Assurance Wireless Provides Cell Phones and Wireless Service to Aid Missouri Residents Facing Economic Hardship

As it becomes available in its 40th state, Assurance Wireless can help more than 900,0001 eligible Missouri residents stay connected

WARREN, N.J.--()--Today Assurance Wireless introduces services in Missouri, where it provides a wireless phone and 250 free voice minutes and 250 free text messages to eligible residents. Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund and offers the best value in calling plans among major Lifeline Assistance programs.2

More than 195,0003 Missouri residents are without a job, and more than 234 percent are living below the federal poverty line. Assurance Wireless gives eligible customers the ability to provide a contact number and return calls to a prospective employer, which can help improve the chances of securing employment.

According to a nationwide survey from Assurance Wireless5, adults with an income of less than $25,000 are as likely to use their mobile phone for employment searches as those with higher incomes. Data collected by Austin Nichols, a senior researcher with the Chronicle for Higher Educations Urban Institute, showed that the rate of graduates with doctoral degrees who have filed for government assistance more than tripled between 2007 and 20106.

“As Assurance Wireless has been approved to offer service in more states, we are proud to help more and more customers stay connected to potential employers, medical and childcare providers,” said Grace Boehm, director of strategy and business planning, Assurance Wireless. “We look forward to providing this same type of assistance to eligible Missouri residents who need support and resources during what continue to be rough economic times for many.”

“I was unemployed for an extended amount of time due to layoffs,” stated Evan M., 38, an Assurance Wireless customer. “The phone and service I received from Assurance Wireless were invaluable to my finding new employment and to my efforts to recover from this recession. It allowed me to contact potential employers and provide a way for them to respond to me, while also saving money. Assurance also gave me peace of mind that I had a way to stay connected to my kids while away from home.”

The Lifeline Assistance program is available for only one wireline or wireless account per household. Enrollment in this government benefit program is available to consumers who meet federal or state-specific eligibility criteria. Missouri residents may qualify for Assurance Wireless if they are on certain public assistance programs, such as MO HealthNet (Medicaid), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8) and National School Lunch’s Free Lunch Program (NSL). Applicants may also qualify based on low income and must provide proof of program participation or proof of income. Eligibility for Assurance Wireless varies by state.

In addition to a voice mail account7 and call waiting, Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of emergency. Applicants are also able to keep their current home or cell phone number. Beyond the 250 free voice minutes and 250 text messages each month, customers can choose from other options to pay for additional minutes, texting, international calling and more at competitive rates.

Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling (toll-free) 800-395-2171 or visiting www.assurancewireless.com.

People who don’t qualify for Assurance Wireless but who are also struggling and searching for value can take advantage of payLo by Virgin Mobile. payLo was especially designed with value-conscious wireless consumers in mind, offering plans for as little as $20/month for 400 minutes. payLo is available retail stores nationwide, including Best Buy, RadioShack and Target. Prospective low-income customers who find they are not eligible for Assurance Wireless may learn more about Virgin Mobile’s no-contract payLo Plan options by visiting http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/paylo-plans/overview/.

Assurance Wireless is also available in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. This list of states continues to expand and can be found on the Assurance Wireless website.

About Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless from Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint’s no-contract brands, is supported by the Lifeline Assistance program, part of the Low Income Program of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Assurance Wireless provides service on the Nationwide Sprint Network, which reaches more than 282 million people.

Follow Assurance news on Facebook www.facebook.com/assurancewireless or on Twitter www.twitter.com/assurancecell and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/assurancewireless.

Offer limited to eligible customers (varies by state) residing in selected geographic areas and is non-transferrable. Assurance Wireless is subject to the Important Service/Product and General Terms and Conditions found on http://www.assurancewireless.com/Public/TermsandConditions.aspx.

Note: Sources for all information and statistics are available upon request.

1 http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/29snapcurrpp.htm

2 Based on published price plans as of 03/11/2013 of major Lifeline carriers with more than 1M subscribers who provide service in more than 20 states.

3 http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.mo.htm

4 http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_S1701&prodType=table

5 PKS Research Partners was commissioned by Sprint/Nextel (Assurance Wireless) to conduct a research project among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults 25 years or older in order to determine their attitudes toward and usage of mobile phones.

6 http://chronicle.com/article/From-Graduate-School-to/131795/

7 Airtime charges apply when accessing voice mail via an Assurance Wireless phone once free minutes have been depleted.

Contacts

Assurance Wireless
Jack Pflanz, 315-374-0693
Jack.Pflanz@Sprint.com

Release Summary

As it becomes available in its 40th state, Assurance Wireless can help more than 900,000 eligible Missouri residents stay connected

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Contacts

Assurance Wireless
Jack Pflanz, 315-374-0693
Jack.Pflanz@Sprint.com