Assist Wireless is a smaller, but aggressive carrier that has both Lifeline and non-Lifeline customers. At the moment, they operate in three states, Arkansas, Maryland and Oklahoma but have announced plans to expand into the following ones: California, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Assist Wireless Plans
The company offers the following plans to its customers (except in Oklahoma):
- 68 minutes a month: Customers receive 68 talk minutes (for incoming and outgoing calls) that can be rolled over for 30 days. Text messages are charged at a rate of a third a minute each for both incoming and outgoing messages
- 125 minutes a month: Customers receive 125 talk minutes, which can be rolled over for 30 days, however incoming and outgoing text messages are charged at 1 minute each
- 250 minutes a month: Customers receive 250 minutes a month; incoming and outgoing text messages are charged at 1 minute each, however there is no minute rollover for this plan. All plan minutes expire on each month’s service expiration date.
For customers in the state of Oklahoma, the company offers two plans:
- For only $1 a month, customers will receive 1,000 voice minutes. Text messages are charged at 1 minute each; so that the customers have flexibility to use their allotment anyway they choose. There are no rollover minutes in this plan.
- Unlimited Voice Minutes: For $6.40 a month, Oklahoma residents can receive unlimited voice minutes every month. Text messaging is NOT allowed under this plan.
Both of the above plans are subject to taxes and fees. All Assist Wireless customers are charged a $60 activation fee; however, they may be able to apply a $30 subsidy from the Universal Service Fund. The remaining $30 may be spread over the first 12 months of service.
The company offers include Caller ID, Call Waiting, Three-Way Calling, Call Forwarding, and Voicemail free as standard features.
The company does NOT allow international calls. All international phone calls are blocked, but that is no guarantee that one cannot be placed. If a customer tries and succeeds in making an international call, their phone service will be suspended for the remainder of the billing month.
Assist Wireless Phones
Assist Wireless is like many providers in the Lifeline program in that they do not allow their customers to choose the model of phone they receive. If your phone is lost or damaged, Assist Wireless will replace the phone for a $25 fee. The phones are covered with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer (not Assist Wireless). If your phone develops a defect within a year of receipt, contact Assist Wireless so that they may help you get a replacement.
You can use mobile internet with an Assist Wireless phone. The cost is not cheap at $1.25 per minute.
How to Qualify for an Assist Wireless Phone
You probably qualify for an Assist Wireless phone if you participate in any of the following government assistance programs.
- Food Stamps
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8 )
- Supplemental Social Security (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- National School Free Lunch Program
You may also qualify if your household income is lower than the guidelines for your state. Please see our Free Government Cell Phones page to see the guidelines in your state.
As is the case with all other Lifeline providers, you must apply using a street address and there may not be another Lifeline phone in your household.
How to Apply for an Assist Wireless Phone
You may go to the Assist Wireless website to download a copy of their application. The application can either be faxed or mailed to the contact information in the site. Copies of all supporting documentation, like proof of income of government assistance, must be included with the application. Original will not be returned.
You may contact Assist Wireless on 1-855-392-7747.
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