Issa Asad, the CEO of Q Link Wireless, an approved provider of the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program, recently explained the benefits of Lifeline for Food Stamp recipients. “For millions of Americans who struggle financially, the Lifeline program has given them a chance to afford phone service,” said Asad.
Those who are eligible for Lifeline include low-income individuals who meet their specific state’s Federal Poverty Guidelines and those who receive assistance via certain government-funded programs. Those who receive Food Stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are eligible for Lifeline.
What Lifeline Does for Food Stamp Recipients
Those who apply for the Lifeline program based on their eligibility will get free or discounted wireless or landline phone service. Although Lifeline features vary by state and service provider, the type of phone service provided by Lifeline includes 911 access, and most also include voicemail, call waiting, a certain amount of talk time minutes per month and texts. Those who need more minutes are able to purchase them.
Food Stamp recipients who cannot afford a phone can receive a free cell phone from participating wireless providers. Q Link Wireless is one example of a Lifeline service provider that chooses to provide a free cell phone with the free cell phone service. These providers give one cell phone to Lifeline subscribers who are unable to afford a phone.
How Lifeline Benefits Food Stamp Recipients
Food Stamp recipients who take part in the Lifeline program have affordable phone service for at least one year. They will need to recertify their eligibility each year in order to continue using the program. With regular phone service, they can easily call to check their Food Stamp balance before going out to the store. Being able to keep track of their balance also helps them plan their grocery budget without having to worry about running out of food stamps.
“The Lifeline program has been a valuable help to those who receive food stamps,” said Asad, who is also the CEO of Quadrant Holdings. “They can find out how much they have left at any time, leading to one less source of stress in their lives,” explains the QLink Wireless CEO.
Lifeline helps Food Stamp recipients in other ways as well. Those with phone service can look for a steady job more easily, knowing that they will have a phone number to provide potential employers with. This means they do not have to limit the types of jobs that they apply for, and they have a better chance of getting a call back after an interview. They can also keep in touch with loved ones on a regular basis, leading to an improved quality of life. With their own phone service and phone, they do not have to rely on other people to make phone calls or ask to borrow someone else’s phone.
Things to Keep in Mind
Food Stamp recipients who participate in Lifeline will receive a wireless phone service. Only one Lifeline subscription per household is allowed. Those who have more than one subscription already must choose one or risk losing their discounted service. Lifeline subscribers also have to verify their eligibility every year online, over the phone or through the mail.
In order to subscribe to the Lifeline program, Food Stamp recipients will need to show proof that they participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or another qualifying government assistance program. Those who no longer need to participate in the Food Stamp program might still be eligible for Lifeline if their income falls below or at 135 percent of their state’s Federal Poverty Guidelines. In most cases, those who have received a free phone through a wireless provider are able to keep that phone, rather than having to return it.
Above content provided by Issa Asad for Quadrant Holdings, the parent company of Q Link Wireless located in Dania, Florida.