Going through a rough patch financially? As you cut your monthly bills to the bone, it may be tempting to decide to go without cellphone or Internet service.
But this can be one of the most risky places to cut if you are a student needing the expected tools of technology at your fingertips. It can also be a serious disadvantage if you are a job seeker. Immediate access to the Internet and telephone are important to search effectively and to be immediately available when that important job interview comes along. Additionally, it doesn’t make a good impression to have no phone to list on an application or resume, or to answer your email sporadically.
For others, it can be dangerous. Without a phone or an Internet connection, seniors can become cut off from their families and health care providers.
Clearly, technology has become a basic need. That’s why I’m happy to tell you that, in this difficult time when you most need it, you may qualify for a free phone and broadband service.
If you meet certain low-income requirements, you can receive a free basic cellphone with a free calling plan of 250 minutes per month. You may also be eligible to receive a $10 per month broadband Internet connection and a low-cost desktop or laptop computer for your family.
The FCC’s LifeLine Assistance program was set up in the ’90s to help low-income families with monthly landline bills. Over the past few years, the program has put more than 12 million wireless feature phones into the hands of low-income Americans.
The informational website FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net estimates that as many as 50 million additional households might be eligible for the program. LifeLine is funded by the small Universal Service Fee that is added to phone subscribers’ monthly bills.