Free cell phones and landline discounts for low-income people

Submitted by Laura at CP on March 25, 2009 - 10:34am.

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:

  • MassHealth
  • 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.

home phone?

Can someone tell me where to sign up for a discount home phone? I live in southern ohio so probably not many options... thanks in advance:)

Ask your local phone co. for

Ask your local phone co. for a phone plan for the disabled

When I signed up for a landline through the local phone co. in my city, I told them I was disabled. I asked for the lowest package lineline available, no frills. No call waiting, caller id etc. it was then when they told me about Lifeline costing me $1 plus taxes monthly. So I believe it's $3something a month.

the bummer is... as far as I

the bummer is... as far as I can tell, I can't have my landline Lifeline plan and the free cell phone plan.
I was looking forward to a cell phone for when I'm away from home :(

help to apply for all the services

I'm on ssi disability, 15 yr old boy, 5 yr old girl, husband out of work bad injury on private property, no compensation and in hospital 7 weeks, then in hospital,10 to 14 days 6 other times than that in past yr and 1/2 he has always worked 10 to 12 hours 5 to 6 days a week, sometimes 7 days depending on any problems working for Duke Power and other large industries and was layed off before accident then unemployment ran out, got injured, and we gave no transportation, he can still drive, I can't, surgery.. but not working, and physical health has caused severe depression and huge bipolar starts crying all of a sudden, like example if a bag of cookies fall out of cabinet he will yell and throw and call the cookies mean names like they're people, we have been living on my ssi disability and food stamps for all of us for over a yr one tv 19 inches for all of us we r going to b homeless soon, we just got an 88 olsdsmobile w only 1 owner but buirnt blown/valve 800.00 to fix, just can't guarantee it will work but mechanic says he "thinks" it willso, what to do SOOO behind on rent and power how do u get help w that and maybe transportation, we r family living way in country no family near his all n FL I'm only child, so is my mom, my Step Dad having ment. Breakdown, list his job after 23 yrs, my mom helps as much as sh can my 15 yr old rules he comes first I'm thankful for the help, but my baby is in kindergarten riding school bus, w severe seperation anxiety and cries everyone morn. After I walk her 5or7 mins to bus pick up, and she stands at door after I force her own picking her up and lil girl helps hold her while I jump off bus, the she presses her face to door and I end up crying and worried all day , no way to get to all doc appoints so husband can get disability, he can't walk wout walker or cane depending on length and weather, don't kno who to ask or how to where to apply for help. Our CHURCH Has helped us, but they can't do but soo much, small country BABTIST CHURCH..MY EMAIL reginabelle05@att.net

Slippery slope

I find the "creep" disturbing. Originally it was around 60 minutes a month. Enough to take a job interview call, or perhaps call someone when your transportation falls through. I know that originally it was telephone company paid for, but I find it hard to believe they're funding 250 minutes a month for "free"

Thank you - on behalf of my mom

To me, this is that last piece of the puzzle for me to feel comfortable for my mom to stay home by herself. She is aging and recently we got her one of those medical alert systems and that made me feel better, but now with her fixed income, being able to have a cell phone for emergencies would be a blessing! I am so thankful for this.

Phone in PUEBLO COLORADO

Is there any free phone service for SSI recipients in Pueblo Colorado. None of these links will do anything for people in Pueblo.

Free Cell Phone

I use safelink and its great. They sure give you great service for free. as for only one per house hold thats the rules i know. otherwise there might be some finagleing going around they figure. there's another company like safelink but i cant remember the name. anyone else know? jim

how to apply safe link when put up address error found

when we will apply on safe link in amherst MA that time we found error we try 100 time what we can do my husnband hav ssn no and i m in wic program plz help us how we will get phone plz as soon as possible

reachout wireless

reachout wireless

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