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SafeLink Wireless® Raises Lifeline Offering - Up to 250 Minutes of Free Talk Time for Ohio's Eligible Low-Income Families
Aug 16, 2010 (01:08 PM EDT)

More Choices for Low-Income Families: Government-Supported Program Offering Free Monthly Talk Time and Free Wireless Cell Phone Now Has Multiple Plan Options

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- America's number one prepaid cell phone provider, TracFone Wireless, Inc., announced that its federal Lifeline offering, SafeLink, will now offer participants of the program in Ohio the choice of three monthly plans, including up to 250 minutes of free monthly talk time – nearly an hour more per month than is offered by any other competitor.  

The new choices made possible by TracFone give low-income families up to 250 minutes of free monthly talk time and additional, flexible plan options give families the freedom to choose which plan is best suited for their needs to stay connected, stay safe.  Also, SafeLink is currently the only plan that gives eligible applicants the freedom to use their minutes for either texting or to make a phone call.  

Recognizing that Americans are still struggling through the worst economic recession in decades, SafeLink is renewing and further strengthening its commitment to low-income families by affording them the ability to stay connected with current or potential employers, children at home alone while their parents are at work, health care specialists, vital emergency responders, or relatives in time of personal emergencies, such as roadside vehicle breakdowns.

In addition to the free wireless cell phone customers receive at TracFone's expense, beginning August 16th, participants of the SafeLink Wireless program will have the choice of the following plans:  

  • New 250 free monthly non-carryover minutes, one text per each minute and a free cellular handset.
  • New 125 free monthly carryover minutes, one text per each minute and a free cellular handset.
  • Original 68 free monthly carryover minutes, 3 texts per each minute, International Long Distance to over 100 destinations and a free cellular handset.  

In addition to the free monthly airtime minutes for one year, SafeLink offers superior coverage area throughout the United States; quality LG, Motorola, and Samsung cell phones; 411 at no additional cost; unlimited access to 911; and in-demand features: voicemail, call waiting, and caller ID.  

June Donald of Cincinnati, 58, is a recent TracFone SafeLink customer, grateful to have his cell phone, especially considering that he was unable to talk until recently.  In August of 2009, Donald was a passenger in a car accident that changed his life.  He was hospitalized after the incident until May of 2010.

"It was horrible. I couldn't speak, hear, or walk," said Donald. Now, still unable to walk, Donald has an arduous recovery ahead of him, which requires therapy three days a week.

"Extra minutes will mean a lot to me, especially because it will let me stay in contact with my family while I am in therapy. It will help me let them know when I need a ride," said Donald.

In August 2008, TracFone was the first to modernize Lifeline for the way people communicate today with the creation of SafeLink. SafeLink is offered in 24 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, with more than 1.3 million households eligible for the service in Ohio.  

The prepaid feature gives customers the freedom to control the cost of their monthly telephone expense without any surprises.  SafeLink customers wishing to use additional minutes beyond their free allotment can add minutes by purchasing TracFone airtime cards at local retailers.  As an exclusive benefit for SafeLink customers, SafeLink phones will automatically add bonus minutes to TracFone's 60, 90 and 120-minute airtime cards.  However, there is no requirement to purchase additional minutes and no pressure applied to applicants to do so at any time.

Program Eligibility

To qualify for Lifeline in the state of Ohio, a household must participate in one of the following:

  • Section 8/Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Free National School Lunch Program (NSL)
  • General Assistance/Disability Assistance
  • Home Energy Assistance (HEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI)
  • Ohio Works First or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG)

SOURCE TracFone Wireless, Inc.