Did you know that 18.4% of Hawaii’s residents are living in poverty? Behind all of the sunny skies, the golden sand, and the multitude of tourists, Hawaii has thousands of people who struggle to pay their monthly bills. Seniors living in Hawaii are actually more than twice as likely to live in poverty, and with high costs of living throughout the state, more people than ever need financial help.
Hawaii’s utility costs are also quite high; many Hawaiians forgo having a cell phone with hopes to save some money. This is a mistake; without having a cell phone, you cannot stay connected to family and friends, call doctors and co-workers, stay in touch with job opportunities, or easily call 911 emergency services.
Thankfully, there is a government benefit program called Lifeline that provides a free cell phone and service in Hawaii.
What is Lifeline?
Also called Lifeline, the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program is a government benefit program established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the 1980s. Lifeline first gave a discount on landline telephone services, but was updated in the 2000s to also include cell phone services. Later, the FCC allowed several phone companies the ability to provide Lifeline services.
Some private phone companies may also provide a free cell phone to use with the free cell phone service. These companies do not have to provide a free cell phone; in fact, they pay for the cell phones as a way to help out low-income Hawaiians in need.
Who Is Eligible for a Free Cell Phone and Service in Hawaii?
Any low-income individual living in Hawaii who meets the state’s income requirements, or currently participates in another government assistance program may receive a free cell phone and service in Hawaii. Right now, you must have a total household income at or below Hawaii’s Federal Poverty Guidelines, which can be viewed here.
Also, you may qualify if you currently participate in any of the following government assistance programs:
- Food Stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- National School Lunch Program (Free Lunch Program Only)
- Other Government Programs in Hawaii
How to Get a Free Cell Phone and Service in Hawaii?
It is generally fast and easy to get a free cell phone and service in Hawaii. You can get more information about Lifeline or sign up by contacting an approved Lifeline service provider. Usually signing up can be done either on your Lifeline provider’s website, over the phone, or by mail.
Don’t live without a cell phone any longer. If you are frustrated because you’re unable to stay in contact with family, friends, or your employer, then sign up for a free cell phone and service in Hawaii!
Check your eligibility or sign up for a free cell phone today by entering your information in the boxes below and clicking on the orange button now.