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How do feel about Safelink wireless - a free cell phone plan???

If you are receiving any government assistance (for example - foodstamps, medicaid, welfare, Section 8 housing, SSI, etc...) you CAN get a free cell phone AND minutes!!! the program is called Safelink Wireless.

These states have the program so far: Delaware, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Coming soon to Alabama, DC, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this is ONE area of excessive spending that can be cut in these critical economic times?

Answer Question

Asked by thundernlight at 7:55 PM on May. 19, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 14 (1,383 Credits)
Answers (30)
  • I just heard about this tonight. I don't qualify to get one....I don't have any public assistance. However, I do know someone who qualifies. They are disabled. I think it's a great plan. As a disabled individual, it's imperative he have a way to call/contact someone.....

    Answer by EireLass at 8:03 PM on May. 19, 2009

  • I think it's a great idea. For those who can't afford a land line so they have access to emergency services, can call doctors, case workers and have a contact number for job searching. Most people on PA have kids so at least to have emergency and local calling is necessary these days.


    Answer by Friday at 8:07 PM on May. 19, 2009

  • I think it's wonderful....I got one through social services right around xmas was during a time that i didnt have a phone at all and with my kids in school it was very hard to not have a phone...It was a blessing to recieve the help when i did....I know have a phone other than that one.....but it is still used for emergencies

    Answer by threeunderfive at 8:09 PM on May. 19, 2009

  • It's a wonderful idea.

    I have it, and I only get 90 minutes a month. It's not meant for unnecessary calls. It's for emergencies, and to be able to contact doctors, my casework, and to get call-backs from prospective employers, etc. If you want any more than that (and that's barely enough time just trying to call your caseworker: they tend to put you on hold for 10-18 minutes before you even talk to a person), you have to pay for it buy buying TracFone cards, just like any other no-contract/no-plan phone.

    Answer by _Jynxx_ at 8:14 PM on May. 19, 2009

  • I had a MetroPCS phone, which is supercheap compared to regular phone plans, and I turned it off due to lack of funds. Having no way to contact anyone if there is an emergency, especially when you are pregnant and spend the week alone, is generally not a good idea.

    So yep. I think it's a good program. It costs far less to give someone a basic phone with 90 minutes a month so that they can call their partner when they go into labor than it would to pay for the ambulance who has to come pick up the woman on Medicaid who walked three blocks to a pay phone when she was having a difficult labor and called 911.

    Good program.

    Answer by _Jynxx_ at 8:24 PM on May. 19, 2009

  • no i don't think it should be cut. many people need it.

    Answer by Aasiyah at 8:25 PM on May. 19, 2009

  • They get a very short amount of mins but it's enough that if there is an emergency they can get help. In a day and age like today, that security is precious! Besides... If a woman doesn't have a cell phone, breaks down in a bad area (and lets face it, no one breaks down in a good area) and ends up raped... Guess who pays for her rehab, doctors visits and then a police investigation and trial? The tax payer... So, why not offer her a phone for emergencies... In the end it works out for all...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:26 PM on May. 19, 2009

  • MMM- government spending is through the roof. The US and states are going broker by the day. China is actually going to own my underwear by the time this is said and done.

    The phone is a good idea, as long as it is well regulated. People shouldn't have texting on the taxpayer's dime, but the alternative is, the taxpayer's are going to be paying a phone bill no matter what the circumstances. Let's hope that at least this is the best deal for our dime, and that it assists people in getting OFF assistance.

    I can tell you, if someone said in an interview, yo, hit me up at my sister's house, my phone don't have no minutes right now, I'd likely consider that application less credible. (I've heard that exact quote before. Didn't hire them.)

    Answer by lovinangels at 8:32 PM on May. 19, 2009

  • SOOOOOOOOO, I guess I REALLY do not understand why people who have this service ALSO have a computer and internet! gee, funny how you can pay for internet, but NOT YOUR OWN CELL PHONE PLAN!!!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:39 PM on May. 19, 2009

  • For the anon above: Not everyone pays for a computer and internet access, either. Some people use their friends', or relatives', or even public access at the library. :)
    I think it's a good program. I personally have one. It is the same phone that you can buy at the store for $9.99 (nothin fancy!), and I get 42 minutes a month. I actually don't even use all those minutes, but I feel a little bit safer in case I would happen to need help away from home, or if my babysitter would need me while I am in class.

    Answer by amy_k_in_pa at 8:51 PM on May. 19, 2009

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