The Federal Lifeline Assistance Program’s benefits extend to those who are experiencing temporary financial hardship or those who live on a low fixed income. One of the most common groups that the government benefit program helps is senior citizens.
“Seniors who rely on low monthly payments to make ends meet often only have enough money to cover basic needs, such as housing, food and clothing,” said Issa Asad, the CEO of Florida based Q Link Wireless, a subsidiary of Quadrant Holdings.
Some seniors are not able to afford a phone or phone service, which makes it much more difficult for them to stay in touch with loved ones. Not having access to a phone could also put them in danger if they have a medical emergency and are unable to call for help. Lifeline, which provides low-income individuals with free or discounted landline or wireless phone service can be a life-changing program for seniors.
What Lifeline Does for Seniors
Lifeline provides seniors with discounted phone service, making this a more affordable monthly expense for those who live on a low budget. Those who do not have the money to purchase a phone can also contact wireless providers who offer free cell phones to Lifeline subscribers. In order to qualify, senior citizens must either participate in certain programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Stamps (SNAP), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), or have incomes that are below or at 135 percent of their specific state’s Federal Poverty Guidelines. Those who qualify can then submit an application to become part of the Lifeline program.
Benefits of Lifeline for Seniors
“Having phone service is crucial for the elderly, especially when they live alone,” said Asad. The Q Link Wireless CEO explains that “Lifeline makes it possible for the elderly to call 911 for emergencies, schedule their doctor’s appointments and chat with family.” These are things that people with regular phone service can take for granted. For seniors who do not have reliable, affordable phone service, not being able to do these things can negatively affect them emotionally and physically.
Lifeline helps ensure that seniors do not have to make alternate arrangements in order to get in touch with their doctor to schedule appointments, discuss health concerns or receive test results. Being able to make these calls whenever they need means that they do not have to skip or postpone appointments or risk having a serious condition go undiagnosed. Having phone service also gives seniors a way to reach 911 in case of an emergency, which provides them, as well as their family members, with peace of mind.
With access to affordable phone service, seniors can regularly stay in touch with family members and friends, which can have a positive impact on their overall health and quality of life. Maintaining strong social connections is an important part of emotional health for senior citizens. Having a Lifeline discount also helps ease the concerns of family members over their elderly relatives. With Lifeline, seniors can be reached by family members at any time, or they can call on their own to reassure loved ones that they are fine. This is particularly important during bouts of extreme cold or hot temperatures or when adverse weather conditions occur, such as snowstorms or windstorms.
Important Points to Consider
While seniors can benefit significantly from subscribing to Lifeline, they must remember to verify their eligibility once a year. Some might want to set up a reminder or have a family member let them know when it is time to do this. Verifying can be done online or through the mail. Seniors should also be aware that only one Lifeline subscription per household is allowed.
Above content provided by Q Link Wireless, which is the fastest-growing Lifeline service provider in the country.