For many low-income families, covering the cost of basic necessities like food, housing, health care and childcare can be a serious financial struggle, paying a monthly cell phone bill is often an impossibility. In today’s world, cell phone service is vital to daily tasks, including getting or keeping a job, coordinating childcare and healthcare, contacting emergency services, and keeping in touch with loved ones.
Telecommunication companies like Dania, Florida’s Q Link Wireless understand just how important affordable phone service is for low-income families and seniors. Q Link CEO Issa Asad explains, “That’s why many participate in the nationwide Lifeline Assistance program.” This program serves individuals throughout the U.S., providing affordable landline and mobile phone services to low-income households.
Lifeline Helps Food Stamp Recipients, Medicaid Recipients & Senior Citizens
The Lifeline program can help food stamp recipients, Medicaid recipients, and low-income senior citizens afford vital phone services. Qualified households receive monthly discounts to lower the cost of either a landline or a mobile phone. Some program participants, including Q Link Wireless, also provide participants with a free cell phone.
Tribal Residents Qualify for the Lifeline Program
Individuals living on federally recognized Tribal Lands may also qualify for the Lifeline Program. As part of the application process, applicants are required to demonstrate proof that they live on a reservation or Tribal lands. Additional state support may also be available.
State-Specific Discounts May Bring Seniors & Low-Income Families Additional Benefits
Additional assistance beyond the Federal Lifeline program may also be available for Lifeline participants; however, the specific aid will vary on a state-by-state basis. Lifeline discounts may also vary based on the specific phone service plan and provider. For example, some providers may offer a free cell phone and a fixed number of free minutes or texts for a specific period. Lifeline plan benefits may also include no contracts, nationwide coverage, caller ID and call waiting, and voicemail.
“The specific benefits can vary state-by-state, as well as by provider,” says Issa Asad, “For example, Q Link Wireless will provide qualified plan participants with a free cell phone. Not all providers or states may offer this benefit.”
Lifeline provides many intangible benefits for recipients, including invaluable peace of mind. Thanks to Lifeline, program recipients will never need to worry about how they will contact 911 in an emergency or how their employer can contact them, or what happens if a child is sick at school. “While the cost savings are important, the biggest benefit may very well be the invaluable peace of mind that an affordable phone gives people,” says Asad. “From calling 911 to simply being able to contact family and friends, a phone is truly a lifeline to the world. All households deserve this.”
Above content provided by Issa Asad CEO of Q Link Wireless and Quadrant Holdings, located in Dania, Florida.
The Lifeline program has helped millions of Americans gain access to critical phone service through its free and discounted programs. Unfortunately, the benefits of Lifeline are often overlooked due to myths and misconceptions surrounding the program. A brief discussion with Issa Asad, CEO of Florida-based Q Link Wireless, reveals some common falsehoods about Lifeline and the value of this necessary program, which provides phone service to low-income individuals and families who need it most.
Fiction: The Obama Administration started giving free phones to welfare recipients through the Lifeline program during President Obama’s first term in office, and continued to do so throughout his second.
The Facts: This rumor is false for several reasons. First, the Lifeline program predates the Obama administration by more than 20 years. It began in the mid-1980s under President Reagan and was enhanced during the Bush administration through the addition of discounted wireless plans.
Additionally, this phone access is not provided by the government, but by cellular service providers who work with the federal program to bring phone access to families in need. In the case of Q Link, Asad explains, “Not only do we grant cell phone service, but we also cover costs of a free cell phone for use with the monthly service.” Phones are paid for by Q Link Wireless, and are not subsidized by the government.
Lastly, Lifeline is not limited to welfare recipients. Eligibility is determined at the state level based on income, as well as through eligibility for other government assistance programs.
The Fiction: You tax dollars fund the Lifeline program, which adds to the federal deficit.The Facts: Contrary to popular misconception, Lifeline is funded by telecommunications companies though a Universal Services fee automatically tacked onto monthly bills. In other words, not a dime of federal money supports Lifeline.
In fact, according to Asad, the Lifeline program may actually have a positive impact on reducing the federal deficit by helping participants find jobs and free themselves of the need for public assistance. The more people use Lifeline, the greater the likelihood of increasing their self-sufficiency and reducing government spend.
The Fiction: The Lifeline program needs reform.
The Facts: The Lifeline program has undergone vigorous FCC reforms and has now become one of the most well-managed government assistance programs, among the lowest in misuse.
The Fiction: The Lifeline program doesn’t help.
The Facts: The lives of millions of Americans have been vastly improved over the past three decades thanks to the Lifeline program. In an era in which many families simply don’t have the phone service to get a job, receive 911 emergency services, or stay connected to loved ones. Lifeline fills the void to help these people in need improve their lives.
