Metro by T-Mobile (formerly known as Metro PCS) is a popular American prepaid wireless service provider owned by T-Mobile US. The company is known for providing affordable and flexible prepaid plans and a wide selection of no-contract phones and other mobile devices. The provider also offers frequent discounts and special deals on devices, access to T-Mobile’s nationwide network, and reliable customer support service for customers who may have any questions or issues. However, does the company also offer a Lifeline program or any other government benefits? Let’s find out!
What is the Lifeline Program?
Lifeline is a government assistance program that was established in the 1980s and is run by the FCC. It was designed to help make communications services more affordable for people in need. Currently, the program provides a discount of up to $9.25 (or up to $34.25 for eligible Tribal households) a month on phone, wireless or internet services.
The exact list of benefits offered through the Lifeline program depends on the provider. Some providers even offer free or discounted mobile devices ranging from basic flip phones to mid-range Android smartphones and iPhones.
However, the benefit is limited to one person per eligible household and it’s non-transferable. A household is considered Lifeline-eligible if its annual income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if a member participates in a qualifying government assistance program, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, FPHA, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or a Tribal program. The applicant must be able to prove their eligibility and apply through the National Verifier to enjoy the benefits.
Is Metro PCS Lifeline Program Available?
Metro by T-Mobile or Metro PCS offers many generous benefits, including promotional deals on services and devices. However, the government Lifeline assistance program is currently not one of the benefits offered by Metro. The company simply does not participate in the aid program. However, as wireless service providers often change their offers, this may change in the future. Moreover, Lifeline still offers some other government assistance benefits. Learn more below.
Why is Metro PCS Lifeline Program Currently Not Available?
Metro by T-Mobile (Metro PCS) is a brand owned by T-Mobile. T-Mobile is one of the three largest carriers in the country and it owns several other wireless service providers, including Assurance Wireless. As such, the parent company has decided to distribute the two relevant government assistance programs among its subsidiaries. T-Mobile decided that the brand that will fully focus on providing government benefits will be Assurance Wireless. As such, instead of applying for the Metro PCS Lifeline program, which is currently not available, you can enroll in Assurance Wireless’s Lifeline program.
If Metro PCS Lifeline Isn’t Available, Does the Company Offer Other Government Benefits?
As Metro PCS Lifeline program is currently not available, you can either find another Lifeline provider or sign up for Metro’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) instead.
Indeed, Metro may not offer Lifeline benefits, but it sure offers ACP benefits. In fact, if you are a Lifeline subscriber, you will be pleased to know that you automatically qualify for the Metro PCS ACP program thanks to your Lifeline subscription.
The ACP program is a more recent government benefit program that offers discounts on monthly internet services and internet-connected devices.
Metro’s ACP program offers discounts on qualifying rate plans of up to $30 a month for eligible non-Tribal households and up to $75 a month for eligible Tribal households. Customers may qualify for a free or discounted monthly service that includes unlimited talk, text, and a certain amount of data (depending on the plan they choose). However, as Metro only offers ACP benefits in certain states, only the residents of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming can apply.
How Do I Apply for the Metro PCS ACP Program?
If the Metro PCS ACP benefits seem appealing, you may wonder how and where you can apply.
To apply, you must follow some simple, yet strict steps:
- First of all, you must make sure that you qualify for the program. The good news is that all Lifeline subscribers qualify automatically (which doesn’t mean that they don’t have to apply). Moreover, you can qualify for the program if your annual household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, if you participate in any of the Lifeline-qualifying programs listed above, if you participate in WIC or the Free and reduced-price school lunch program or the School breakfast program, or if your household received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year. To apply, you must also be at least 18 years old, the only applicant in your household, and a resident of one of the states where Metro offers its ACP benefits (listed above).
- Secondly, you will be required to prove your eligibility during the application process. You may be asked to verify your identity with a copy of an ID or a passport, your address (with an ID or driver’s license), or to prove your eligibility. Depending on how you qualify, you may be asked to provide proof of income (paycheck stubs, current income statement from your employer, prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return, etc.) or proof of program participation (such as an approval letter, benefit award letter, benefit verification letter, statement of benefits, etc.). Prepare digital or physical copies of the documents using a camera, scanner, or copy machine before the beginning of the application process, and never submit original documents.
