Having problems with your monthly phone bills? If your monthly budget seems to be not enough to include a phone, this can help. Popularly known as Obama Phones, the federal government's Lifeline Program can help lower, or even eliminate your monthly phone bills.
Aiming to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Lifeline Program. The program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). USAC is in charge of data collection, maintenance, support calculation, and the distribution of funds for this low-income program.
You just found out that you qualify for the Lifeline Program, what now? It's time to get your phone! But wait, there are steps to follow for you to get the phone service.
Step 1: Choose the phone company
For each state, the Lifeline Program has a list of companies that participate. Make sure to look at several companies and the plans they offer before you decide. Different companies have various plans you can check, to see which one best suit your needs.
All of the companies will provide the capability to send and receive text messages. The phone, free number of minutes, and free number of texts will also depend on the company plan, and which state you live in. Your phone should come with voice mail, caller ID, and call waiting. Most of the time, at least 250 minutes per month will be included in the service.
The things you need to do does not stop once you get your phone. You must keep using the phone to stay in the Lifeline program. Not using your phone for at least once every sixty (60) days will result in the phone company sending a notice for you to start using the phone. The notice usually gives you thirty (30) days to comply. If you were not able to, the discount will end. You must remember that the purpose of the program is to give phones and discounts to those who need to use them.
What if you want a different plan or change the phone company? If you ever decide that you would rather have a different plan, you can change the company giving you the Lifeline discount. You may transfer no more than once every 60 days. Your next step is to contact the new company and request for a transfer.