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Local News

Sunday, 27 November, 2011 12:28 PM

Sprint offers free wireless service to U.S. military veterans

Two new programs being offered through Assurance Wireless

Graphic credit: Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless is the second largest and the fastest growing national Lifeline Assistance cell phone carrier operating in the United States.

 

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

|

DETROIT -- The Labor Department recently reported that the rate of unemployment involving military veterans over the last ten years has gone up to 11.7 percent, higher than the overall unemployment rate of 9.1 percent throughout the United States. Now, with Michigan remaining in financial crisis and the "Occupy Wall Street" movement still rising around the world, Sprint has come up with two programs to help the men and women who fought the good fight for America fight for their financial independence: Assurance Wireless and Eligible Assurance Wireless.

"Universal lifeline services started in the mid-1980’s under the Ronald Reagan administration. Assurance Wireless began in December of 2009, " said Jack W. Pflanz, Public Relations Manager for Sprint. "It 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), and designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income customers at reasonable and affordable rates. Wireless companies like Sprint that provide Lifeline-type programs are approved to participate by the FCC and/or state utility commissions in these low income programs for the revenue they forgo by providing discounted service to eligible consumers."

How will these programs increase military veterans' chances of finding employment? What about back pay or a pension?

"Assurance Wireless provides an eligible military veteran with a way to contact potential employers and receive calls back from potential employers," he added. "It also gives then a way to communicate with the VA or any other agency."

Compare and contrast between unemployment benefits and Assurance Wireless

"Assurance Wireless is a cellphone service for eligible low-income customers who can receive a free cell phone and 250 free minutes of wireless voice service for local and long-distance calling every month," Pflanz explained. "It is a worry-free way to stay in touch with prospective and current employers, school services, doctors, and family in times of emergencies. It is a resource available to those who qualify and find themselves in financial difficulty."

How can you be eligible for these programs?

Eligibility varies by state.

The eligibility criteria for Michigan residents is listed below:

  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps/SNAP
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program


Michigan residents may also qualify based on low income. Eligibility criteria can be found here http://www.assurancewireless.com/Public/HowToQualify.aspx

Don't the Army and Navy have their own programs such as yours to support the men and women who served out country with honor and humility? What about President Obama or the White House?

"I am not aware of any lifeline programs offered by the Military but then you would need to check with them to see what they offer," the public relations manager answered. "Assurance Wireless has no affiliation with President Obama. As I mentioned Lifeline services began under the Ronald Reagan administration."

Michigan is one of the states that has been hit worse by this recession with its unemployment rate near the double-digits, so what can these programs do for the people here and why?

"Assurance Wireless can provide Michigan residents with a way to contact potential employers and respond to potential employers while saving money on phone service that can now be used for other essential needs," Pflanz said.

Where can we know more about this?

Eligible residents who wish to find out more and or apply for Assurance Wireless can call 1-800-395-2171 or visit www.assurancewireless.com.

Related Story: Assurance Wireless to give free cell phone service to low-income families in Michigan

 

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