It’s easy to get an Obama phone and service. Government programs such as Food Stamps and Medicaid qualify you for eligibility. So does meeting low-income requirements.
Millions of Americans have been economically devastated by the economic meltdown, by the deep recession that followed it, and by the nation’s ongoing economic struggles. Many of those needy Americans have reached the point where they consider a telephone a luxury that they cannot afford.
The Obama Phone program (also known as Lifeline Assistance) can lift that burden. More than 20 million Americans have already received a free Obama Phone and get 250 free cell phone minutes every month.
How do you get an Obama Phone for yourself?
The Federal Communications Commission has approved a number of companies national and regional companies to offer them to needy Americans. The program is now available in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Considering the rapid growth of the Obama Phone program, it is expected that all fifty states will soon begin offering the program.
Find an Obama Phone provider
You can get an Obama Phone from three major providers: Assurance Wireless, ReachOut Wireless, and Safelink Wireless. But they are far from the only sources of Obama Phones.
Dozens of other cell phone companies participate in the program across the country. They include Assist Wireless, Budget Mobile, Cintex Wireless, Care Wireless, I-Wireless, Life Wireless, StandUp Wireless, Terracom Wireless, YourTel Wireless, True Wireless, Tag Mobile, Wireless for Hope, and Alaska Communications. (Note: This list is complete as of the publication of this story, but the number of Obama Phone competitors continues to expand rapidly.)
Getting an Obama Phone in four easy steps
Step 1: Are you eligible? Eligibility rules in states are similar but not identical and differ on a state-by-state basis. But most people will qualify by participating under one of the major programs accepted by all states: SANP (Food Stamps), Medicaid, SSI, National School Lunch Program’s Free School Lunch, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or some Tribal programs. In addition, you can qualify if your income is 135% below the Federal Proverty Guidelines in your state (some states go to 150%).
Step 2: Each of these companies offers the free phones in different states, so it is important to find out which ones serve your area. Each state generally has several Lifeline phones to choose from.
Step 3: As soon as you determine that you are eligible for the phone, visit the websites of each of the companies distributing them in your state. Most of the companies offer very similar programs, but some of them offer better deals than the others. For example, some companies may offer additional minutes or the ability to text at significantly reduced prices. And some may offer more minutes for a low cost.
Step 4: Once you’ve found the company and deal that’s best for you, just complete the online application provided by that company.
One additional note: Although most needy Americans sign up online, many others sign up with mobile vendors at street fairs, or outside government assistance offices. If you’re not internet savvy, keep your eyes open for this option.
Step 5: Watch your mailbox
Before you know it, you’ll receive your mobile phone in the mail and be able to use 250 minutes of airtime (or more, depending on the company you choose) each month.
20 million needy Americans already have Obama Phones and experts say that up to 35% of Americans may be qualified.