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Federal Program Offers Free Cell Phones and Service to Low-Income Families

Free cell phone for low income families

Under a new federal requirement, all states are now giving away free cell phone and service to low income individuals that make less than $15,890 a year. The name of the program varies in each state. For example, in Colorado, the program is called the Lifeline Assistance program.

Is this a new program?

The Lifeline Assistance Program was actually created in 1984 through the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to ensure that low-income consumers have access to phone service to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state to consumers who have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines.

How does one qualify?

To qualify, consumers must have a one person household income of less than $15,890 a year, or $21,506 for a household of two persons. They may also qualify if they are receiving public assistance, including food stamps, Medicaid, Public Housing Assistance, Low Income Home Energy Assistance, or the School Free Lunch Program.

In some states, many companies offer the program. For example, there are 40 companies in Colorado that offer the Lifeline Assistance Program.

For more details, visit www.fcc.gov/general/lifeline-program-low-income-consumers

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