Lifeline program providing free cell phone services in NY.

The government is providing free cell phone service in New York City through the program called Lifeline. This program was started to help the low income individuals pay for their home telephone service. The Lifeline program was started prior to the usage of cell phones so it not only applies to cell phones but also to the land lines. According to Federal Communications Commission, this program was started in 1984 and its aim was to ensure that everyone has a telephone service for emergencies. After the Telecommunications act of 1996 the competition was opened for the new wireline and wireless providers. That to Lifeline, you may qualify for Free Government Cell Phones in New York.

The program provides subsidies for the free cell phone service and this subsidy comes from the taxes on the phone bills. This program helps the consumers with the phone installation charges and provides monthly discounts on phone bills. The low income people are benefited with this program.

A person is eligible for this program Lifeline, if he meets the federal low income guide lines or he should qualify for the one of the following government assistance program:

  • Food stamps (FS)
  • Medicaid
  • Veteran’s disability pension
  • Veteran’s surviving spouse pension
  • Safety net assistance
  • Family assistance
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • National school lunch program
  • Total household income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty 

The following proofs are to be submitted if the person’s annual income is low as per the federal low income guide lines:

  • The last three months pay stubs
  • A child support document or divorcee decree
  • A copy of the most recent state or federal tax return
  • Social security statement of benefits
  •  A pension or retirement statement of benefits
  • Workers compensation or unemployment statement of benefits

If the person is qualified by one of the government assistance program, the following proofs are to be submitted:
• HEAP approval notice
• Fuel or utility bill which shows HEAP benefits
• A photocopy of the benefit card
• An authorised representative of NYS office temporary and disability assistance of aging, or another agency conforming the eligibility by signing the appropriate forms


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