Lifeline is a national program that makes it easier and more affordable for households to have phones or internet access. If you meet the income eligibility criteria to enroll in this program, many different financial benefits can become available to you.
Regardless of where you live in the United States or one of its territories, Lifeline is available. While service providers vary by location, eligible households can receive benefits through one provider or another.
There are many perks to enrolling in your local Lifeline program. Some of these are financial benefits, while other perks are related to convenience.
The following sections explain the top six benefits that come with enrolling in your local Lifeline program.
1. You can save money on your monthly phone bill.
One of the most notable benefits that comes with enrolling in Lifeline is saving money on your phone or internet bill each month. Generally, Lifeline recipients receive a minimum discount of $9.25 each month.
Depending on your provider, you can use this benefit to reduce your monthly:
- Wireless phone bill.
- Landline bill.
- Internet cost.
By saving money on your phone or internet bill each month, you can reduce your overall expenses. Then, you can save the money you didn’t need to spend on your phone bill and help build your rainy day fund.
2. You can save time searching for options.
One of the most overwhelming aspects of signing up for a phone or internet service provider is the number of options that are available to you. There are different types of plans you can enroll in, and each of these options comes with different services you can receive.
If you get a plan that doesn’t provide you with enough service, you’ll either run out of minutes each month, or you’ll be forced to pay fees because you went over your limit. This can cause you financial trouble, especially if you choose to upgrade your service without checking to make sure you can afford it.
On the other hand, if you have a plan that comes with more features than you use, you’ll be paying more than necessary because you aren’t taking full advantage of your plan. This can also cause financial trouble because you’re spending more than you need to.
With Lifeline, you have a set of well-defined service options you can choose from. The different Lifeline providers in your area will outline various packages you can use your benefits for.
This means that you’ll have a few options you can look through when determining the plan you want.
Since different services are bundled together in these options, you won’t need to take the time to weigh out how much each individual service costs. In the long term, this will save you time and money.
3. You can get a free or majorly-discounted cellphone.
If you’re currently in the market for a cellphone but don’t have the funds to afford one, Lifeline can help you out.
Depending on your circumstances and the service provider you use, you might be able to get a free or discounted cellphone through this program.
The company you’re receiving benefits through determines what types of models you can purchase with Lifeline. If your choices are limited, it’s because companies can only offer what they have available in their stock rooms at that time.
However, it’s not uncommon for various types of phones to be available to recipients. You might even be able to get a smartphone through this program. Be sure to check with your local provider about the options you can take advantage of.
On the other hand, keep in mind that enrolling in Lifeline doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get a new phone or phone number.
As long as your current phone is compatible with Lifeline, you don’t need to get a new device. If you currently have your own phone, be sure to check with your program provider to learn how this would work in your situation.
4. You can budget more easily each month.
Without Lifeline, phone and internet bills can be tricky. That’s because your fees could increase or decrease from one month to another.
This variability makes it harder for you to budget how much you can expect to spend on your utilities each month. Generally, your monthly phone bill can vary depending on:
- How many calls you make.
- Whether you make any international calls.
- How many text messages you receive.
- How much data you use to surf the internet.
With your Lifeline plan, you know exactly how much money you’re going to spend each month. This amount is pre-approved upon, as per the terms of your enrollment in this program with the Lifeline company you use.
Since you know the standard price for your phone or internet service and how much your Lifeline discount is for, you can determine your utility amount for that service each month.
Once you know for certain how much you are going to spend on that particular service each month, you know the exact amount you need to budget for it. This, in turn, can help you organize other aspects of your budget.
5. You can prioritize your technological needs.
When you enroll in Lifeline, you can only receive a discount to reduce the costs associated with one of your expenses. This means you need to choose if you want to use the benefit toward your cellphone bill, your home phone bill or your internet service.
If you’re on a tight budget, you may only be able to afford one of these services each month. While this might seem limiting, this can actually be a good thing in the long run.
That’s because you’ll be able to save money on monthly expenses and put your funds toward something you really want instead.
6. You can reduce your household’s overall screen time.
Even if multiple adults in your house qualify for Lifeline, only one person can receive benefits through this program at a time.
This means that you might need to choose between having internet service or a cellphone for a while. While this might be frustrating in the moment, it’s excellent for your long-term health.
Screens are terrible for your vision, and the blue light they emit can affect your sleep patterns. If you have young children, limiting the technological services you have at home can be very helpful for their overall health.