Assurance Wireless, which provides eligible residents with a cell phone and 250 minutes of free monthly voice service, marks its two-year anniversary of providing services to Michigan residents. Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund. More than 417,000 Michigan residents are without a job and more than 24% percent are living below the federal poverty line. Assurance Wireless customers enjoy the ability to provide a contact number to and receive calls from a prospective employer, which, studies show, can improve the chances of securing employment. “We look forward to continuing to provide this service to eligible Michigan residents who need support and resources during what continues to be a rough economic time for many,” said Grace Boehm, director of strategy and business planning, Assurance Wireless. “I was unemployed for an extended amount of time because of layoffs,” stated Evan M., 37, 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, provide a way for them to respond to me, and helped me save money. Assurance also gave me peace of mind that I had a way to stay connected to my kids while away from home.” According to a recent report, “If all 28.5 million adults eligible for Lifeline Assistance were to take advantage of the program and earn at the same rate and level as [the study] sample, it would result in $3.7 billion in fresh income for the poor and near poor.” 1 According to a nationwide survey from Assurance Wireless*, 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. Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program supported by the low income program of the federal Universal Service Fund which is designed to insure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income consumers at affordable rates. Customers eligible for Assurance Wireless include those who participate in Medicaid, Food Stamps/SNAP, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families/TANF, Supplemental Security Income/SSI, Federal Housing Assistance/Section 8 and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program/LIHEAP. Customers may also qualify based on low household income. Eligibility varies by state.