What Not to Do If You Want to Continue Free Lifeline Connection

What Not to Do If You Want to Continue Free Lifeline Connection

Every day of the week, we hear from dozens of people who’ve lost their free government cell phones. The federal government is taking strict action to prevent fraud and abuse in the Lifeline Assistance program. Here is what you have to do for keeping your free government cell phone.

Keep Calling

Many Lifeline Assistance customers consider this the oddest way to lose your free government cell phone. If you don’t “use” it for 60 days or more, your account will be canceled. So make sure you place a voice call at least every 60 days or you could lose your phone. After all, if you can go for sixty days without using this free service, perhaps you really don’t need it.

Only Texting doesn’t count!

There are rules…and then there are rules. You’re out of luck if you only “use” your cell phone for texting because that’s inadequate to satisfy USAC and FCC regulations. Keep texting a thousand times every day of the week, but if you don’t make an actual call, the FCC thinks your service should be automatically terminated because you’re not “using” it in the way they want you to. As a respite, an amendment is on its way.

One phone per person

The government keeps your record such as name and address as Lifeline customer. The system sends an automated signal to inform authorities if a customer applies for the second phone. Consequently, the application gets rejected.

One phone per household

Unfortunately, if you live with a free government cell phone bearer, you will not be eligible for one. As per the Lifeline program, only one phone per household is allowed.

Recertifying annually

You must certify annually that you still qualify for Lifeline Assistance. If you do not provide the required information to validate your participation in the program, you will lose your Lifeline service.

Respond promptly to your cell phone company’s request for certification

You need re-certify on timely basis. You will receive a letter from your phone company to re-certify. You need to do the needful within 30 days. Phone Company and Government have kept very high value on this rule. Failure of paperwork for re-certification will lead to disconnect your Lifeline service.

Permissible government aid programs

People qualify for Lifeline service by participating in another federal or state assistance program. So, if you are off of these designated programs, you lose your free phone.

Federal poverty guidelines

In most states qualifying incomes fall below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines except few states which allow up to 150%. Notify your Lifeline Assistance provider to let them know if you landed a well-paying job and have crossed the line. Failing to do will get your phone account canceled and you may be required to reimburse the government for the period of time in which you illegally used the service.

Some sane, and some insane rules! Word of advice…follow the program’s simple rules to continue talking and texting on your free phone. You will lose your phone in case you don’t adhere to above-mentioned rules.