Reachout Wireless is another company created to work with the Lifeline Assistance Program to provide free cell phones to Americans.  Formed by Nexus Communications, they currently offer their services in 18 states, and are constantly working to expand to other states. Reachout Wireless has one of the more flexible programs, offering their customers more options to customize the service they receive.

Reachout Wireless currently provides free cell phones in the following states: Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The plan is available in California as well, but residents in California must pay $2.50 for the basic plan (see our California Lifeline page for more information).

Phones and Upgrades

Reachout Wireless’ offers their customers the option of choosing a free cell phone. The free cell phone is a refurbished, random camera-equipped phone of their choice. However Reachout believes that  being a participant in the Lifeline program should not prevent users from using  the latest phone technology. Therefore, for an additional fee, their customers can upgrade to other phones, from models with better basic features, all the way up to some of the latest smart phones. There are several Android-powered phones and even I-Phones available for purchase.

Reachout Wireless Service Plans

Unlike some other providers, Reachout Wireless offers their customers not just one, but three basic plans to choose from.  One plan, like other carriers, offers 250 incoming and outgoing talk minutes every month. However, Reachout also offer plans with rollover minutes, so that your unused minutes do not go to waste. Their basic plans also allow for the use of incoming and outgoing text messages as well, taken from the balance of your monthly minutes. The basic plans that Reachout Wireless offers free to their customers are detailed below:

  • Plan 1: 68 free monthly rollover minutes.  Incoming and outgoing text messages are counted as 0.3 plan minutes each.
  • Plan 2: 125 free monthly rollover minutes.  Incoming and outgoing text messages are counted as 1 plan minute each.
  • Plan 3: 250 free monthly minutes with no rollover. Incoming and outgoing text messages are counted as 1 plan minute each.

The following services are offered as standard on any Reachout Wireless plan and are provided at no cost: 3-Way calling, call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, and voice mail. International long-distance calls are available at $1.50 per minute to most countries.

Purchasing Additional Minutes

For those periods where the basic plan just isn’t enough, Reachout Wireless offers convenient plans to add to your minutes. Customers can purchase additional packages directly from the Reachout Wireless website.  Customers can purchase unlimited texts and voice minutes for $26.95 a month or they may choose one of their minute packages. Some of the packages are as follows:

  • 20 additional minutes:   $3
  • 40 additional minutes:   $5
  • 240 additional minutes:   $10
  • 500 additional minutes:  $30
  • 950 additional minutes:  $50
  • 1000 additional minutes:  $52.50

The refill minutes that are purchased in the packages NEVER expire, and are rolled over month to month until used.

Reachout Wireless offers several easy ways to purchase refill minutes. You may visit their website to purchase one of the above packages. Customers may choose to purchase minutes  with agents at any of the following locations:

  • MoneyGram – With thousands of locations around the Unites States including stores like Wal-Mart and CVS, you are never far from a location where you can buy minutes.
  • Western Union

How to Qualify for a Reachout Wireless Phone

If you are already receiving assistance from one of several government programs, it is likely you qualify for a free phone from Reachout Wireless. Reachout Wireless usually

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Social Security
  • Section 8  Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Food Stamps
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF)

Each state has different eligibility requirements and some states accept participants of other programs than the ones listed above. Please see your state’s page for more information. Reachout Wireless currently provides free cell phones in the following states: Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The plan is available in California as well, but residents in California must pay $2.50 for the basic plan.

If you do not qualify by participating under a government relief plan, you may still qualify under if your total household income is less than 135-150% of the Federal Poverty guidelines. However, not all states allow qualification under income guidelines and some states have different income thresholds.Please see  our Reachout Wireless application page for more information.

Annual Recertification

Due to changes that the FCC has made (see our Overhaul page for more information), all Reachout Wireless customers who were signed up before June 1, 2012 MUST complete an annual re-certification to verify that they are still eligible for service under the guidelines of the program. Failure to do so will result in the loss of phone service. Fortunately, the company makes it easy for their customers to complete this short process.

Customers have THREE options to complete re-certification. First, they may go to the company’s website and complete the questions that follow. All of the questions must be answered for the certification to be complete. Secondly, customers may print out the re-certification form and either fax it or mail it to the company. Third, customers can call customer service on 1-877-870-9444.

All of the details, including the web addresses for online, phone and paper re-certification are on the following pdf. If you have any questions regarding the process, you may contact Reachout Wireless customer service at feedback@reachoutwireless.com.

After Application

Please see our Maintaining your Reachout Wireless Account page for more information about getting the most from your account once you have your phone.

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