West Virginia Lifeline Program – Free Government Cell Phones

One of the things that annoy me the most is when I can’t find my cell phone.  I call it and then I remember that I left it on vibrate.  UGGH!!  And you know what?  Members of low-income families deserve to go through the same pain I do.  The ongoing global economic recession has hit a large number of American industries, causing massive unemployment across numerous sectors.  The job losses may be relatively fewer in West Virginia, but they exist nonetheless.  So the US government is moving in to assist the unemployed in various ways.

The Lifeline program that provides Free Government Cell Phones in West Virginia targets low-income families and the unemployed in the state that want to stay in touch with government agencies, potential employers, family and emergency assistance provides.

In the program, the government provides ordinary Americans with a free cell phone, 250 minutes of airtime per month at no cost, text messages charged at one minute from the free minutes and airtime tops-up every month.  To qualify for the program, you need to be under state assistance or part of aid programs in West Virginia.

These programs include:

  •  Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Medicaid
  • National School Lunch Program (Free Lunch Program Only)
  • Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Other income-related state or federal programs verified by the West 

This program helps low-income earners and the recently unemployed to search for job opportunities and assistance systems that can help them regain their economic standing.  To answer job adverts or fix interview appointments, they will have to reach out and sometimes their economic situation is so dire, they can hardly afford the phone call costs.

The program also enables them to have a fixed contact line through which potential employers or state agencies can reach them. This provides an accessibility that is vital to progress.  In addition, low-income earners or the unemployed frequently travel great distances while searching for opportunities and may need to stay in touch with friends, family or potential employers.  The Lifeline program that provides Free Government Cell Phones in West Virginia helps them to stay in touch.


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