Elderly people may be sick at any time and need emergency help. Not only that, elderly people are sometimes disabled people. They need extra care. Medicare helps someone a lot in this situation. Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage for people older than 65 or for those under 65 that have a disability. The elderly or seniors need to be connected to their loved ones and, for that, always need the support of a cell phone. The most important reason a senior needs a cell phone is that he/she may be sick and disabled and a disabled person needs more attention and medical support. These people are the most vulnerable and may require medical support at any moment due to their weak health conditions.
Benefits of Using Cell Phones for Seniors
In an emergency, a cell phone can be a huge relief and vital support. Cell phones also play a vital role in senior’s daily life because in their time of need, they can easily communicate with their family members, friends, relatives, and so on.
On the other hand, cell phone helps seniors to overcome their loneliness. Most elderly people are lonely and it is a bitter truth. Most of the time they do not get their close family members, friends, or relatives beside them. They do not have a better alternative to pass their time happily. In this situation, cell phones take the role of a savior. A cell phone has apps, intelligent games, etc with which a senior can pass his/her time happily. Moreover, when they feel extremely lonely, they can contact their family members, relatives, friends, and so on, and talk or video chat with them to overcome loneliness.
Way to Get Free Cell Phones for Seniors
Many elderly people do not work in an office and do not have a good source of income. Most of them are retired people and do not have enough money or capability to buy a cell phone and the cost to maintain it. To give them relief from this condition, the U.S. government’s Lifeline program is the best to be mentioned. To get this benefit, seniors have to be eligible by income base or by participating in some specific government help programs. Unfortunately, seniors do not get any extra benefits for their seniority from the lifeline program. But disabled people that get help from SSI can get a free cell phone with unlimited talk, texts, and data because participating in SSI is an eligibility for the lifeline. So far, we say that elderly people do not get any extra benefits is not solely a truth.
The government realizes the condition of the elderly people and considers providing them with a cell phone and unlimited monthly plan on a priority basis. Not only for those who are unable to operate a cell phone or are extremely old, the government considers a home phone for them instead of a cell phone.
Free Cell Phones for Seniors on Medicare
Medicare does not help seniors to be eligible for the lifeline program. But if someone is disabled and thus included in Medicare and participates in SSI, then he/she can be qualified for lifeline benefits.
So in order to be qualified for lifeline benefits, seniors have to fulfill the criteria of the program.
They must either be a part of a household whose income is at 135% or below the federal poverty guidelines. Alternatively to income-based eligibility, he/she may be qualified by participating in at least one of the following government assistance programs.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA).
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit.
- Tribal programs.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
- Head Start (Only households meeting the income qualifying standard).
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF).
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
Application Process for Free Cell Phones for Seniors on Medicare
If you are eligible for the lifeline program, the next step is to initiate the application process. You can do so in two parts:
You can apply online via Lifeline National verifier: First prepare soft copies of the necessary documents (Your Identity Proof, Your Address Proof, Income or program participation Proof).
- Now Visit their website at: nationalverifier.servicenowservices.com.
- Choose your state. Then click on the get started button.
- Follow the on-screen instructions and fill up the form accordingly.
Apply via standard mail
- First prepare all the necessary documents with the physical photocopy.
- (Your Identity Proof, Address Proof, Income, or program participation Proof).
- Then print out the Lifeline Application form from: “lifelinesupport.org“.
- Then fill up the application form.
- Now send the filled-up form with all the necessary documents to the following address:
Lifeline Support Center.
P.O Box 7081
London, KY 40742
After processing and approving your application, you need to find a local wireless provider that offers Lifeline Support. To find a local Lifeline wireless provider, you can go to this link: data.usac.org. Just enter your Zip code or city and state and click the search button. Then follow the steps. You can get your desired cell phone within 7 to 10 business days.
From the above discussion, we can conclude that government provides free phones for seniors when they are qualified for the Lifeline program. Taking part in the federal medicare program does not help someone to directly achieve a mobile phone. But a disabled person included in medicare and participated in SSI can get a cell phone as participation in SSI make someone qualified for the lifeline. Though the government does not directly help the seniors, it considers their emergencies and provide them with a free cell phone on a prior basis and also provide a home phone for those who are unable to operate cell phone for extremely old age. As a cell phone in a senior’s life is like a blessing, we all should try to reach this blessing to their hands.
Features to Look at Before Getting a Cell Phone for Seniors
We, the young generation extremely enjoy phones, but it is not true for old people. An elderly person needs a phone with some extra features. What should be a phone for an elderly person? Or what would be the features? Let’s discuss this.
- Long-lasting battery power: Elderly people cannot remember everything at the proper time perfectly. So it is normal that they also forget to charge their mobile phone timely. So, an elderly person’s phone should come with long-lasting battery power, so that it stays charged for a long time.
- Health track system: The senior’s health condition is not always stable. It changes from time to time. So, a phone for them must have health track features. The objective of this is to monitor their health condition.
- Display features: The display should be big with large key icons so that seniors can see everything clearly and can use the cell phone with ease.
- Must-have phone tracking system: The phone tracking app is one of the best features that a free phone for seniors should have. This feature helps seniors, friends, and family members track their locations easily. A location track system is very helpful in case of emergencies as seniors or disabled persons may need help at any moment.
Here, as an example, we can mention the name of a phone, the jitterbug cell phone, which has some unique features that help seniors to use it properly and also comfortably, and with ease and features including –
- The phone has a large 6.2-inch screen so that seniors can easily see when reading, typing, and video chatting.
- It has a simplified, list-based menu with clear icons that makes it easy to navigate.
- Its voice typing feature makes texting easy. Just speak into the phone and all your conversations appear as texts on the screen.
- The cell phone is perfect for video chatting. Its built-in front-facing camera and preinstalled apps help seniors to stay connected to dear ones with video chat.
- Another nice feature of this phone is its powerful speaker. Your conversations are loud and clear on this phone.
- This phone includes brain games that keep the senior’s mind fresh and active.
- A built-in Urgent Response Button and a certified Urgent Response Agent are always by your side if you need any help.