Verizon Wireless is among the largest wireless carriers in the United States, offering coverage to close to 146 million customers. In collaboration with the wireless carriers, the U.S government has introduced an initiative to accommodate low-income families by helping their own cell phones. Fortunately, the U.S. government realized how important it was for all citizens to access cell phone services, which prompted the creation of the Lifeline program in 1985.
This program offers a free phone with ACP (Affordable Connectivity program) or discounted mobile phone service to qualified members based on federal and state-level eligibility criteria. Besides, Lifeline provides a monthly discount of up to $9.25 on its eligible members’ phone service. This initiative, Verizon Wireless Free Government Phones, has helped people earning low income to reach out to their loved ones anytime through call.
More so, this program has critically helped the seniors to get emergency services. For instance, the elderly can contact their doctor in case of medical emergencies. The qualification is income-based, and the program beneficiaries get allowed a discount on either a wireless phone service or a land-based phone line or but not the two at once.
Verizon Wireless Lifeline Program
The U.S government backs up-Verizon Wireless Lifeline Program to support low-income earners to acquire free government phones for their primary communication needs. Besides, to qualify for this program, there are eligibility criteria followed.
Thus, one requirement is that your income level must be below or at 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Alternatively, the other condition is participation in special federal assistance programs.
Eligibility For Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
The said phones are not for everybody residing in the U.S. There are specific eligibility criteria that determine whether you qualify for this government-sponsored program. If you are from a low-income family, you can be eligible for the Verizon Wireless Lifeline Phone Service if your income is at or below 135% of the government poverty policy.
Also, you can qualify if you are a member of the Government’s LifeLine Aid eligible program. You must submit the proof of eligibility under the established guidelines and avail the accepted documents for verification under the state government database.
Look at the below full list of eligible programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps/SNAP):
- Only for Medicaid, not Medicare
- Veterans and survivors pension benefits
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA Section 8)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
On the other hand, you can also qualify if you reside in a federally recognized tribe land and participate in any program above or below programs.
- Head Start (only for those meeting its income standard)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Tribally administered (TANF)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Other sponsored programs in North Carolina (or residing state)
Places To Get A Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
If you meet the stated requirements, getting a Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone is very easy. You need to call a toll-free number (1-800-417-3849) to ask about service availability in your state. Suppose you see Verizon on the Free Phone Provider List in your state.
In that case, you can visit their website and click on the Lifeline program Verizon wireless lifeline to apply or print the application Verizon wireless lifeline program. If you want to apply through the website, you need to provide identification based on your DOB (date of birth), first name, last name, and the last four digits of a social security number.
However, if you want to apply directly without going online, you must follow the instructions below:
- If you stay in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, Washington, DC, and Virginia, you need to send along with the application and documents via; the USAC lifeline support center, P.O.Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
- If you live in Maryland, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, return the USAC application with the necessary program evidence record, if applicable, to the Verizon Lifeline support center, P.O. Box 4848, Trenton, NJ 08650-4848
- If you reside in New Jersey, send along with the application and documents to; New Jersey SHARES, 1901 N Olden Ave Ext, Suite 40, 2nd Floor, Ewing, NJ 08618
- If you want to use fax, you can send along with the required proof of letter to the state in which you stay.
- Maryland 1.888.806.7954, Connecticut 1.877.306.2190, Massachusetts 1.877.306.6175, New Jersey Shares 1.609.883.0133
Procedure To Get Verizon Government Phone
Regardless of where you reside, if you qualify for the program through your income, you need to attach a photocopy of official documents. You can confirm the full list of acceptable income documents. If you qualify via a government program, include a photocopy of an official document from the program you are eligible that consists of:
- Your name or the qualifying person’s name
- The qualifying program
- An issue date between the last 12 months’ bracket
- Official’s name from the government, Tribal program administrators, or the managed care organization (MCO) giving the document.
The above full list consists of the acceptable documents. Do not attach originals, as they are not returnable. If you live in New York and are getting benefits from Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension Survivors Benefit, or one of the four tribal programs, you have to return the Lifeline application and official documents as proof.
Lifeline Monthly Rate Plan Options
A Verizon Wireless offers two Lifeline monthly rate plans that include the $25.00 Lifeline Plan, which works with a compatible wireless phone, and the $19.99 Home Phone Connect Plan needs a Home Phone Connect device. Domestic Long Distance entails calls made from within your Local Coverage Area to anywhere within the United States or Puerto Rico.
However, the $25.00 Lifeline Plan includes unlimited nights and weekends and unlimited text messaging. Other services like data service, roadside assistance, and handset insurance are not part of the Lifeline service. Suppose you choose the $19.99 Lifeline Plan.
In that case, the Home Phone Connect does not cover Dish Network and DirecTV, credit card machines, DSL or dial-up Internet service, DVR, PBX or Centrex systems, medical dependencies, fax machines, and some home security systems.
1) Lifeline Program Restrictions
It’s worth noting that only one member per household qualifies for the Lifeline discount. However, you cannot get different Lifeline services at once, such as receiving deals for wireless and home phone services. For instance, if you get a Lifeline discount on your wireless service, you can’t qualify to get that discount on your home phone service.
Additionally, lifeline benefits are non-transferable; meaning that the benefits cannot be passed on from one person to another, so breaking these simple rules automatically de-enrolls you. So, you will be required to certify under penalty of perjury for compliance with these requirements.
2) Verizon $25 Lifeline Plan
To receive this plan upon qualifying for the Lifeline program, you’ll require a compatible cell phone. This plan costs $15.75 per month after getting the discount, and there’s a $35 one-time activation fee involved. Besides, Tribal Land subscribers can receive a 100% discount on the customer’s one-time activation fee. The plan comprises of
- Unlimited nights and weekends.
- Domestic long-distance calls.
- 1000 monthly anytime minutes.
- Unlimited text messaging.
- Unlimited Local Mobile to Mobile Calling Minutes.
- Overages: After the plan minutes run out, you’ll pay 45¢ per minute.
Additional Features Of Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
Lifeline qualifying members are eligible for a discount on their home phone monthly plan charges. And if you reside in Tribal lands, you may receive an additional discount on the home phone service, including the new home phone service installation fees.
Additionally, Verizon provides discounted home phone and Fios Home Internet plans for qualified Lifeline customers. Also, Verizon Wireless delivers Lifeline discounts for cell phone qualified customers.
However, the additional feature for qualifying low-income Lifeline families is a $20 monthly discount on Verizon Fios internet service. Also, Verizon will waive the router rental charges for 60 days and provide other Fios benefits and promotional offers for the qualifying Lifeline customers, based on availability at the time of application for the discount. This provision is for new Verizon Fios customers and avails the internet cost to $20 per month for 200/200 Mbps internet.
Is There Any Hidden Condition To Get Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
When applying for the Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone, there are some hidden conditions that you must pay attention to. First, you must give two proofs of identification and declare under penalty of perjury that you participate in an eligible program.
However, the members who knowingly make false statements to get the benefit can get punished by fine or imprisonment or get barred from the program.
Moreover, your Lifeline residential address must match the area where Verizon Wireless is approved to deliver Lifeline service. The Lifeline assistance may not get applied retroactively, and the Tribal Link-Up assistance does not apply to customer facilities or equipment, such as the cost of your phone. Besides, the Link Up assistance is not applied retroactively.
If you live in the U.S., the lifeline program helps low-income families access their primary communication needs. This program is an initiative of the federal government working together with major wireless carriers such as Verizon.
However, you must meet specific eligibility criteria to qualify for a free government cell phone. The information provided in this article will help you understand the full details of enjoying the lifeline benefits if you are a member of a low-income household.