California Frequently Asked Questions

What is Life Wireless?

Telrite d/b/a Life Wireless is a California LifeLine provider offering subscribers several choices for service. These include the "Unbundled Plan" which includes a FREE phone1,2 plus Unlimited FREE voice minutes and Unlimited FREE texts each month. These offerings, available through the federal Lifeline and California LifeLine programs, are available to individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements. Discounts provided by the California LifeLine and federal Lifeline programs are limited to one per household.

There are no Annual Contracts for Life Wireless subscribers and no bills. Also included are custom calling features including Caller ID, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, 3-Way Calling, Voice Mail, No Roaming charges and free access to Customer Care by dialing 611 from the subscribers' Life Wireless handset or by dialing 1-888-543-3620 from any wireline phone. All plans include domestic long distance at no extra per minute charge. Calls to 911 emergency services are always free, regardless of service activation or availability of minutes.

What is the One California LifeLine Discounted Service per Household Rule?

Only one California LifeLine discounted service per household for each residential address is allowed. Each household must choose to get the discount either on a home phone or on a cell phone, but not on both. Households cannot get the discount from multiple phone companies. Households that do not follow the California LifeLine one discounted service per household rule will lose their discounts.

California LifeLine discounts can be transferred from one carrier to another, but you may not have more than one phone line active with the California LifeLine discounts. If you choose to transfer your California LifeLine discounts to another carrier, then you may be charged the retail rates.

What wireless services will Life Wireless offer qualified California consumers?

The Unlimited Plan which includes a FREE phone3 (unless the subscriber chooses to use the subscriber's own phone) plus Unlimited FREE voice minutes and Unlimited FREE texts each month.

Life Wireless provides its California subscribers with only new telephone equipment, not refurbished.

Do I have to pay an activation fee to start my wireless phone service?

Each plan is subject to a one-time $39.99 activation charge levied when a customer initially commences service. However, if the customer is approved for California LifeLine, the California LifeLine participant will receive a waiver funded by the California LifeLine program or by the Company.4

Who qualifies for California LifeLine services?

Low-income telephone assistance provides a discount on a subscriber's monthly bill. Eligibility is based on household income or participation in the following assistance programs. For more information, go to http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc/telco/public+programs/ults.htm. Participation in one of the following programs should qualify an applicant for California LifeLine, assuming he or she does not already take service from another provider, etc.

  • Medicaid/Medi-Cal
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8
  • CalFresh, Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
  • National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • Tribal TANF
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    1. California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS)
    2. Stanislaus County Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (StanWORKS)
    3. Welfare-to-Work (WTW)
    4. Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN)

California LifeLine is limited to one benefit per household whether landline or mobile service, with proof of eligibility documentation required. You must provide proof of program participation or proof of income with the official California LifeLine Application Form from the California LifeLine Administrator.

What qualifies as proof of program participation in California?

Proof of Program Participation is:

  • A copy of your benefit ID card or other program participation document
  • A copy of an eligibility letter from an authorized agency
  • A copy of a benefits statement (current or prior year)

What income levels may qualify me for California LifeLine discounts?

If your Household Yearly Income falls within the range indicated next to your Household Size you may qualify for the California LifeLine Program.

Household Size Household Yearly Income
1-2 members $27,000
3 members $31,300
4 members $38,100
Each additional member $6,800

*Effective June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019


Please note: A Household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses. Household income includes all income received by everyone in your household, whether taxable or non-taxable, including, but not limited to: wages, salaries, interest, dividends, spousal support and child support, grants, gifts, allowances, stipends, public-assistance payments, social security and pensions, rental income, income from self-employment and cash payments from other sources, and all employment-related, non-cash income.

What qualifies as proof of income in California?

