As a matter of clarification, the following article is regarding the i-wireless that operates in Kentucky and Ohio. There are at least 2 other companies that operate under the same name.
i-wireless is a full-service cellular phone company that also offers service under the Lifeline Assistance Program. The company has grown to become a large regional carrier, centering from the greater Cincinnati area . The company offers Lifeline phones in two states at the moment, Ohio and Kentucky. They have a wide selection of phones and several program plans for their customers to choose from. While their plan prices might not be the lowest, they offer a measure of flexibility that some other carriers don’t.
Lifeline Assistance Plan customers can opt to receive a free phone from i-wireless. Like many other carriers, they offer a no-frills phone, that will serve most communication needs. However, customers can also choose to upgrade to one of several models, including Android phones. The supply will vary depending on the location. Of note, they do offer one of the best phones that we have seen for seniors, the Just 5 J509 for $19.99.
The company offers a number of plans to their Lifeline customers. Please note that the packages allot local minutes and nationwide minutes separately. Customers must be careful to choose the package that is best for them.
The basic plan. At no cost, customers will receive 250 local minutes. They will also receive 250 text messages per month. There is no data allowance on this plan. Each additional minute will cost 10 cents and each additional text will cost 20 cents.
Unlimited Talk & Text Plan
For $25.00 a month ($22.75 in KY), customers will receive unlimited local minutes and unlimited text messages. They will also receive 100 nationwide roaming minutes. Data is also available at 5 cents/kb.
Mega Monthly Plan
For $35.00 a month ($32.75 in KY), customers receive unlimited local minutes, unlimited text messaging and 1,000 nationwide minutes. Customers receive a data allowance of 100MB;overuse is charged at 5 cents a kilobyte.
Unlimited Android Plan
For $40.00 a month ($37.25 in KY), customers get unlimited local minutes, unlimited text messaging and 1,000 nationwide minutes. Subscribers also get unlimited data on their smart phones.
Mega-Monthly + Smart Data
For $50.00 a month ($47.75 in KY), customers receive unlimited use of all of the features described above.
How to Qualify for an i-wireless Lifeline Phone
The eligibility requirements vary slightly from state to state. Both states allow customers to qualify under receiving benefit under an assistance plan and by income guidelines, however the programs and the income levels are slightly different state to state.
In Ohio, you may be eligible to receive an i-wireless Lifeline phone if you participate in one of the following programs:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance/Section 8
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- National School Lunch Program (NSL)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
They may also be eligible if their income falls below 135% of the 2012 Federal Poverty Guidelines. See our Home page for a chart with the guidelines.
For residents of Kentucky, you may be eligible for an i-wireless phone if you participate in one of the following government assistance plans:
- Section 8 Housing/Public Housing
- Food Stamps
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- HEAP (Any Home Energy Assistance Program)
- Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI)
- Ohio Works First (Formerly AFDC) or TANF
- Free School Lunch Program
- General Assistance/Disability Assistance
You may also be eligible if your income is below 150% of the 2012 Federal Poverty Guidelines. For a chart that shows the eligible income levels in Kentucky, please see our Home page.
How to get an i-wireless Phone
As of right now, the only way to get an i-wireless phone is by going into one of their retail locations. The company has several locations in cities in both states. Their website has their locations. You may also call their customer service number at 1-877-339-5499.