Anyone currently receiving public benefits may be eligible for discounted telephone service through federal Lifeline and Link-Up programs. In Massachusetts, these programs are available through Safelink Wireless for cell phones, or through Verizon and Granby Telephone for landlines. Applicants are eligible for only one discounted telephone line per household.
- Safelink Wireless operates a "Lifeline Assistance" program that provides a free cell phone and 80 free minutes a month to eligible individuals (who may choose to add more minutes using TracFone cards). Safelink states that online applicants can expect their free phone to arrive in 5-7 days. Apply online at the Safelink Wireless webpage or call 1-800-977-3768 to apply by mail or fax.
- Verizon administers discounts for existing landlines or to set up a new landline. Under the Verizon program, a landline that normally costs $19.64 per month costs a Lifeline customer $7.35. Though it takes Verizon approximately 90 days to process Lifeline requests, the discount is retroactive to the date of application.
To apply for Verizon's discounted landline service, call 1-800-870-9999 for English (or for languages other than English or TTY, see Verizon’s contact page.) Follow the menu options to order a "new service." Verizon will then mail the consumer an application.
- Granby Telephone Company offers landline service in the Granby, Holyoke and Chicopee areas. Call (413) 467-9911 for an application to their Lifeline program. Under the Granby Telephone program, applicants can receive a $10 discount for a new installation and a $13.50 discount on their monthly bill.
Individuals who already participate in any of the following are eligible for the programs described above:
- Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children
- Social Security Income
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program/Fuel Assistance
- Food Stamps (SNAP)
- Transitional Aid To Families with Dependent Children
Thank you to HAN members Ana Martinez, Nikki Riel, and Sonia Negroni for providing information about this resource.