Assurance Wireless Free Cell Phone Service!

Virgin Mobile Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless is a free cell phone service for eligible low income households.  It not only includes free monthly service, but also a free phone.  The Assurance program is actually offered by Virgin Mobile, and is essentially a new brand that they launched to support this government subsidized offer through the Lifeline program.  It's more than simply a new brand; it's a completely different offer by Virgin Mobile USA (which is part of the Sprint prepaid group).

Assurance launched on December 9, 2009 offering the program in North Carolina, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia.  The program has been tremendously successful since then, and has expanded to numerous states, so if you think you may qualify, you can link over to their site (see the bottom of this page) to see if your state is currently included.  Many people have complained about the quality of the free phone, however, generally speaking the program success demonstrates that people are overall pleased, and there are also options to activate certain Virgin Mobile phones on this program.

Critical Updates!
  • As of early 2016, Assurance now offers smartphones as an option for California residents.  This is a pilot program, so expect it to expand to other states!
  • As of May 2016, Sprint announced it is selling its Assurance program to i-wireless to run under their Lifeline program, Access Wireless.  Sprint still owns 70% of the combined company, however, will no longer manage it, or control daily operations.  There's no word yet as to when the Assurance brand will be phased out, or any other material program changes, so stay tuned!

How do I qualify for Assurance?

There are a number of ways to qualify for Virgin Mobile Assurance Wireless program.  While eligibility is different by state, if you participate in the following, you're likely to qualify:
  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps/SNAP
  • Supplementary Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program
  • You have a household income that at or below 135% of Federal poverty guidelines.
Note that Assurance Wireless will contact you annually to verify that you're still qualified for the program; if you're not qualified, or if you don't respond, your service will be canceled!  So definitely look out for the re-certification instructions, or, better yet, put a task on your calendar to re-certify, and visit their website to proactively start the process.  Also remember that if you move, you'll want to notify them to ensure you don't miss any important notifications.  Eventually they will catch on to you as they continually audit the program as required by government regulations, so keeping on top of this is definitely worthwhile!

What are the benefits?

  • A free phone
  • Free minutes for domestic and long distance calling
  • No contract or fees
  • No monthly charges
  • You can buy extra minutes if you run out; still no contract!
What other services are included?
  • Voicemail
  • Call waiting
  • Caller ID
  • 911 access
How many free minutes & texts do I get?
  • You get 350 free minutes per month.  If yo run out, you can add money using a credit or debit card, PayPal, or with cash by buying a Virgin Mobile Top-Up card.
  • The minutes will be added every 30 days.  Minutes don't roll over from month to month. (SafeLink's program allows for rollover.)
  • Unlimited text messages!
What other services are available?
  • $5/month for 250 extra voice minutes, or $30/month for unlimited talk, text, and Web. 
  • California residents get unlimited voice, text, AND 500MB of high speed 3G data.
  • International talks and text offers are also available.
If I'm a Virgin customer can I switch to Assurance Wireless?
  • You still need to qualify.  Being a Virgin Mobile customer doesn't get you any special considerations.
How do I apply?!
If you're not happy with the quality or features of the free phone you received, you can read the discussion about exactly this question over at the Changing Assurance Wireless Phone page.

Learn about SafeLink Wireless - Another Free Prepaid Cell Phone Lifeline service!

Assurance Wireless

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