Above content provided by Issa Asad CEO of Q Link Wireless and Quadrant Holdings, located in Dania, Florida.
The Federal Lifeline Assistance program make landlines and mobile phones more affordable for eligible households. In order to receive a free cell phone and service, individuals must meet federally mandated income guidelines or participate in select federal assistance programs.
The application process is managed directly through approved and FCC-regulated Lifeline providers like Q Link Wireless, based in Dania Beach, Florida. “Q Link Wireless is one of the many providers committed to helping individuals through the Lifeline Federal Assistance program,” says CEO Issa Asad, “We encourage qualified individuals to apply and utilize this important benefit.”
How to Qualify and Apply
To qualify, applicants must have a household income at or below the state or federal guidelines, depending on the location. Applicants may also qualify for Lifeline if they currently participate in a government assistance program like Food Stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, or others.
Getting Started with the Lifeline Application Process
When applying through an approved provider, Asad explains that applicants should be prepared to provide documentation to certify eligibility, which may include providing one or more of the following documents:
- Proof that the applicant receives benefits or assistance from a qualifying program (e.g., program award letter or benefit card)
- Proof of income, such as a recent paycheck stub, previous year’s tax return, or Social Security benefits statement
- Proof if identity, such as a valid driver’s license or passport
Applicants must also be prepared to provide their name, address, date of birth, and their Social Security number or Tribal Identification number.
Once an applicant is approved, the Lifeline program requires participants to re-certify their eligibility each year. According to Issa Asad, “if participants fail to submit the necessary documentation in accordance with the annual deadline, or if they no longer meet eligibility requirements, customers may not continue to receive the service.”
Asad further explains that “Q Link Wireless makes the application and recertification processes are quick, and the benefit of having the Lifeline phone not only provides access to necessary emergency services, but also improves the quality of life for many participants who use their Lifeline phone to obtain work and contact medical centers for care” for customers. The Lifeline program provides a much needed benefit for struggling families and individuals.
Above content provided by Issa Asad CEO of Q Link Wireless and Quadrant Holdings, located in Dania, Florida.
Issa Asad Explains The Future Of The Lifeline Program: 30 Years And Counting
Issa Asad, the CEO of Dania, Florida’s Q Link Wireless, is one of the many advocates for the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program. “Lifeline has been assisting low-income households for the past 30 years, and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” said Asad. Q Link Wireless is one United States’ leading Lifeline service providers.
Asad, along with many other advocates for the Lifeline program, believes that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2012 Reform Order will help ensure that the program stays active for years to come. While the basic purpose of the Lifeline program has remained the same, it is expected to undergo some changes under the FCC 2012 Reform Order. Some of these changes could end up providing low-income individuals in need with even more assistance.
The changes outlined the FCC 2012 Reform Order, and other information about the future of the Lifeline program will be covered in this final segment.
Broadband Pilot Program
The FCC has talked about adding broadband services to the Lifeline program in the future. In fact, making broadband available to all eligible low-income Americans is one of the goals listed on the 2012 Reform Order. With access to the Internet being crucial for those looking for jobs or for those pursuing an education, having affordable broadband service to rely on would be a considerable benefit for low-income households.
In order to determine the best way to handle this, the FCC set up the Broadband Pilot Program. This program will collect high-quality information to help the FCC come up with effective ways to encourage more low-income individuals to adopt broadband services and retain them.
One of the modernization goals listed in the 2012 Reform Order is support for bundled service plans through Lifeline. These service plans would include voice and broadband packages, as well as additional calling features. Consumers are able to save a considerable amount of money on bundled services through non-Lifeline cellular service providers, and the FCC is interested in extending these additional savings opportunities to low-income households who are enrolled in Lifeline. This would allow those who are enrolled in Lifeline to have affordable access to phone service, broadband service and additional calling features.
Program Cost Savings
Criticism of the Lifeline program in the past few years has focused on the costs of providing wireless service discounts. The FCC included several goals for reducing the money spent on Lifeline in the 2012 Reform Order. These goals aim to eliminate excess spending, leading to more savings on the overall amount spent on Lifeline. Some of the goals include:
- Ensuring only one Lifeline benefit service is allowed per household, at one time
- Creating an automated eligibility database to ensure only qualified applicants are receiving Lifeline benefits
- Establishing a national Lifeline subscriber database to reduce duplicate benefits
“In order to continue helping those who rely on Lifeline and those who need the program’s help in the future, we must make sure the Lifeline program stays,” said Asad. “This is why the 2012 reforms are so important.” The Q Link Wireless CEO has high hopes for the program’s future, especially with the potential addition of broadband service and bundled services.
