Assurance Wireless Marks One-Year Anniversary of Providing Cell Phones and Wireless Service to Maine Residents
Program can help more than 250,000 Maine residents stay connected to family, medical services and jobs
Assurance Wireless, which provides eligible residents a free cell phone, 250 free minutes of wireless voice service and 250 free text messages monthly with no contract, marks its one-year anniversary of providing services to Maine residents. Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund and now offers the best value in calling plans among major Lifeline Assistance programs.1
More than 53,000 Maine residents are without a job and more than 21 percent are living below the federal poverty line. Assurance Wireless customers enjoy the ability to provide a contact number to and receive calls from a prospective employer, which, studies show, can improve the chances of securing employment.
“We look forward to continuing to provide this service to eligible Maine residents who need support and resources during what continues to be a rough economic time for many,” said Grace Boehm, director-Strategy and Business Planning, Assurance Wireless.
“I was unemployed for an extended amount of time because of layoffs,” stated Evan M., 38, an Assurance Wireless customer. “The phone and service I received from Assurance Wireless were invaluable to my finding new employment and to my efforts to recover from this recession. It allowed me to contact potential employers, provide a way for them to respond to me, and helped me save money. Assurance also gave me peace of mind that I had a way to stay connected to my kids while away from home.”
According to a nationwide survey from Assurance Wireless*, adults with an income of less than $25,000 are as likely to use their mobile phone for employment searches as those with higher incomes. Data collected by Austin Nichols, a senior researcher with the Chronicle for Higher Educations Urban Institute, showed that the rate of graduates with doctoral degrees who have filed for government assistance more than tripled between 2007 and 2010. According to a report*, “If all 28.5 million adults eligible for Lifeline Assistance were to take advantage of the program and earn at the same rate and level as [the study] sample, it would result in $3.7 billion in fresh income for the poor and near poor.”
The Lifeline Assistance program is available for only one wireline or wireless account per household. Enrollment in this government benefit program is available to consumers who meet federal or state-specific eligibility criteria. Maine residents may qualify for Assurance Wireless if they participate in certain public assistance programs such as Energy Assistance, Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), Home Energy Assistance Program, Medicaid, Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), National School Lunch’s Free Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Applicants may also qualify based on household income. All applicants must provide proof of program participation or proof of income.
Residents with temporary addresses may now be eligible for Lifeline services. Separate households that reside at the same address are now eligible for Lifeline service, which will permit residents of homeless shelters and nursing homes, for example, to apply for Lifeline services. Applicants must affirmatively certify that Lifeline recipients living at the same address are part of a separate household.
In addition to a voice mail account2 and call waiting, Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of emergency. Beyond the 250 free voice minutes and 250 text messages each month, customers can choose from other low cost options to pay for additional minutes, texting, international calling and more at competitive rates.
Jack Pflanz, 315-374-0693
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