Facts About The Government's Free Cell Phone Program

The government has recently made it possible for individuals who cannot afford a cell phone to have one. This program helps millions of men and women with many of their communication needs. Emergency, business and even personal calls and messages are now possible regardless of your income level.

1. Obama’s Name Used Mistakenly

Due to the timing of the widespread offer and distribution, the cell phone program's name became popularly known as the “Obama” phone. This lead to the incorrect assumption that Obama had a large role in the implementation. However, the fact is that the government issued the first cellular device during the presidential term of President George Bush. Even before that Lifeline had begun offering similar discounts on other types of mobile devices and services in 1985 during the time President Ronald Reagan held the office. Similar promotions were argued to have been available even years before this but that is not as important as the point that the “Obama” phone should be more accurately acknowledged as the “government” phone.

2. Lifeline Mobile Popularity in the United States

We are seeing more and more but many are still unaware that government phones are owned by over 10 million people (about 3 percent of Americans). The phones have a pretty basic design and the few features included are growing but still limited. Additional options are available and even more are coming into play for those who are willing and able to contribute to what the government offers.

3. Lower Income Connections Connect

For individuals already in social service programs such as food or medical benefits automatically qualify for Lifeline’s mobile phone program. To make things easier and to spread the word Medicaid and food stamp applications now include an area where applicants can mark expressing their interest and request additional information.

4. Speedy Acceptance For Those Below Poverty Level

Application approvals are for one per household and based upon an individual’s poverty level. The acceptance level varies by state. Some states may immediately accept those below 135 percent of the poverty level while others begin accepting those below 150 percent of the poverty level. Poorer individuals generally get accepted quickly into the program.

5. Aliens are Eligible

Non-U.S. residents are also encouraged to apply and able to receive a government issued mobile device. Currently there is no system preventing any person residing in America from taking advantage of benefit of necessary communication.

6. A Rich Man In Charge

Billionaire, Carlos Slim, owns Safelink. The richest man in Mexico and one of the richest in the world, Mr. Slim’s current net worth is approximately $50 billion.

7. “Government” Phone Fraud is Common

Just unjustifiable, crime is rampant in an area where people can take advantage. Even though the phones have no frills, many individuals still develop the skills to commit fraud to obtain government mobile phones. Although common in all states, Puerto Rico with more than 200,000 illegally obtained accounts, has an above average number.

8. Programs Customized by State

Throughout the United States there are similar programs and offering of at least 250 voice minutes per month. There are some differences in the different states. Oklahoma residents have to pay a certain amount for the minutes they receive. Those residing in California can pay $1 and get 1,000 minutes. Alaska residents can choose to pay $1 for unlimited talk and text .

9. Most States Offer Residents the Program

67 percent of the United States offer the “government” phone program to their residents and others are sure to join soon.

10. Expanding Services

Due to the success of the program the government will be adding additional services. The free mobile phone program is soon to be followed by free internet service in the near future.

Bonus: Free Phone Popularity

Analyst reviews have determined an expected growth of more than $2 billion coming soon. This will allow more individuals to take advantage of the benefit of emergency, necessary and light communication.

All individuals who may qualify are encouraged to apply for the “government” mobile phone program. Very little time is required on the application, the effort is minimal, approval is often quick and the benefit is well worth it.

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