Maine isn’t one of those states in America that can boast of a large population. Because of this, you may be of the opinion that everyone here is doing very well. Well, yes and no. Maine has produced quite a number of well-to-do individuals. If not for anything, the people of Maine can proudly say that former U.S president George Bush has a vacation home there. There’s also Milton Bradley, the game company C.E.O, he was also born there and he’s a high net worth individual. There are a couple more thriving individuals on this list, but sadly, there are many more who cannot boast of such wealth. Maine has had its fair share of economic challenges, just like every other state in America. Compared to other neighboring states, Maine has a high unemployment rate. This means there are many in need of government assistance. This assistance can come in many forms, including shelter, medical care, transportation, and feeding. But those aren’t the only areas where help can be rendered. Communication is a vital part of living, which is why the people of Maine are glad that there are companies that provide free cellphones to underprivileged people in the state. There’s more good news, besides issuing free lifeline assistance cellphones, there are other companies that offer discounts off their regular charges. Thanks to these lifeline assistance cellphone programs, the disadvantaged people of Main will pay very little or nothing at all to enjoy cellphone services. In this article, we will be discussing free government cellphones in Maine, as well as all you need to be eligible for one or enjoy huge discounts.
Free Cell Phone Providers in Maine
There are several lifeline assistance phone companies in Maine that offer free cellphones. Even though most of their packages are the same, there are still some slight differences in what they offer. These could be in the areas of data plans, voice calls, and number of text messages. Be sure to go through them one by one to see the specific packages they offer and go for the one that is best for you. They are listed out below.
Lifeline Discount Companies in Maine
It is possible that you meet all free cellphone eligibility criteria but still won’t be able to get a free lifeline assistance cellphone in Maine. This is because some or none of these cellphone carriers cater to your address of residence. Thank goodness there is another option you can explore. There are a few cellphone carriers that will offer you very high discounts off the regular amount payable on mobile phone charges. Even though they do not offer free cellphones, the discounts will go a long way in helping financially disadvantaged people enjoy mobile phone services at a very low cost. These discounts will allow you to save thousands of dollars over the years, with regards to costs on voice calls, SMS, and data bundles. The money saved can be used to do something else, so the discounts are also very welcome. The companies below are part of the lifeline assistance program, but they only offer discounts on cellphone charges.
- U.S. Cellular
How Do I Qualify to Get a Free Lifeline Assistance Cellphone in Maine?
Not everyone can be eligible for a free cellphone in Maine. There are certain criteria that need to be met before you are deemed eligible for one. You can be eligible based on two factors.
- Your annual income
- Your participation in a lifeline assistance government program
These are the two major ways by which you will be qualified for a free government cellphone in Maine. Other than that, don’t bother applying, as you will not get the desired outcome.
Eligibility Based on Lifeline Assistance Programs
This is one of the two means by which you can receive a free government cellphone in Maine. These programs were designed to assist the less privileged in certain areas of daily life. These include food, housing, and medical care. Assistance in the area of telecommunication is also among such privileges. You are eligible if you receive benefits from any of these programs listed below.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
- Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Tribal Head Start (only those households meeting its income qualifying standard)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
If you are a beneficiary of any of the above-listed government programs, then you qualify for a free government cellphone in Maine. Members of such programs are usually issued with a membership card and they enjoy certain privileges that each of the programs offers.
Eligibility Based on Income
This is the second means by which you can qualify for a free government cellphone in Maine. There are a lot of people here that are out of work or have had salary cuts and they are the ones that best fit into this package. If your total household annual income is at or lower than 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, then you are eligible for a free government cellphone in Maine. We have listed out the numbers below. Go through them to be sure where and if you fit in.
Members in Household: Annual income
1 member : $17,226
2 members : $23,274
3 members : $29,322
4 members : $35,370
5 members : $41,418
6 members : $47,466
7 members : $53,514
8 members : $59,562
For each additional member add $6,048 annually.
What Steps Do I Need to Take to Get a Free Government Cellphone in Maine?
If you find that you are eligible for a free lifeline assistance government-issued cellphone in Maine, then there are certain steps you need to get yours. Follow these steps carefully, and the process will be as smooth as possible.
Choose Your Cellphone Company
The first thing you need to do after your eligibility is known is to choose a cellphone company in Maine that has the best packages for you. There are several of them in the state, and while they offer almost the same packages, there are quite a few differences. The only way to know exactly what each of these cellphone companies is offering you is by inquiring. Visit their websites to be sure of what discounts or packages each of them offers. Be as detail-specific as possible and see how each of these packages will favor your unique situation the most.
Obtain an Application Form
Now that you are sure of the cellphone company you want to get your free phone from, you have to reach out to them and obtain an application form. This wouldn’t be a problem, being that they will issue you a form on request. Once you have your application form in hand, you can proceed to the next step.
Fill out the Application Form
On the application form, you will be required to provide relevant information such as your full names, date of birth, home address, current place of work (if you are employed), annual salary, number of people in your household, and lifeline assistance programs you belong to.
All the information you provide must be correct. If you make mistakes when filling the form or intentionally provide false information, then your application process will be delayed. If it is discovered that you intentionally provided false information, then you will be disqualified from getting a free government lifeline assistance cellphone. It would be in your best interest to go through the form after you have filled it to make sure there are no errors.
Attach Proof of Eligibility
Filling the form and claiming eligibility is not enough, you also have to attach some proof. It’s true that the information you provide on the application form will still have to pass through a verification process, but proof of your eligibility is still required.
If you are applying based on being a participant in any of the government lifeline assistance programs listed above, then you will need to attach your membership card to the application form as you submit. If you are applying based on your annual income, then you must attach statements of your bank account. You can request your statements from any branch of your bank. You can also have it sent to your email. We have to mention that your eligibility will be subject to re-certification on a yearly basis, just in case your financial status changes within a one year period.
If you’re a resident of Maine, go through the information to see if you are eligible, and follow the steps listed above to start the process.