Many low-income individuals cannot afford a cell phone and the monthly minutes. Fortunately, through a government-sponsored program, low-income persons can acquire a cell phone at no charge along with free or discounted minutes so they can communicate with a mobile phone. Anyone who is interested in this program may learn more by looking up the issa asad facebook page, featuring a Florida-based entrepreneur who is the CEO of Q Link Wireless. This company is one of the participants providing the free devices and services. To qualify for the program, people must either be below certain income levels or enrolled in certain government-sponsored benefit plans, such as Medicaid. Eligibility and program specifics vary by state.
When the program was initiated several years ago, it sparked some controversy. Some individuals wondered why taxpayers should have to pay for cell phones for low-income individuals and families. These people typically qualified for discounted landline phone service already, so why would they need cell phones? Is mobile phone technology an essential service that everyone should have?
One aspect mentioned as a positive point for taxpayers is that cell phones provide service for job applicants in a world where pay phones have virtually disappeared. When someone is out of the house all day looking for work, this person may want to check in with various places he or she has applied. Without being able to do that, the applicant might miss out on the chance to schedule an interview for later that day or first thing in the morning. There’s the risk of missing a call to start work that same afternoon or evening. In a competitive job search environment, those phone calls can be critical for applicants.
In addition, although it’s hard for many citizens to imagine, spending several quarters in pay phones every day while looking for work can really add up for a person living below the poverty level. The two dollars spent on phone calls could have paid for a loaf of bread or a package of cheese; funds from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program rarely last anyone for the entire month even when living very frugally.