What Are Assurance Wireless Phones?

Assurance Wireless phones are free cell phones, serviced by Virgin Mobile that are issued to people who qualify based upon need. The phone service is billed at a discounted monthly rate through the Federal Lifeline program initiated in 1995.

To apply for the program, enter a zip code and fill out the online application, which also allows applicants to check their approval status. There is a downloadable form which can be mailed or faxed, as well as the option to apply by calling the customer service number. Proof of eligibility must be provided at the time of application. Though requirements vary by state, in general a customer must receive some form of state or federal assistance, or have a total household income that falls below the listed poverty levels.

As of June 18, 2014, approved customers receive a free cell phone, and a service package of unlimited text messages and 500 free talking minutes per month. The site also lists different discounted plans available if a user needs more than 500 minutes. As of March 2015, the program is currently available in 41 states, although there are plans to expand, according to the Assurance Wireless website. The states and their individual qualifications can be found on the site by choosing a state from the drop-down box.