While the addition of broadband service discounts is still expected to take a while, it could open up several new doors for Lifeline subscribers. It’s one example of how beneficial the program continues to be for low-income households. Even after 30 years, Lifeline is still going strong and ensuring that those in need have an affordable means to stay connected, whether they need to chat with family members or friends, speak with their children’s teachers, seek emergency help, talk to potential employers or call their doctor’s office. Especially with the recent reforms, the program will stay up and running well into the future.
Above content provided by Issa Asad for Q Link Wireless, a subsidiary of Dania, Florida’s Quadrant Holdings.
Becoming Part Of The Lifeline Program: Eligibility And Enrollment
The benefits of the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program are available to people in every state, and to those who meet the program’s requirements. Those who are eligible can apply through an approved Lifeline service provider. With several telecommunications companies offering the program’s discounts, low-income households can easily find a provider in their area.
“Applicants who are also interested in receiving a free cell phone to use with their free monthly phone service should look for providers who provide this option,” said Issa Asad, the CEO of Dania, Florida’s Q Link Wireless, a major provider of the Lifeline Assistance Program. “Q Link Wireless is just one Lifeline provider that chooses to supply a free cell phone to qualified low-income individuals.”
For those who are wondering if they qualify and what to expect, let’s take a detailed look at the eligibility requirements and application process of the Lifeline program.
Lifeline eligibility requirements vary by state, but generally, those who meet at least one of the following requirements are eligible to enroll in the Lifeline program:
- Having a household income at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines of their specific state
- Receiving benefits or assistance from a qualifying federal or state assistance program, such as Medicaid, Section 8, Food Stamps/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program or other government assistance programs
- Resident of a federally-recognized Tribal Land who currently receives benefits or assistance from a qualifying federal or state assistance program
- Resident of a federally-recognized Tribal Land who currently receives benefits or assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance Program, Head Start, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
Rules and Restrictions
In addition to meeting the above eligibility requirements, those who are interested in enrolling in Lifeline should be aware of the program’s following rules and restrictions:
- Only one Lifeline subscription benefit per household is allowed. A household includes all residents who share the same address, expenses and income, including minors and non-family members. Applicants can choose between a Lifeline discount on either landline phone service or wireless phone service.
- Those who are eligible to receive a free phone from their Lifeline provider will only receive one phone per household.
- Those who have more than one Lifeline discount per household must choose one provider and contact the other provider to de-enroll. Those who do not follow this federal rule could face penalties.
- Those who have a Lifeline discount must re-certify eligibility every year. If this step is not taken, subscribers are dropped from the program.
The Application Process
Those who are eligible for Lifeline should contact a Lifeline provider in their state or a designated state agency to enroll in the program. During the enrollment process, applicants will need to provide certain types of documentation, such as:
- Proof that they receive benefits or assistance from a qualifying program, such as a statement or program participation documents
- Proof of income, such as a recent income statement, paycheck stub, previous year’s tax return or Social Security statement of benefits
Applicants will also need to give the Lifeline service provider or state agency their name and address, date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security Number or Tribal Identification Number.
Applicants will also have to make certifications that must be re-certified each year, such as the following:
- They only receive one Lifeline discount per household
- They still participate in a government assistance program, or meet their state’s low-income requirements
- They provided true and correct information on their application
Re-certifying yearly might seem daunting to some subscribers, but the process is straightforward. “The FCC’s 2012 reforms have made the re-certification process more convenient for Lifeline subscribers,” said Asad. “Lifeline subscribers can easily and quickly re-certify each year through their provider’s website.”
The 2012 reforms mentioned by the QLink Wireless CEO should also help keep the program running smoothly and more efficiently. In our final segment, we’ll explore where Lifeline is headed.
Above content provided by Q Link Wireless and Quadrant Holdings, located in Dania, Florida.
Staying Connected & Saving Lives: How Lifeline Has Helped Those In Need
The Lifeline program helps millions of low-income households by providing them with discounts on wireless or landline phone service. For those who struggle to make ends meet, not having access to this program would mean going without phone service. That would make it very difficult or even impossible for them to stay connected to family members in other cities or states, call for help during an emergency or be contacted by companies who are hiring. To get a better understanding of just how valuable Lifeline is for low-income individuals and families, let’s take a look at specific examples of how it has helped people.
Karen might have missed out on seeing relatives from out of town during the holidays. Thanks to the Lifeline program, Karen can afford wireless phone service that helps her stay in touch with family members who live all over the country. Since she doesn’t get to see them much, getting to at least talk to them on the phone is important to her. Without phone service, Karen would not have known that some of her relatives were coming into town during the holiday season. With Lifeline’s help, she was able to spend time with them in person and can continue staying in touch with them long after the holidays are over.
