Friday, October 23, 2009

Welfare Cellular Phones

Welfare Cellular Phones

Fascinating. Apparently, cellular phone service has joined the category of fundamental human needs.
SafeLink Wireless is a government supported program that provides a free cell phone and airtime each month for income-eligible customers.

The process to qualify for Lifeline Service depends on the State you live in. In general, you may qualify if...

  1. You already participate in other State or Federal assistance program such as Federal Public Housing Assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid.


  2. Your total household income is at or below 135% of the poverty guidelines set by your State and/or the Federal Government.


  3. No one in your household currently receives Lifeline Service through another phone carrier.
  4. You have a valid United States Postal Address. In order for us to ship you your free phone you must live at a residence that can receive mail from the US Post Office. Sorry, but P.O. Boxes cannot be accepted.

In addition to meeting the guidelines above you will also be required to provide proof of your participation in an assistance program, or proof of your income level.

It appears that this has a limited number of minutes per month--apparently so that it is used primarily for emergency calls. It is rather astonishing how rapidly something that used to be a luxury is now considered such a necessity that the government subsidizes it.

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