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:
- 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
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.