Facts About the Free Cell Phone ProgramSeptember 28, 2017
The government has provided a way for men and women who have low incomes to get a cell phone. The government cellphone program is a generous program that helps millions of people obtain devices for emergency phone calls. The following are 10 facts about the program:
1. Obama Gets Undue Props for the Program
Many people refer to this special phone as the “Obama” phone. However, Obama had nothing to do with the program’s implementation. The government issued its first mobile phone when George Bush was president. Lifeline started offering discounts on other types of phone service in 1985 when Ronald Reagan was president. Some people even argue that similar benefits were available years before Reagan was president. The debate could go on forever. The point is that Obama did not coin this program, so participants should not be speaking of an "Obama" phone.
2. Many Americans Have Lifeline Mobile Phones
Approximately .03 percent of American citizens have government phones, and no one knows it. That’s more than 10 million people. The program mostly consists of basic phones like bar phone and flip phones. Users can put different phones onto their accounts if they so desire, but the government only supplies an unfashionable unit.
3. Eligibility Breeds Eligibility
People who are already getting foods stamps or Medicaid can easily qualify for the Lifeline mobile phone program. In fact, the Medicaid and food stamp applications have a section in them where applicants can express their interest for the phone. That makes the application process painless and stress-free.
4. Impoverished People Get Quick Approvals
The government approves some applications based upon the applicant’s poverty level. The level of acceptance varies by state. New Jersey and some other states accept people who have incomes that are 135 percent below poverty level. Other states start accepting people at 150 percent below poverty level. Impoverished people tend to get quick approvals for this program.
5. Non-Citizens Can Reap the Benefit
It appears that aliens can obtain government phones if they apply for them. The government has no system in place at this time that would prevent a non-U.S. resident from getting the government phone while he or she is here. Many people have taken advantage of that situation already.
6. A Billionaire Owns the Business
A man named Carlos Slim is the one who owns Safelink. He is one of the richest men in the world, and is the richest man in Mexico. His net worth is currently $50 billion.
7. Government Cell Phone Fraud Is Rampant
People seem to love free things so much that they commit fraud to get government phones. Fraud occurs in all states, but Puerto Rico has a particularly high number of fraudulent accounts. In fact, more than 200,000 people have accounts that they are not rightly qualified to have.
8. Program Details Vary
Most states have the same program offer of 250 voice minutes per month. However, some states have customized programs. For example, people who live in Oklahoma have to pay $2.50 for their 250 minutes. Californians can pay $1 and get 1,000 minutes. Alaskans can receive unlimited talk and text for $1.
9. Most States Offer Government Phones to Their Residents
A whopping 67 percent of states offers the program their citizens. Others will probably follow suit in years to come.
10. The Government Will Be Expanding Its Free Services
The free mobile phone program had so much success that the government wants to add some additional services. The Internet is the next free service that the government is thinking about providing to its underprivileged people. Expansion attempts should continue to develop and then appear within the next few years.
Bonus: The Free Phone Business Will Grow
The government is interested in growing and expanding this program. Analysts have reviewed it and determined that they expect it to grow to more than $2 billion in the near future. More people in the nation will be able to feel confident about their ability to reach other people in an emergency.
If you have low income, and you think you may qualify for the program, do not hesitate to fill out an application. Five minutes of your time could get you 250 minutes that you can use if you ever have an emergency.
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