On Sunday, May 13, moms across the country will be getting a lot of attention from their children, from gifts to out of town visits and phone calls. Mother’s and Father’s Day are wonderful times of the year to get in touch with parents, of course, but what about those who cannot afford a way to stay connected given their financial challenges?
For those who need help to be in touch with loved ones, there is a smart, free way to do so. Assurance Wireless is a program that offers a free wireless phone and 250 minutes of free wireless voice service each month for national, local and long-distance calling to eligible residents of the 32 states where Assurance is available.
Aging parents and their grown children often live in different cities, which makes staying connected a challenge for sons and daughters who have busy schedules and families of their own. Moms and dads in retirement may have limited financial resources or tools, such as phones, that help them keep in touch.
In addition to keeping families connected, Assurance Wireless helps eligible residents stay connected to their children’s schools, relatives, health care providers, daycare centers, care-givers and neighbors.
“Having a child with a disability, I can honestly say Assurance Wireless has been miraculously helpful in keeping me connected with a team of specialists at three hospitals to coordinate ongoing and critically needed care. Assurance Wireless also provides peace of mind, knowing that my daughter and son are only a call away every time they are away from home,” stated Evan M., a single father of two children and an Assurance Wireless customer from Maryland.
Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program supported by the low-income program of the federal Universal Service Fund which is designed to insure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income consumers at affordable rates. Eligibility for Assurance Wireless varies by state and may include those who participate in Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA or Section 8), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or the National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program. Customers may also qualify based on low household income on a state-by-state basis, as well.
Assurance Wireless is currently available in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. This list of states continues to expand and can be found on the Assurance website.
In addition to a voice mail account1 and call waiting, Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of emergency. Beyond the 250 free voice minutes each month, customers can choose from other low-cost options to pay for additional minutes, texting, international calling and more at competitive rates.
Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling (toll-free) 800-395-2171, or by visiting www.assurancewireless.com.
People who don’t qualify for Assurance Wireless but who are also struggling and searching for value can take advantage of payLo by Virgin Mobile. payLo was especially designed with value-conscious wireless consumers in mind, offering plans for as little as $20/month for 400 minutes or access to 90 days of service for $20 at a rate of less than $7 per month. payLo is available at more than 40,000 retail stores, including Best Buy, RadioShack and Target. Prospective low-income customers who find they are not eligible for Assurance Wireless may learn more about Virgin Mobile’s no-contract payLo Plan options by visiting http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/payloplans.jsp#.
About Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless, brought to you by Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint’s prepaid brands, is supported by the Lifeline Assistance program, part of the Low Income Program of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Assurance Wireless provides service on the Nationwide Sprint Network, which reaches more than 280 million people.
Note: Sources for all information and statistics are available upon request.
1 Airtime charges apply when accessing voice mail via an Assurance Wireless phone once free minutes have been depleted.