- Lastly, you must apply for the Metro ACP benefits. You must first apply through the National Verifier. To do so, visit acpbenefit.org/?icid=MTPR_MTW_C_MTAFRDCONP_N7I7NWOF7SQ40LKO929344 and follow the prompts to complete the online application form. The National Verifier will accept or deny your application. If approved, you will get an ID number. Keep in mind that this process may take up to two days.
Then, you can sign into your account on Metro’s official website at metrobyt-mobile.com/my-account/sign-in?INTNAV=tNav:LogIn to fill out the ACP application form. You will be asked to provide the ID number from the National Verifier, personal information, and copies of proof documentation. After a short while, you will receive a text confirming your enrollment.
What are the Benefits of Applying for the Metro PCS ACP Program?
As mentioned before, any customer who applies for the Metro ACP program and gets approved will receive a discount on monthly internet services of up to $30 a month (or up to $75 a month for eligible households living on Tribal lands).
As all Metro rate plans with smartphone data qualify for the ACP discount, you can receive a plan with unlimited calls, unlimited texts, high-speed data, access to T-Mobile’s nationwide 4G and 5G networks, Scam Shield with free Scam ID, Scam Block, and Caller ID.
You can apply your Metro ACP discount to any of the following plans:
- The $30 a month unlimited plan (the regular price is $60). It offers unlimited talk and text, unlimited high-speed data, 5G network access, 15 GB of hotspot data, 100 GB Google One cloud storage, and Amazon Prime subscription.
- The $20 a month unlimited plan (the regular price is $50). It comes with unlimited talk and text, unlimited high-speed data, 5G network access, 5 GB of hotspot data, and 100 GB Google One cloud storage.
- The $10 a month plan (the regular price is $40). This plan offers unlimited talk and text, 10 GB of high-speed data, and 5G network access.
- The FREE ACP plan (the regular price is $30 a month). It includes unlimited talk and text, 5 GB of high-speed data, and 5G network access.
Read more about Metro’s ACP program at metrobyt-mobile.com/benefits/affordable-connectivity-program.
What Other Companies Offer Lifeline Benefits?
As a Metro PCS Lifeline program does currently not exist and if enrolling in Lifeline is your goal, you will have to find another Lifeline provider.
To find a generous Lifeline provider you won’t have to look far, as another one of T-Mobile’s companies (Assurance Wireless) participates in both Lifeline and ACP programs and offers both types of benefits.
Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline and ACP company that offers free services with free unlimited texts, free unlimited minutes, free unlimited data, free 10GB of mobile hotspot data, and even an Android smartphone completely free of charge.
Before you begin your application process, make sure that you qualify for the program (you can see the Lifeline and ACP eligibility criteria listed above) and that you can prove your eligibility. Then, you can sign up by visiting assurancewireless.com, entering your ZIP code in the provided box, and pressing enter. Assuming that the company offers its services in your area, the system will redirect you to the provider’s offer in your state. Make sure to review the offer and if you agree, press ‘Apply Now’. You will then be redirected to Assurance’s online application form. Fill it out by providing all the required personal information, eligibility proof, National Verifier information, and more. Once you submit the application, the company may take a few days to review it. If your application gets approved, you will be notified immediately.
If, however, you don’t like Assurance Wireless’s Lifeline offer or if the company doesn’t offer the benefits in your area, you can choose another Lifeline company instead. There are many Lifeline companies in all U.S. states and territories. Some of the most popular providers include:
- Access Wireless
- AirTalk Wireless
- Assist Wireless
- American Assistance
- Cintex Wireless
- Easy Wireless
- enTouch Wireless
- Life Wireless
- NewPhone Wireless
- Q Link Wireless
- SafeLink Wireless
- StandUp Wireless
- Tag Mobile
You can find a list of all Lifeline providers in your area at lifelinesupport.org/companies-near-me/.