The U.S. Census Bureau shows that 15.4 percent of people living in the U.S. are below the poverty rate. Compare that to Louisiana’s poverty rate at 19.1 percent, and you’ll understand why tens of thousands of people living in Louisiana struggle to pay their monthly bills. Some Louisianians don’t even have a cell phone.
Not having a cell phone is a mistake; today’s society makes it nearly impossible live without wireless telephone service. Without a cell phone, you and your family cannot stay connected to friends, other family members, doctors appointments, job opportunities, co-workers, and 911 emergency services.
You and your family do not have to live without a cell phone. The government benefit program called Lifeline Assistance will help you get a free cell phone with up to 250 free minutes a month. You read that right; you can get free government cell phones in Louisiana now!
What Is the Lifeline Program?
Don’t confuse the Lifeline program with the Obamaphone. Although some have nicknamed the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program (or Lifeline for short) as the “Obamaphone”, the program was actually started in the 1980s. Yes, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Reagan administration started Lifeline.
Although the program originally gave a discount on landline phone services, Lifeline was updated in the 2000s to include cell phone services. The FCC also started to grant several private phone companies the opportunity to provide Lifeline. These private companies are the ones that provide the free cell phones to use with the free monthly minutes. Take note: the government and the FCC does not pay for the free phones. In fact, these private phone companies pay for these phones as a way to help out eligible low-income people.
Who Is Eligible for Free Government Cell Phones in Louisiana?
There are basic eligibility criteria for Lifeline. Anyone who meets one of the two criteria is eligible for free government cell phones in Louisiana. The first criteria is having a total yearly household income that meets Louisiana’s Federal Poverty Guidelines (which vary each year).
Or, you can be eligible for free government cell phones in Louisiana if you currently participate in any of the following government assistance programs:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Food Stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- National School Lunch Program (Free Lunch Program Only)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Section 8
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Most Other Government Assistance Programs in Louisiana
How Do You Get Free Government Cell Phones in Louisiana?
The first step to getting free government cell phones in Louisiana is by asking for more information from your chosen Lifeline service provider. Once you have researched the company, you can sign up for Lifeline online, by mail, or over the phone. Signing up online is the fastest and easiest method.
Now that you know about Lifeline, isn’t it time you signed up for you and your family? Stay connected to family, friends, job opportunities, and 911 emergency services. Check to see if you are eligible today, or sign up right now by entering your information in the blue box above and clicking on the orange button!