Though there was a time when communication required more than picking up a handheld object to make a quick call, there’s a reason that cell phones exist. The ability to communicate easily and directly with others is an absolute necessity.
And yet, Native Americans go without this necessity every single day – but you don't have to.
Through the Tribal Lifeline Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), EASY Wireless can connect you to the largest, fastest, and most reliable cell network available with FREE Talk, Text and Data.
How the Tribal Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program Through EASY Wireless Can Help
The average monthly cell phone costs more than $100 per month. That’s a lot of money for anyone to pay, but that amount is even worse if your phone doesn’t work as it should. Cell phones are supposed to provide a way to communicate – conveniently. When you’re paying for the service every month, you should be able to pick up your phone and rely on its ability to make a phone call. And – to be truthful – that ability shouldn’t cost a small fortune.
Unfortunately, these are two of the challenges that Native Americans on tribal lands face: unreliable service and extremely high cell phone bills – especially in comparison to income levels.
Natives are reported as making barely over $20,000 each year. Unfortunately, many are not even making that, as unemployment tends to be high on tribal lands. For those that do break $20,000, $100 per month or more for a cell phone is just too high.
Those that do have a phone often have to move away from their homes to find a signal. Service providers determine where to place their cell phone towers based on the number of residents in an area. There’s no dispute that tribal lands are in need of these towers, but providers often find that other more populated areas are better locations.
If you are living on tribal land and have a cell phone, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of needing to take a walk or a drive just to find a signal. That might just be an inconvenience when you want to call and catch up with a friend, but it can be a real issue.
Reports of tribal members being unable to make a call during a life-threatening emergency are not uncommon. And what if your child’s school calls because they’ve gotten sick or hurt? Additionally, job hunting and setting up interviews are a bit difficult to do without a reliable form of communication.
EASY Wireless, Lifeline and ACP
Fortunately, the government recognized the need for cell phone service on tribal lands and created a way to help. Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program are government-funded programs that offer tribal assistance to qualifying households. Basically, they provide a credit through cell phone service providers – like EASY Wireless – to get you connected. Through the credits from these programs, we are able to provide you with the following:
- Free Smartphone
- FREE Unlimited Data
- FREE Unlimited Talk
- FREE Unlimited Text
And all of that is available on the most reliable network, allowing you to actually count on your phone.
Sign up with EASY Wireless and they will provide a free cell phone!
Please note that Lifeline and ACP are actually two separate benefit programs. Lifeline is dedicated to providing cell phone service, while ACP focuses more on Internet connectivity. However, most tribal residents are able to get the two as a combined service, ensuring that families stay fully connected without the high cost of monthly service charges.
What Is a “Qualifying Household?”
In order to receive the Enhanced Tribal Benefit, one of the biggest factors is that your home is on qualifying tribal lands. Additionally, your household will need to either meet specific income requirements or participate in a US government or Tribal government assistance program. That program can be any of the following:
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps)
- SSI or Supplemental Security Income
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- Tribal Head Start
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
Applying for Lifeline and ACP for Tribal Lands
Signing up is actually a really easy thing to do. At the bottom of this, you’ll find a signup button to get you started. Before you do that, though, there are a couple of tips to make it go a bit more smoothly.
- First, if you participate in one of the programs above, you likely won’t have too much to do. There is an online application through the Federal National Verifier website that should be able to verify both your participation and your residence. However, in some cases, you might need to provide a copy of your award letter if the system cannot verify it automatically.
- If you choose to qualify with income, you’ll need to provide income verification. This can be tax returns, pay stubs, benefit letters, or similar proof.
- When you apply, do not forget to choose the “confirm Tribal Qualification” button.
- As many reservations don’t have “traditional” street addresses, you might be asked for coordinates so that the system can verify you’re on tribal land. If you are not sure what the latitude and longitude coordinates are for your address, you can find them on Melissa.com or you can zoom in and pin your address location on the map that will be provided to you.
- Don’t live on Tribal lands? That is not a problem. You can still qualify through our Lifeline and ACP program.
- It’s important to note that the benefit will only apply to one person per household. As more than one household might live under the same roof, this does not mean just one phone per residence. If you have multiple households living at the same address. Take a look at this guide to determine if you are considered separate households.
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