Despite parts of Illinois being an economic powerhouse, the poverty rate for the state is still “stubbornly high”. Nearly 15 percent of people in Illinois are living under the poverty line (exactly 14.7 percent in 2013). This means that thousands of people in Illinois struggle to pay their monthly bills.
Many of these struggling Illinois residents do not have a cell phone because they simply cannot afford the monthly cost. Cell phones are not a luxury anymore; they are a necessity. Now cell phones are a must-have gadget to any individual, including stay-at-home moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas, and anyone who needs to be connected to the world (friends, family, and potential employers).
If you’re living in Illinois, a free government benefit program called Lifeline Assistance can help you get a free cell phone and up to 250 free monthly minutes. Learn how to get your free government cell phone in Illinois.
What is Lifeline Assistance?
Although many people have nicknamed the program “free government cell phones”, Lifeline is officially called the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program. Lifeline was created by the Federal Communications Comission (FCC) in the mid-1980s to give a discount on landline phone services for qualified low-income people living in the United States.
In the 2000s, Lifeline was updated to also include cell phone services. Around that time, the FCC also granted private phone companies the opportunity to provide the free services. These private phone companies are also the ones that provide the free cell phones to use with the free monthly minutes. The FCC or the government does not pay for the phones; in fact, these companies pay for the cell phones as a way to help out low-income individuals in need.
Can You Get Your Free Government Cell Phone in Illinois?
If you meet one of the two eligibility criteria, then you can get your free government cell phone in Illinois. The first criteria is meeting the income requirements for Illinois. You will meet the income requirements if your total household income is at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines for Illinois.
You may also get your free government cell phone in Illinois if you currently participate in any of the following government assistance programs:
- Food Stamps, or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Section 8, or Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- National School Lunch Program (Free Lunch Program Only)
- Most Other Government Programs in Illinois
How to Apply for Your Free Cell Phone?
First, you must choose an approved Lifeline service provider. Once you have selected a provider, you can ask them for more information about Lifeline via their website or phone number. Signing up for Lifeline is usually very easy; you can most likely apply online, by mailing an application, or over the phone.
Don’t live without a cell phone any longer. A cell phone can help you stay connected to friends, family, job opportunities, doctors, and 911 emergency services. Apply to get your free government cell phone in Illinois today.
Check to see if you’re eligible for Lifeline or apply now by entering your information below and clicking on the orange button now!