Published on October 9th, 2021 | by Sumit Bhowal0
Government programs in the US that qualify for a free phone
Everything from entertainment to essential services is digital these days, making it extremely important for every person to have access to a cell phone and data.
However, purchasing a smartphone and subscribing to cellular services is not an inexpensive affair. The high prices of smartphones and monthly data plans hamper a large chunk of citizens and cause inconveniences.
In order to tackle this problem, the US government has initiated the Lifeline Program to give a government cell phone along with access to monthly phone plans to eligible citizens.
To qualify for the Lifeline Assistance, you must either earn less than 135 percent of the federal poverty level or be enrolled in one of the many government incentive programs.
Here are the following programs whose beneficiaries can also apply for Lifeline Assistance programs.
1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP is the most extensive assistance program in the country. It provides nutritional assistance to low-income households or individuals. The program enables qualified individuals or families to gain benefits through an Electronic Benefits Transfer Card.
People can use the card as a debit card to purchase eligible food from authorized retail food stores in the respective state.
To be eligible for the benefits, the applicants must be residents of the state they are applying in and meet certain bank limits, which vary from state to state.
If an applicant is over sixty or has a disability, they may be eligible for a higher bank limit on the electronic card.
2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The SSI program provides adults and children with blindness or disability a monthly payment if their current income and resources are below the specified state limit.
Security income payments are also made to people without abilities who are over sixty-five years of age and meet the financial qualification.
If an applicant is already receiving benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance or retirement programs, they will receive SSI benefits in addition.
An individual is eligible if their resources are worth less than two thousand dollars, whereas a couple is eligible if their combined resources are less than three thousand dollars.
3. Federal Public Housing Assistance – Housing Choice Voucher Program (section8)
The program assists very low-income households to afford proper, safe, and sanitary housing.
The housing can include single-family homes, apartments, townhouses and is also applicable for subsidized housing projects. The voucher programs are administered locally by Public Housing Agencies.
A family eligible for the program must find a suitable unit wherein the owner agrees to rent under the voucher program.
4. Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program distributes grant funding to states and territories in order to provide financial assistance and additional support programs to low-income families.
Childcare help, career preparation, and work assistance are some of the state-administered programs under TANF.
To qualify, the applicant must have a child of eighteen years or below, and be underemployed or unemployed with a very low income.
The state and federal governments fund the Medicaid program together. Medicaid is managed and administered by the states according to federal government guidelines to provide healthcare and coverage to eligible low-income individuals, children, families, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
In most states, people are eligible for Medicaid if their annual income is less than $17,774.
Among the services provided under Medicaid are inpatient and outpatient hospital services, physician services, laboratory and x-ray services, and home health care. Prescription medications, physical therapy, and occupational therapy are some of the optional benefits.
Besides these programs, people enrolled in Tribal-specific programs along with Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Programs are also eligible to attain a government cell phone under the Lifeline Program.