One of the biggest questions we get is how the Lifeline program works. Really, it’s pretty simple. On every phone bill, there is a small Universal Service Program fee each month. That money is put into the Universal Service Fund, which is what drives the Lifeline program and allows Budget Mobile to offer a free cell phone, free minutes, and free texts every month.
To get signed up is a simple process on our website. Start by entering your zip code, and then enter your information (by the way, when you enter your address, don’t use any punctuation or symbols). You can upload your proof of need with either a photo you’ve taken or by taking a picture of your proof with your webcam. Programs that qualify you for Lifeline service vary by state, but this is list gives you a pretty good idea:
- Annual Income
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Federal Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Food Stamps
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- National School Lunch (free program only)
- Supplemental Security Income
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Once you’ve been approved, it takes about 7-14 business days to ship your phone to you. We offer a variety of refurbished phones, ranging from feature phones to low-level Android and Blackberry. If you find that your Lifeline minutes aren’t enough to last you every month, we have affordable prepay plans that meet just about any budget. Have questions? Chat with us on Twitter and Facebook.