Access to a fast and reliable source of internet connection at work or even at home has become more of a necessity than a luxury, with the internet being a significant source of information and communication, especially in this era that we are. With global breaking news, fashion trends, social media, shopping, and so many other activities and notifications being accessible anywhere you are just by clicking on the site.
This goes without saying that the internet cost can be relatively high, serving as a significant constraint to the budget, especially for low-income families. This should no longer be a problem anymore; Verizon internet for low-income families is the best in the market. There are several internet service providers in the market, but getting one that could easily fit your budget has been made easier with Verizon internet that offers cheaper plans than its counterparts in the market to enable low-income families to enjoy access to the internet.
This is made possible through the Lifeline Assistance program, a program run to create communication services cheaper and easier to afford for low-income families. There is so much more to learn about this Lifeline Assistance Program, Verizon internet for low-income families, how you qualify to be part of the program, and how to apply. In this article, you will find out all about all these and more.
What is this Lifeline Program?
Lifeline Assistance is a program run by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that aims to provide discounted internet plans and mobile phones to low-income families that are qualified. It has been in operation since 1985.
The program’s main objective is to provide Americans with opportunities and allow them to enjoy the -security brought about by phone services such as being able to connect to people, jobs, and emergency services too!
The service is available to eligible consumers in every state, commonwealth, Tribal lands, and territory. It is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), which a company responsible for collecting data, maintenance, calculation, disbursement for the low-income,, and providing support for the program.
Lifeline program provides a monthly discount on service to eligible members. Those subscribed to the service receive a Lifeline discount either on a wireless or a wire-line network. The service also offers monthly telephone service, broadband internet service, or bundled voice-broadband packages that are purchased from participating from the wireless or wireline.
The lifeline program also offers cheaper mobile phones or free government phones, other than the discounted internet plans.
What do you need to know about Lifeline Discount or Program?
- As of December 1st, 2016, the FCC program set standards for the minimum amount of service and support that the qualified individuals receive upon subscription. The standards are 500 minutes of voice calls, 3G speed, and a data usage allowance of 500MB.
- If your household’s income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty program, you can check out the income-based eligibility that is available.
- Other than income-based eligibility, there is also the program-based eligibility that qualifies you if one of your household members receives assistance from other programs approved by the FCC such as Medicaid, Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program, Tribal Programs, Federal Public Housing Assistance, and many others.
- You must recertify your membership every year, and this should be done within 60 days to avoid losing your Lifeline discount. The prompt to recertify may be mailed to your address or sent via your email. Be sure to be on lookout for this.
How do I apply and qualify for the Verizon Lifeline program?
The eligibility varies from state to state. Verizon Wireless offers lifeline service in New York, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Lowa. In New York, you may qualify if:
The total income in your household is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If you qualify, you must provide copies of some documents such as current income statements from your current employer or its equivalent that would be used for verification purposes.
Also, if you or any other member of your household is currently eligible for benefits received from some of the public assistance programs such as
- National School Lunch Program’s free lunch program.
- Supplemental Nutritional Assistance (SNAP).
- Federal Public Housing Assistance.
- Family Assistance.
- Supplemental Security Income.
- Safety Net Assistance.
- Veterans Surviving Spouse Pension.
- Low-income Home Energy Assistance.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
- Veterans Disability Pension.
If you qualify, you must provide copies of documentation that act as proof of your participation in the programs above and those listed below for those in Tribal lands.
For those that live on federally recognized Tribal lands, you can be eligible if you participate in any of the programs listed above or these:
- Tribally administered TANF.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Head start.
If you qualify, you must print out the USAC’s application, complete the application, and enclose the required documents’ copies. The completed application and documentation should be mailed to:
USAC Lifeline Support Centre
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742
And those that reside in Connecticut send their applications to:
Verizon Lifeline Services
P.O. Box 16805,
What is Verizon Wireless Low-Income Families Internet Plans?
Verizon’s broadband program known as Fios Forward, which was introduced in April 2020, offers low-cost internet to households with a low income. The service is provided to new and existing customers that qualify for the Lifeline Assistance Program for as low as $20 per month.
Three price tiers are offered under one of Verizon’s Mix & Match Fios Home Internet plan:
- Fios 200. Offers up to 200Mbps at $20.
- Fios 400. Offers up to 400Mbps at $40.
- Fios Gigabit Connection. Offers up to 880Mbps as well as a router at $60.
Other benefits and additional promotions also come along with the packages for qualifying new customers. These include 12 months of free streaming of Disney+ or in-market offers such as gift cards, equipment, or content.
How much can you save on Verizon internet for low-income families?
With Verizon internet for low-income families, you get to save up to $10 per month with unlimited wireless as part of Verizon’s Mobile + Home Rewards.
If you are a student, you can get the advantage of a few deals and exemptions from Verizon Wireless, depending on your school. You can take 10-25% off the monthly value of your data plan.
If you are also above the age of 55, you may even get to enjoy price discounts on mobile plans, unlimited minutes, text, and LTE data. You may also get a complete mobile hotspot.
Comparison to other plans
This article mainly focuses on the Verizon Lifeline phone service program; however, other providers offer plans that may be cheaper than the Verizon wireless.
A good example is the MVNOs, commonly known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators. Mint Mobile, Twigby, and Tello are examples of these MVNOs that offer custom plans that allow you to pay for what you only need. The plans start as low as $9 per month and have the Bring Your Device option, as long as it is compatible with the network.
T-Mobile also offers good network coverage at high speeds with plans starting as low as $10 per month.
AT&T has mobile internet plans with costs as low as $15 per month.
We recommend Verizon’s wireless, especially the Fios Forward internet, as it is swift and reliable.
Are there any restrictions?
Yes, some restrictions have been put in place to help in the control of systems as well as regulation. They are as follows:
- The lifeline program is limited to one person per household. This implies that if a member of your home is already part of the Lifeline program, then no one else can apply, as that would lead to a direct penalty.
- The program is also limited to a single line of service. You are not allowed to apply for multiple lifeline discounts, and you must choose to use the lifeline discount to either a wireless phone or a landline, but not both.
- Lifeline is only available to subscribers who live within areas that Verizon Wireless offers their services.
- It may not be applied retroactively.
- Lifeline is non-transferable; the discount cannot be transferred to any other person.
Applying for lifeline assistance if you are a low-income family member, the Lifeline Assistance program would be the best option for you. Although other providers offer free home internet services, the area coverage might not be favorable to you; rather, the service may not be available in your area as the providers are not many.
Remember that with the lifeline support center that is also very fast and reliable, you can always call for inquiries. They are more than willing to answer all your questions and ensure you are not locked out of the many available opportunities on the internet for you.