Backpacks are packed, and millions of families and children are
preparing to go back to school. Already a stressful time of year filled
with school supply shopping, parents are doing their best to provide a
nurturing learning environment for their children. Unfortunately, in
tough economic times, many families struggle to provide even the basics
for a safe and successful school year.
According to the US Census Bureau1, more than 6 million
families with children under 18 years old live below the federal poverty
line, and a report from the USDA2 states that more than 33
million children receive free or reduced-price meals yearly through the
National School Lunch Program.
When families strive to provide necessities such as back-to-school
supplies, clothes that fit and nutritious food for lunch, a mobile phone
may seem a lesser priority but something most of us dont consider a
luxury. For families struggling to find a job or put food on the table,
Assurance Wireless provides a much-needed way to keep families connected
during a busy school year.
Wireless, is a federal Lifeline Assistance program from Virgin
Mobile USA that offers the best value in calling plans among major
Lifeline Assistance programs.3 Eligible residents receive a
free wireless phone and 250 free voice minutes and 250 free text
messages monthly with no annual contract. Lifeline Assistance is a
government benefit program supported by the federal Universal Service
Fund. Assurance Wireless gives families dealing with financial hardship
the ability to stay connected with schools and each other. With
Assurance Wireless, parents can provide a contact number and return
calls in cases of illness, emergency, after school activities, and
I am a single working parent of a special needs child and Assurance
Wireless has been an invaluable resource keeping me connected to my
sons school and his teachers. There have been several emergency
situations I have been able to respond to only because I have an
Assurance Wireless phone, stated Evan M., 38, an Assurance Wireless
customer from Maryland.
After school, approximately one-third of all school-age children in the
United States are, for some part of the week, latchkey kids, according
to the US Census Bureau4; that is, they go home to an empty
house or apartment. The Census Bureau found that 15 percent were home
alone before school, 76 percent after school and 9 percent at night.
Assurance Wireless provides an essential tool for staying connected with
children who are home alone while parents work to provide for their
The Lifeline Assistance program is available for only one wireless or
wireline account per household. Enrollment in this government benefit
program is available to consumers who qualify based on federal or
state-specific eligibility criteria. Residents may qualify for Assurance
Wireless if they participate in certain public assistance programs such
as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families (TANF), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8,
Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) or the National School Lunch
Programs Free Lunch Program. Residents may also qualify based on
household income. All applicants must provide proof of program
participation or proof of income.
Separate households that live at the same address are now eligible for
Lifeline service, including residents of homeless shelters and nursing
homes. Applicants must affirmatively certify that Lifeline recipients
living at the same address are part of a separate household. Residents
with temporary addresses are also eligible.
In addition to a voice mail account5 and call waiting,
Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of
emergency. Beyond the 250 free voice minutes each month, customers can
choose from other low cost options to pay for additional minutes,
texting, international calling and more at competitive rates.
Assurance Wireless is available in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado,
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana,
Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North
Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and
Wisconsin. This list of states continues to expand and can be found on
the Assurance website.
Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling
(toll-free) 800-395-2171, or by visiting www.assurancewireless.com.
People who dont qualify for Assurance Wireless but who are also
struggling and searching for value can take advantage of payLo by Virgin
Mobile. payLo was especially designed with value-conscious wireless
consumers in mind, offering plans for as little as $20/month for 400
minutes or access to 90 days of service for $20 at a rate of less than
$7 per month. payLo is available at more than 40,000 retail stores,
including Best Buy, RadioShack and Target. Prospective low-income
customers who find they are not eligible for Assurance Wireless may
learn more about Virgin Mobiles no-contract payLo Plan options by
Prospective low income customers who find they are not eligible for
Assurance Wireless may learn more about Virgin Mobiles no contract
payLo Plan options by visiting http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/paylo-plans.jsp#
About Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless, one of Sprints
no-contract brands, is supported by the Lifeline Assistance program,
part of the Low Income Program of the federal Universal Service Fund
(USF), which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative
Company (USAC). Assurance Wireless provides service on the Nationwide
Sprint Network, which reaches more than 282 million people.
Follow Assurance news on Facebook www.facebook.com/assurancewireless
or on Twitter www.twitter.com/assurancecell
and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/assurancewireless.
Offer limited to eligible customers (varies by state) residing in
selected geographic areas and is non-transferable. Assurance Wireless is
subject to the Terms of Service (includes plan details) found on http://www.assurancewireless.com/Public/TermsandConditions.aspx.
1 U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey; http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_B17010&prodType=table
USDA, FNS. National School Lunch Program: Participation and Lunches
Served, as of 2010; http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/36slmonthly.htm
Based on published price plans as of 5/23/2012 of major Lifeline
carriers with more than 1 million subscribers who provide service in
more than 20 states.
Airtime charges apply when accessing voice mail via an Assurance
Wireless phone once free minutes have been depleted.