Lifeline Free Government Phones in New York

free government cell phone new yorkThe government sponsored Lifeline program is now providing free cell phone services in NY to qualified low income residents.

This program was started to help the low income individuals pay for their home telephone service. Despite being mislabeled by many as the Obama phone, 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 program was expanded to include wireless service.

Thanks to Lifeline, you may qualify for Free Government Cell Phones in New York.

How does the program work?

The program provides subsidies for the free cell phone service through a small charge known as the Universal Service charge. When people pay their cell phone bill, there is a small fee (typically no more than $1) which is added to your the phone bill. This money goes into the Universal Service Fund and it’s where the money comes from to be able to offer this service to low income people who benefit from the 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 

poverty guidelines for free government phone in new york

To qualify through low income (if you don’t participate in one of the above programs), one of the following proofs must be submitted:

  • 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

Free cell phone service is a reality in New York and you can have your new cell phone in a few days by completing the form below to get started with the application process.