive a FREE Android™ Smartphone, 350 FREE minutes, Unlimited FREE texts and 500 MB FREE Data each month. 350 FREE Voice Minutes, UNLIMITED FREE texts and 500MB FREE data added automatically each month. Add money for additional minutes, data or international calling. The Lifeline Assistance program is available for only one wireless or wireline account per household. 
 

Washington qualifying public assistance programs:

You may qualify for Assurance Wireless if you participate in any of the following public assistance programs:

  • Medical Assistance | Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Food Stamps/SNAP | Community Options Program Entry System (COPES)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) | Disability Lifeline (formerly General Assistance)
  • State Family Assistance (SFA) | DSHS Chore Service
  • National School Free Lunch Program (NSLP) | Refugee Assistance
  • Medicaid | Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Veterans Pension benefit or Survivors Pension benefit | Section 8/ Federal Public Housing Assistance

Or, you may qualify based on household income. Click here for more information.

 

Phone: 1-888-898-4888 To request application 

For Washington State customers, complaints regarding lifeline service may be directed to the Washington State office Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-551-4636.

All of the information provided on this page and logo comes from the Assurance Wireless website.

Budget Mobile helps out low income individuals by offering free LifeLine cell phones that include free cell phone service. In an effort to help those who have a hard time paying their monthly cell phone bills, a free government cell phone and free cell phone service from Budget Mobile is the perfect solution.This program is intended to provide financial relief to low income individuals who are having trouble paying their monthly bills. By participating in the free government phones program through Budget Mobile with free cell phone service, eligible recipients will be able to make calls, send texts, and use wireless data without the worry of having their service getting cut off. There is no cost and there are no contracts.

 

All Washington Budget Mobile LifeLine Eligible Customers Receive:

  • FREE cell phone
  • 500 FREE minutes every month automatically
  • 500 FREE texts every month automatically
  • Person’s using LifeLine Cell Phone Plans must re-register every year to remain eligible.
  • Only 1 person per household is eligible for a LifeLine Cell Phone Plan

Washington Budget Mobile LifeLine Plan Benefits:

  • NO Contracts, No Cost
  • Nationwide Coverage
  • Caller ID
  • Call Waiting
  • Voicemail

the eligible programs in Washington

Due to FCC changes to the LifeLine Program, all new applicants will need to submit proof of government assistance in order to complete enrollment. There are several easy methods to submit proof eligibility; you will be able to select what method is best for you later in the signup process.

  • Annual Income | Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Federal Housing Assistance (Section 8) | Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Food Stamps | Medicaid | Supplemental Security Income | Veterans Pension/Survivors Pension
  • Tribally-Administered Head Start Program (income based only) | Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

 

All of the information provided on this page and logo comes from the Budget Mobile website.