Today Assurance Wireless, a Lifeline Assistance program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund, launches service in the San Francisco metro area to begin providing its wireless phone services in California.
Assurance Wireless provides a free wireless phone and service which includes 250 voice minutes and 250 text messages each month to eligible residents. More than 170,0002 San Francisco metro area residents are without a job, and more than 27 percent are living below the federal poverty line3. Assurance Wireless gives eligible customers the ability to provide a contact number and to return calls to prospective employers, which can help improve the chances of securing employment.
Applying for Assurance Wireless in California is easy:
- First, interested residents must request a phone from Assurance Wireless. They can call (toll free) 800-395-2171 or visit assurancewireless.com to obtain a Service Request Form.
- Once that form has been submitted with the necessary paperwork and approved, applicants will receive a free Assurance Wireless phone [usually within 7-10 days]. The phone comes with 250 free voice minutes and 250 free text messages available for 30 days while they wait for federal Lifeline Assistance approval. If applicants find they need more, the regular rate is 10 cents per voice minute or text (sent or received).
- After customers activate their phone, they will receive an official Application Form for the federal Lifeline Assistance program from the state of California. They will need to return that form within 45 days along with proof of eligibility for the federal Lifeline program.
Assurance Wireless is delighted to begin offering services in San Francisco, said Grace Boehm, director of strategy and business planning, Assurance Wireless. We are proud to help more and more customers stay connected to potential employers and services as well as their medical and childcare providers.
“Having Lifeline wireless services available at no cost will be transformative for homeless and low-income people,” said Bevan Dufty, head of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships & Engagement for the city and county of San Francisco. “I expect San Francisco to be a model for launching this program throughout the rest of California.
San Francisco metro area residents may qualify for the Assurance Wireless federal Lifeline Assistance program if they participate in certain public assistance programs, such as Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), Cal Fresh/Food Stamps (SNAP), Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC), Healthy Families Category A, National School Lunchs Free Lunch Program (NSLP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS), Stanislaus County Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (StanWORKS), Welfare to Work (WTW), Greater Avenue for Independence, Tribal TANF, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only) and Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations. For more information about where Assurance Wireless is available visit assurancewireless.com.
In addition to a voice mail account4 and call waiting, the Assurance Wireless Lifeline Assistance program provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of emergency. Applicants are also able to keep their current home or cell phone number. Beyond the 250 voice minutes and 250 text messages each month, customers can choose from other options to pay for additional minutes, texting, international calling and more at competitive rates.
People who dont qualify for Lifeline Assistance but who are also struggling and searching for value can take advantage of payLo by Virgin Mobile, especially designed for value-conscious consumers, offering feature phones and plans for as little as $20/month for 400 minutes. For more information about payLo, visit http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/paylo-plans/overview/.
About Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless from Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprints no-contract brands, is supported by the Lifeline Assistance program, part of the Low Income Program of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Assurance Wireless provides service on the Nationwide Sprint® Network, which reaches more than 282 million people. Follow Assurance news on Facebook www.facebook.com/assurancewireless or on Twitter www.twitter.com/assurancecell and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/assurancewireless.
Offer limited to eligible customers (varies by state) residing in selected geographic areas and is non-transferrable. Unlike a traditional wireline phone, a wireless handset may be removed from the home. Also, wireless service may experience interruptions due to weather conditions, terrain or gaps in service coverage.
Assurance Wireless is subject to the Important Service/Product and General Terms and Conditions found on http://www.assurancewireless.com/Public/TermsandConditions.aspx.
Sources for all information and statistics are available upon request.
4 Airtime charges apply when accessing voice mail via an Assurance Wireless phone once free minutes have been depleted.