Connecticut: Discounted and Free Government Phones

| August 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

Qualified Connecticut residents can take advantage of free government cell phones made possible by the Lifeline/Link-Up program. Both Assurance Wireless and SafeLink Wireless are approved to provide free cell phones and free airtime to low-income Connecticut residents that meet the qualification criteria.

Connecticut also offers eligible residents discounted phone service. The discounts range between $7 per month as offered by Cox Communications up to $19.30* per month through AT&T.

*The $19.30 per month figure falls under the Enhanced Lifeline program and only applies to individuals who live on federally recognized tribal land and participate in qualifying programs.

In addition to monthly phone discounts, through the Link-Up portion of the program, you can offset phone installation costs. Link-Up will pay up to 50% of installation costs (maxing out at $30). Enhanced Lifeline participants receive an additional $70 for a total of $100 to apply against the installation charges.

During my research I only found two Connecticut companies offering discounted phone service as part of the Lifeline program. If your phone service is provided by a company other than Cox or AT&T, please call them and ask if they participate in the Lifeline/Link-Up program.

Qualifying for Lifeline Services

Connecticut appears to be unique in that each phone carrier has slightly different requirements for eligibility. According to the AT&T website , in order to qualify for discounted phone service you must participate in one of the following programs:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance / Section 8
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Care for Kids
  • Connecticut Energy Assistance Program
  • Contingency Heating Assistance Program
  • Personal Care Assistance
  • Refugee Program
  • Rental AssistanceConnecticut Map
  • State Administered General Assistance
  • State Supplement to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled
  • Temporary Family Assistance
  • Title 19 Medicaid (including Husky and Healthy Start)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance*
  • Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families *
  • Head Start (income-qualified customers only)*
  • National School Lunch (free lunch program)*

To qualify for Lifeline discounts with Cox Communications you must participate in one of the following programs:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance / Section 8
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Personal Care Assistance (PCA)
  • Rental Assistance Program (RAP)
  • State Administered General Assistance (SAGA)
  • State Supplemental to Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD)
  • Care for Kids
  • As with AT&T additional discounts apply to individuals living on federally recognized tribal lands and participate in certain government assistance programs*

If you don’t participate in any of the above programs but have an income of at least 150% or less of the federal poverty guidelines, then you are eligible to receive discounted phone service through Cox Communications (AT&T does not make such allowances).

Signing Up for Service

To sign up for discounted phone service through AT&T, download their application, complete it and return it to the address indicated on the application. Or, you can visit their website or call them at 1-800-453-7638.

To apply for service through Cox Communication, download their application, complete and return it to the appropriate address.

For free cell phone and airtime through Assurance Wireless you can either apply in person, by phone (1-888-898-4888) or download their application and mail or fax it back. Visit their website for more details.

With SafeLink Wireless, visit their website and complete their online application.

A Few Things to Note

  • The application process takes several weeks (sometimes as much as a month) so send in your application as soon as possible.
  • You may be required to undergo an annual recertification to ensure you still meet the qualification criteria
  • You may not participate in both the discounted and free cell phone program, only one program per economic unit.
  • If you decided to apply for free cell phones, read this article before you do.

About the Author ()

This site was created to help people find information about free government phones. We do not mail, activate or repair free government phones nor do we provide service. If you have questions about phone service we suggest you contact the phone service provider directly.

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