More and more people are looking into getting a government cell phone for low income families. By providing this kind of provision, these family members can feel much safer in their communities during an emergency.
Low Income Cell Phone Programs
Many people can have access to Internet services even if they do not have a computer in their homes, because they can go to public libraries and other public spaces where Internet access is free to everyone. However, the same cannot be said for cell phone service, since it is highly personalized and mobile.
Low income families seeking free or subsidized cell phones should expect to receive very cheap mobile phones if they are approved for the programs described below, but this is still a monumental step up from having nothing at all.
One of the largest programs in the United States addressing this growing concern is Safelink Wireless. This is a government supported program that can provide a free handset and airtime for income-eligible customers. Interestingly, while it may seem that the government is funding the entirety of the Safelink Wireless service, the phones are not paid by taxpayers or the federal government. Instead, the service is supported by TracFone Wireless and is only available to individuals who qualify. Typically, these low income individuals are also being supported by programs like Food Stamps, Medicaid, and National Free School Lunch.
With this service, customers are provided with a mobile phone and a cheap cell phone plan that includes a limited number of minutes. They can choose to buy additional airtime as needed, but at their own expense.
Lifeline Across America
Intricately related to Safelink Wireless is a government program called Lifeline Across America. The main service supported here is called Lifeline and it "provides qualified consumers with a discount on monthly charges for their primary phone line."This is mostly targeted at conventional landline telephones, but the service is also applicable to families where the primary phone line is a cell phone. With Lifeline, consumers can save at least $10 a month on their phone bills
For a government cell phone for low income families, the other program offered by Lifeline Across America is called Link-Up. This program will pay up to $30 for a qualified consumer's home phone startup fees, even if it is a cell phone.
Free and Subsidized Phones
To best allow for the entire country to connect with one another, these government-supported programs can issue free or subsidized cell phones to those who qualify. If you already have a social worker or a relationship with someone in a similar profession, ask them for more information to see whether you qualify.