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Wireless Service to Aid Nevada Residents Facing Economic Hardship

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Las Vegas visitors can now hail a ride from a taxi or limo company using their smartphone. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Las Vegas visitors can now hail a ride from a taxi or limo company using their smartphone. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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LAS VEGAS — Today Assurance Wireless introduces services in Nevada, 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 programs2.

More than 130,0003 Nevada residents are without a job, and more than 244 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 Education’s 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 Nevada residents who need support and resources during what continue to be rough economic times for many.”

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. Nevada residents may qualify for Assurance Wireless if they are on certain public assistance programs, such as 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), National School Lunch’s Free Lunch Program (NSL), Head Start (tribal programs for only those meeting its income qualifying standards), Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance and Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. 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 http://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 in retail stores nationwide, including Best Buy, RadioShack and Target. Prospective 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, Missouri, 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.

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