Larry knows how difficult it is to get a job without phone service. Before becoming a Lifeline subscriber, Larry was unable to provide potential employers a contact number. That meant being uninformed with job interviews and important calls that would be beneficial to getting new employment. He no longer has to worry about leaving the phone number field blank on an application—now Larry has his own phone service and has the confidence he needs in order to land a new job.
Nancy had a hard time staying in touch with her kids and grandkids without affordable phone service. Missing out on talking to them and keeping up-to-date on their lives was a big source of stress and frustration for her. That all changed when Nancy signed up for Lifeline discounts. Nancy is now able to afford phone service and uses it to stay connected with her kids and grandkids and be part of their lives.
Kimberly used to worry when her 16-year-old son went out with his friends. Her son is a Type 1 diabetic, which puts him at a higher risk of having medical issues. Kimberly wasn’t able to afford cell phone service for her son, so she didn’t have a reliable way of keeping in touch with him when he wasn’t home. Thanks to Lifeline, Kimberly is now able to pay for affordable wireless service for her son. When he goes out with his friends now, he has a phone to take with him in case anything happens. Kimberly also has a way to get in touch with him if she’s worried about where he was or how he’s doing. She strongly appreciates having this peace of mind.
These are just a handful of stories from people who have been helped by Lifeline’s affordable phone service. Issa Asad, the CEO of Q Link Wireless, LLC, in Florida also knows how much of a lifesaver Lifeline can be. “A woman I know who signed up for Lifeline said it helped save her son’s life. He had a seizure, and she was able to call 911 to get him immediate help. Without Lifeline, she would have had to run to a neighbor’s house, and none were home at the time,” explains Asad.
Now that we’ve heard from people whose lives have been changed for the better by Lifeline, we’ll take a more in-depth look at who makes this all possible. In our next segment, we’ll provide information on Lifeline’s management.
Above content provided by Q Link Wireless, LLC, a subsidiary of Quadrant Holdings, LLC.
Issa Asad, CEO of Dania, Florida's Q Link Wireless, Agrees with Guy Kawasaki's Social Media Storytelling
DANIA, Fla., Dec. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Issa Asad, the bestselling author, blog owner and entrepreneur from Dania, Florida, has announced his agreement with fellow social media expert Guy Kawasaki's views on the importance of improving storytelling techniques for social media marketing. Asad is also CEO of Q Link Wireless, LLC, and Quadrant Holdings, LLC, in Dania, Florida.Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141229/166306
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141229/166307
Issa Asad urges entrepreneurs and business owners to start working on providing customers with compelling content through social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, in order to help their business grow. Asad agrees with the basic premise of Kawasaki's latest book, The Art of Social Media, which stresses the importance of interacting with customers and building awareness by posting relevant, engaging social media content.
"Storytelling on social media sites is an essential part of helping your business thrive in the digital age," said Asad. "Being able to provide content that attracts more customers should be on any CEO, marketer or social media professional's immediate to do list."
Since social media storytelling does not always come naturally or easily to business owners, Asad shares tips for improving this vital skill. "These tips are important for business owners to keep in mind when posting new content," said Asad.
Here are a few of these tips for social media storytelling:
- Make sure it has value: Your content should focus on how your company can help customers or provide valuable news or information related to the product or service you offer. You can also post entertaining yet relevant content to catch readers' attention or offer an analytical post on a recent news story that ties into your product or service. Valuable content encourages customers to return to your social media sites regularly and share your posts with others, which helps generate more business for you.
- Add visual appeal: Good storytelling on social media isn't just about the actual text on the page. Readers appreciate having some type of visual as well, such as a relevant video or graphic. The way your content is arranged also adds to its visual appeal. Keep paragraphs short, and give readers a bulleted list, so they're not faced with big blocks of text.
- Think outside the box: While it's crucial for your content to have value, that doesn't mean sticking to straightforward posts about your product or service. Provide readers with interesting tidbits of information that are still somewhat relevant to your business. For example, if you run a travel business, give readers info on helpful travel apps to make trips go more smoothly or the latest improvements in air travel.
About Issa Asad
Issa Asad is CEO of Q Link Wireless, LLC, and Quadrant Holdings, LLC, located in Dania, Florida. Asad is also a social media expert, bestselling author of four e-books and the owner of several social media blogs. Asad also provides entrepreneurs and CEOs with marketing advice on his LinkedIn account and Facebook page.
Andrew Perez 954-691-3932
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SOURCE Issa Asad