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Check Out the New Assistance ProgramsPosted Tuesday, April 13, 2010, at 4:14 PM
Help with Telephone Costs:
Link-up and Life-line are government programs that have been around for awhile. Link-up will reimburse up to 50% of an eligible customer's one-time service activation fee to a maximum benefit of $30.00. Life-line offers qualified subscribers a discount up to $13.60 each month on their monthly service. To learn more about either of these services call 1-888-29-guide (1-888-294-8433)
Another service that I learned about only recently is called Reachout Wireless, this program provides a free cell phone and 50 free minutes of calling time each month for eligible people. To be eligible for this program you cannot be living in a household where anyone in the household is receiving Lifeline services from a landline carrier or another wireless provider. You must be participating in one of the follow programs: Medicaid, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch, or Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
When you apply for and receive your free cell phone it will include your first month of minutes, then the same amount every month after that. Your service will be active for one year as long as you continue to receive government assistance. There are no contracts to sign, your phone will be shipped directly to your home address. You may purchase additional minutes if you choose, they will be sold in $5.00, $10.00, $20.00, $30.00 and $50.00 increments at anytime. We have the applications in our office, if you think you might be eligible just give us a call at 1-800-392-8771 or locally at 335-3331.
Help with Prescription Drug Costs:
For those of you who are having a difficult time paying for your prescription drugs we, at the SEMO AAA, may be able to help. The Fraternal Order of Eagles throughout the state of Missouri is raising money to give to all the Mo. State Area Agencies on Aging. Although this is a program of "last resort" this money is to be used to assist seniors who need help paying for their prescription drugs. Even if you have a Medicare Prescription Drug card you generally have a co-pay and if you take many drugs you have many co-pays. We are anxious to be of assistance to you. This is not an on-going program, it will last until the money runs out.
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Ruth Dockins is the Public Information Director for the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging and author of 'Age Spots,' a column/blog which is featured in several Southeast Missouri newspapers and is devoted to seniors and senior lifestyles.
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