TAG MOBILE is happy to explain our Lifeline program and how we have helped hundreds of thousands of people stay connected. We believe that having access to local emergency services and community resources is vital to everyone. For some, a phone can be the difference between maintaining a social connection and complete isolation. TAG Mobile wants people to "stay connected" and is reaching out to those who need phone service but can't afford it. We are able to do this thanks to the Lifeline Assistance Program, a federal program funded by the Universal Service FUND. This program is meant to provide affordable phone service to low−income households.
To understand the magnitude of this program, try going without a phone for a day or two. You quickly become disconnected from family, friends and possible contacts from potential employers. Besides the social benefits that come with having a phone, imagine the FINANCIAL benefit of not having to pay a phone bill each month. This savings of up to $30 to $40 a month means more food on the table and one less thing to worry about.
Under the Lifeline program, TAG Mobile provides a pre-set allotment of free monthly minutes, SMS's and data. On December 2, 2016, the qualifying eligibility programs were streamlined. While eligibility for the program varies by state, typically it is based on participation in one of these low-income state or federal programs:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) "Food Stamps", Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Program. If Applicable; Tribal-Specific Programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Food Distribution Program of Indian Reservations (FDPIR) and Head Start (meeting income qualifying standards).
The following States did not align with the Federal Criteria on Dec 2, 2016 due to the FCC providing a temporary waiver. TAG Mobile will continue to rely on these states databases and processes to determine subscripber's eligibility until the effective dates listed below or when the states have aligned with the new eligibility criteria and have updated their eligibility databases; whichever is sooner.
|State||Effective Date||Eligibility Criteria To Be Removed|
|California||October 31, 2017||Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program(LIHEAP), Women Infants and Children Program (WIC), National School Lunch Program (NSL), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Stanislaus Country Work Opportunity, Responsibility to Kids (StanWORKs), Welfare-to-Work (WTW) & Greater Avenues for Independence(GAIN)|
|Maryland||October 31, 2017||Electric Universal Service Program (EUS), Family Investment Program (FIP)(TANF), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP), National School Lunch Program's free lunch program (NSLP), Public Assistance to Adults (PAA), Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) & Temporary Disability Assistance Program (TDAP)|
|Michigan||December 31, 2017||Family Independence Program (FIP)(TANF), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), National School Lunch Program's free lunch program (NSLP) & 150% of Federal Poverty Guidelines|
|Wisconsin||December 31, 2017||Wisconsin Works(W-2), National School Lunch Program's free lunch program (NSLP) & Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)|
All Lifeline customers are required by law to recertify annually that they are still eligible for the Lifeline program in order to continue to receive the free service. This recertifying process happens each year prior to the subscriber's service anniversary date, and as long as the subscriber remains eligible for the program, they may continue to receive the Lifeline service.
Other companies operating under the Lifeline program require the customer to fax or email their application form to qualify. The problem with that process is that a large number of the people we are trying to help don't have access to a fax machine or computer. If internet access is available, our customer can easily sign up for the program on our website. Beyond that, TAG Mobile has taken a hands-on approach. We physically have representatives in the field that sponsor local events and neighborhood outreach programs. TAG Mobile also maintains a network of neighborhood stores that the customer can always come back to for assistance with the program. TAG Mobile goes to the where the customers are and as a result, we can we help more people, faster.
For more information on the Universal Service FUND and the Lifeline program visit www.usac.org.