Virginia has an alarming 909,000 of its residents living below the federal poverty guidelines. This means there are those who cannot afford the basic necessities of life. Including food, good shelter, and mobile phone communication. While all of these are important, we will use this article to discuss free government cellphones in Virginia. If you find that you are eligible to apply for one, then you can begin the process today. Keep reading for the sake of being well informed about the eligibility criteria and the whole application process.
Which Mobile Phone Companies Partake in the Free Government Cellphone Program in Virginia?
It comes as a surprise to see that there are only three mobile phone companies in Virginia that are part of the free cellphone program in this state. The good news is, three is better than none. Be wise to go through each of the companies to see the offers they have and the one that will favor you the most. The mobile phone companies are listed out below.
How Can You be Eligible for a Free Government Cellphone in Virginia?
There are two ways you can be given a free government cellphone in this state. Either based on program participation, or based on annual household income. If you are not eligible based on any of these, then it would be a waste of time applying.
Eligibility Based on Program Participation
If you belong to one or more of the lifeline assistance programs listed below, then you can apply for a free cellphone in Virginia.
- Food Stamps/ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit
- Section 8/ Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
- Tribal Head Start (only those households meeting its income qualifying standard)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
Being a member of any one of these programs, you will be given a card that certifies your participation. This card is also important if you are applying based on program participation.
Eligibility Based on Annual Household Income
If your annual household income is leveled at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, then you are eligible to apply. If you earn above this level, then applying will be a waste of time since you will be rejected. Take a look at the ratio between household size and eligible annual household income to see if you are qualified.
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 person, add $6,048
How to Apply for a Free Government Cellphone in Virginia
The application process is actually very easy. However, you need to take the right steps to be approved. Below we will list out the steps you need to take to make your application process go as smoothly as possible.
1. Choose the Best Mobile Phone Company for You
You cannot get a free phone from more than one mobile phone company. Therefore you can only choose one. To get the best deal, it would be smart if you check out the individual cellphone companies one by one to see what they offer and get the very best deal. Their offers may seem the same, but there may be slight differences in each of their packages. Differences could be in free talk hours, SMS, data plans, and special discounts. You can check out their websites to get the information you need. You can also call or send them an email if you have further questions. Having full knowledge of all their packages, the decision on which cellphone company to get your free cellphone from would be a lot easier to make.
2. Get an Application Form
The next step to take would be to get an application form. You can visit the lifeline support center in the state to get one. You can also have it mailed or faxed to you. It costs nothing to get an application form besides your time. If you wish, you can download and print the form from their website.
3. Fill the Form
Honesty is the best policy when filling the form for your free government cellphone. Make sure all the information you are providing is accurate. If there are any false pieces of information, your application process will be slowed down, you may even get rejected. After you have finished filling the form, take another look at it to be sure all the details you provided are accurate. Correct any errors you find before you submit. The form will require you to provide your full name, date of birth, residential address, employment status, annual household income, household size, and participation in any lifeline assistance program.
4. Attach Proof of Eligibility
If you cannot prove you are eligible, then your application will not be complete, and it will be ultimately rejected. If you are applying based on program participation, then you will need to provide your membership card as evidence. If you are applying based on your annual household income, then your tax receipts can serve well. Your past year’s bank statements can also serve as evidence. You can get copies of your statement from your bank. Just visit any of their branches. You can also request it is sent to your email. Your eligibility status will be investigated on a yearly basis. A person’s financial standing may change the following year and they will no longer be eligible for a free government cellphone.
5. Submit the Form and Wait for a Result
Mail the form to the address of the lifeline support center in Virginia and wait for an approval. If your eligibility is certified, then you will have a free cellphone shipped to you.
Having about 909,000 Virginians living in poverty means there are a lot of people in need of assistance.