Many people don't know that in some states low-income households can get a free cell phone with around 250 minutes a month using the Lifeline subsidies from taxes paid on telecommunication services. However some people may have blown through many free cell phones during the time period when the providers of these services were not checking.The FCC is fining Lifeline providers Cintex Wireeles, Telrite Corop and Global Connection are being fined a total of over $44 million dollar for receiving or requesting Lifeline payments for customers who had more than one account. The penalties are in addition to the recovery of universal service funds paid to the carriers for duplicate
The FCC reported, "In these cases, the carriers knew or should have known, based on their own internal data, that they were not entitled to support for these duplicates under Lifeline program rules."
In the last three months the FCC has proposed over $90 million in fines for Lifeline abuse.
We noticed that there were bunch of websites with names surrounding free government cell phones, that promoted the services.
Meanwhile those who truly need cell phone service which replaces the Universal Lifeline service for landline. There is only one free account allowed per household. Low income is as usually below as $24,700 for household of 1-2 people or those who receive public assistance. The plans cover around 250 free minutes and 250 free text messages.
The Two major companies that companies offer free cell phones for low-income participants - SafeLink Wireless and Assurance Wireless. Documentation of income or program participation may be required for enrollment.
Assurance Wireless is now live in many parts of California, we checked Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sonoma and Palm Dessert zip codes through the online qualifier. To learn more about Assurance Wireless, including eligibility requirements, please call 1-800-395-2171 or visit ww.assurancewireless.com or download the application online. This service is provided by Virgin Mobile as part of the Sprint network.
Assurance Wireless is currently available in 34 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Safelink Wireless program offers 1,000 text messages and 250 minutes per month.
To learn more about SafeLink Wireless, including eligibility requirements, please call 1-800-977-3768 or visit safelinkwireless.com.
See other low-cost cell phone and smartphone options.