Friday, April 9, 2010

Assurance Wireless: Now Available in Michigan

Good news for low-income people in Michigan who don't have access to a phone or are currently using a Safelink Wireless phone; Assurance Wireless is now available in your state.

As we've written before, Assurance Wireless is a prepaid mobile offering through the Federal Lifeline program. Assurance offers a free phone and 200 free minutes per month if you qualify for the program. The other Lifeline prepaid mobile offering (Safelink) only offers 68 free minutes per month, so Assurance is a much better deal. If you're using Safelink, you might want to consider switching to Assurance (see below for more on this).

You may be qualified to receive this benefit if you receive any of a number of federal or state public assistance benefits. Here's the list of benefits that qualify residents of Michigan for the Lifeline program:
  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps/SNAP
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program, OR
  • Your household income is at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines
(See this for more information about eligibility in Michigan or the other four states in which Assurance is offered - New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee).

If you're currently using Safelink Wireless or another Lifeline-provided phone, and you want to switch to Assurance Wireless to get more free monthly minutes, we suggest you:

1. Call Assurance Wireless to start the application process and specifically ask them what you need to do to switch from another provider. Write it down!
2. Call Safelink or your current Lifeline provider, and ask them what you need to do to switch to another provider. Write it down!

We've called several times to try to get specific information about switching from both carriers, and we've received different information each time. It may be that they've worked this out when you call, but it's also possible that you may not be able to keep your existing phone number and/or you may be without your phone service for a period of time while one provider cancels and the other starts up. If anyone reading this blog does the switch, please post and let us know what your experience has been. In the meantime, we'll keep trying to get accurate information.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

here in NC., I cannot get assurance to obtain my home #., becasue att will not release the #., so that I may switch to assurance. and the meathead I have to talk to, is in INDIA..... soon., there will be no resident att system., serves them right !!!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only person on the Internet that feels that this free give away is ridiculous?!? A decade ago did these "poor" people have a cell phone? Heck, most well to do children didn't even have one! How on earth did any of these people survive?!? 

Ok the need for phone service: 
- potential employers hiring - They can't have a land line? Why does it need to be a cell phone? Life was much better with 1990s cell phone rates. You only used them when it was completely necessary.
- elderly with a life threatening emergency - ok, why on earth do you need 200 minutes?!? That's almost 3 and a half hours a month! I don't even use mine that much. How long do they need to set up a job interview?!?

I am sick of all these self entitled give aways. I've had 3 land lines given to me since I moved here and the only calls I get are from collection agencies. So now more scam artists can taint more numbers. In my state if you file for bankruptcy, you get to keep your home, AND your car. So long as you don't have a second lean on it, you can buy a home for way more than you can afford, and a brand new car since the state believes you need it to drive to work. 

Why work at all? After hearing stories of octomoms, apparently I can have as many children as I want and not only will my medical be paid, but I'll receive support money for them too! All this time I thought I couldn't afford one because I had to save for taxes! Guess what, they can't tax you if you have no income.

Ok so free home, free car, free medical and child support, free food, and free cell phones?!? Hell, why work at all? I think I'll quit my job right now!

I just hope I can set all this up before I get in a serious life threatening car wreck with some other self entitled fool who was yakking on their free cell phone driving their free car, because odds are they're not going to have insurance, and it's not like they have any money to pay my medical bills. If I don't set this up quick, I may have to be the one to pay, even though Ill be out of work while in the hospital.