By now you have likely heard of what a lot of people refer to as the “Obama phone”. Maybe it sounds too good to be true. A free, modern cell phone? How can that exist, and if it does, why doesn’t everyone get that rather than paying the exorbitant rates that a lot of cell phone companies charge?
To understand exactly what the “Obama phone” is, it helps to understand a little bit of the history of how it came to exist. There is no government bill or plan that is officially named “Obama phone.” Rather, that is simply the modern iteration of a plan that began all the way back in the 1980’s during the Ronald Reagan administration. It was created by the Federal Communications Commission and is called Lifeline phone service. The original intent at that point was to give free or discounted landline phone service to low income families. Over the past several decades, and through the various presidential administrations, the plan has grown and changed to keep pace with modern developments and requirements. Which leads to the current version colloquially referred to as “Obama phone” which is free Lifeline phone service for a cellular phone and plan which includes talk, text, and data.
There are several benefits of a free Lifeline phone. The first, and most obvious, is the fact that it allows people that are currently beneficiaries of any of several government aid programs (such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Benefits, and may State programs) to have access to a cell phone and cell service at little or no cost. While a free Lifeline phone would be a big enough benefit by itself, there are other great benefits as well.
The free Lifeline phone is not an ancient throwback to the early days of cellular that you would be embarrassed to carry ten years ago. One of the primary benefits of a free Lifetime phone is the phone itself. Currently, you can get an LG Xpression touchscreen smartphone as one of the free phone options with the plan. Obviously, the exact model of phone is subject to change, but there is almost always a free phone option of similar quality available with a Lifeline plan.
Or, if you already have a phone that you prefer to keep, you’re not only able to keep the phone you already have but doing so carries with it some additional benefits as well. With the Bring Your Own Device plan from Assist Wireless, you get to keep your phone, and you’ll get bonus free data when you start your new Lifeline phone service.
Speaking of data; what good would a smartphone be without data for the plan? Free Lifeline phone service comes with 3 GB of data monthly, with options to add more at low prices. The data is in addition to 400 minutes and 500 texts for the free plan with plans available for as low as $1 a month that include unlimited texting.
Those are some of the great benefits to which you can give numerical values. However, there are additional benefits beyond those as well. The original reason for creating the Lifeline plan in the 1980’s was because the government recognized that a certain level of telephone communication was a necessity rather than a luxury. As our world becomes progressively more dependent on technology, the ability to interact with the digital world has become a requirement for many aspects of daily life. That is one of the primary benefits of free Lifeline phone service. It allows individuals that need government assistance to function in the digital age as it is presumed everyone can function. From being able to provide an email address and phone number on job applications, to signing up for emergency text message notifications from a weather service, to even being able to perform such basic functions as calling 9-1-1. While some people might not consider simply having a cell phone plan to be a measurable benefit, to many customers that may not be able to afford a phone plan otherwise a free Lifeline phone is an amazing benefit.
Furthermore, free Lifeline phone service is the benefit that has the most ability to generate further benefits. For example, a customer may be required to make appointments via phone call in order to verify their income and maintain their food stamps benefit. As most government offices only operate during regular business hours, it becomes necessary to be able to make calls and have a phone line at which you can be reached if need be.
Finally, as is the case with many other government aid programs (most of which are prerequisites for free Lifeline phone service), an immeasurable benefit of getting a Lifeline phone from Assist Wireless is the restoration of a sense of normalcy during a period of time when life is very difficult. The various free and low-cost plans available from Assist Wireless help their customers continue to live their lives while navigating difficult times. Whether a family is working to improve their situation, or recovering from unfortunate circumstances, the benefit of having a modern smartphone capable of performing all the functions so many other Americans may take for granted can’t be overstated.
These are just a few examples of the many benefits associated with getting a free Lifeline phone and phone service from Assist Wireless. With so many great reasons to get enrolled, if you are eligible for a Lifeline phone, you should reach out to Assist Wireless as soon as you’re able! We can help you confirm eligibility as well as help you find the plan that is right for you and your current budget.