What is Lifeline?

The federal "Lifeline" program was created during the Reagan Administration. Lifeline is a federal program created by the Reagan era Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1984. The program was enhanced under Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was supported on a broadly bipartisan basis in Congress. The FCC's Low Income Program of the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), is designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income customers at just, reasonable, and affordable rates. Lifeline support reduces eligible low-income consumers' monthly charges for basic telephone service.

Cintex Wireless is a provider of the Lifeline support program. Cintex Wireless applies the Universal Service Fund subsidy to an allotment of free airtime minutes and provides the wireless handset at the company's expense. Instead of receiving a subsidized monthly telephone bill for Lifeline service, Cintex Wireless converts the total amount of discounted service into minutes each month for one year. The cell phone offers in-demand features: voicemail, text, three-way calling, call waiting, caller ID and access to 911.

Cintex Wireless Lifeline phones are not paid for by taxpayers or the federal government. Cintex Wireless pays for the handset and also the cost of promoting its wireless Lifeline program to make sure that eligible consumers know about the program.

Only certain Americans are eligible for Cintex Wireless Lifeline. Eligibility guidelines vary by state but in general individuals qualify if they participate in a public assistance program such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), National Free School Lunch, Federal Housing/Section 8 Assistance, or if they do not receive any of these public assistance programs, they may also qualify based on total household gross monthly income. Customers can learn more or apply by calling 1-877-304-9183.

Your exact benefits, including the number of free Minutes you will receive, depend on the state you live in.

Click here to see the FCC's article about the Lifeline Program.

Do you qualify?