A copy of three consecutive months of ONE of these statements (from previous 12 months):

  • Pay stubs
  • Income statement from employer

OR

  • Front page only of prior year's state, federal or tribal tax return
  • State forms: 540, 540A, 540 2EZ, 540NR, or 540X
  • Federal forms: 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040SS, or 1040X
  • Tribal tax return

OR

A copy of ONE of these documents:

  • Social Security benefits statement
  • Veterans Administration benefits statement
  • Retirement/Pension benefits statement
  • Unemployment/Workers' Compensation benefits statement
  • Alimony and/or child support documents

Do any restrictions apply to the California LifeLine and federal Lifeline Programs?

Yes, certain restrictions apply, including the following:

  • California LifeLine discounts are only available to individuals who participate in a qualifying government program or are income eligible.
  • Discounts provided by the California LifeLine and federal Lifeline programs are limited to one per household and are non-transferable. Separate households that live at the same address are eligible, including residents of homeless shelters and nursing homes. Residents with temporary addresses are also eligible. A household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses.
  • The address you provide for your phone service must be your place of residence, whether permanent or temporary.

How can I get California LifeLine service?

You may apply with Life Wireless in-person at a Life Wireless location. For Telrite's potential prepaid California LifeLine wireless subscribers, Telrite will prescreen and applicants' credentials will be submitted to the Life Wireless Compliance Department for review. Upon proof verification by the Life Wireless Compliance Department, the applicant will be considered "pre-screened". The pre-screened applicant will be a non-Lifeline subscriber and will receive a free handset5 (unless you may elect to use your own handset, in which case you will be given a SIM card) with a telephone number assigned to it (or to your own handset), loaded with a promotional allotment of 250 voice minutes at no charge. Promotional minutes are provided to allow the pre-screened Applicant to use the handset while awaiting the eligibility determination of the California Lifeline Administrator. The promotional minutes are not California LifeLine service and the handset may not be used to access California LifeLine service at any point prior to an affirmative eligibility determination by the California LifeLine Administrator and subsequent enrollment in the California LifeLine Program.

Life Wireless then submits the pre-screened applicant's information to the California LifeLine Administrator, the only entity that can issue final approval. Once the Administrator makes a decision on approval, written notice of the decision is sent to the pre-screened applicant and Life Wireless sends a no-charge text message notifying the pre-screened applicant of the decision.

In the case of an approval from the California LifeLine Administrator, the text message notifies the subscriber of approval as a Life Wireless California LifeLine subscriber. Life Wireless will not activate the benefits until the consumer uses their phone thus triggering enrollment in the federal Lifeline and California LifeLine benefit programs. Where the California LifeLine Administrator's eligibility decision is one of a correctable denial, the text message provides notification of the soft denial and advises the applicant to respond to the "pink envelope" from the Administrator.

In the event of a firm denial from the California LifeLine Administrator, the text message to the applicant notifies the applicant of the hard denial and advises the applicant that they will remain as an unsubsidized pre-paid subscriber who can purchase pre-paid airtime and data online or at participating retail locations. The hard denial text message also directs the applicant to contact Life Wireless Customer Care if they have questions.

You may also go online to www.lifewireless.com and click on the "Sign Up Today" link. This will direct you to an online request for California LifeLine service. After you complete the required information, Life Wireless will submit your information to the California LifeLine Administrator. They in turn will contact you directly via U.S. Mail using the "pink envelope" process. This package that you will receive from the Administrator will contain all of the necessary forms and information about what documents you need to send back in order to be accepted into the California LifeLine Program.

Once you return all of the necessary documentation to the California LifeLine Administrator to apply for the California LifeLine discounts, then they will notify Life Wireless and we will ship a wireless handset to you immediately.

In the case of a correctable denial, the California LifeLine Administrator will contact you directly as outlined above and you must take action with them in order to correct the reason for denial.

Finally, you may also contact Customer Service directly by dialing 1-888-543-3620 and a Customer Service Representative will assist you by collecting your information over the phone and completing the web application for you. After collection of information over the phone and submission of your information to the California LifeLine Administrator, the process for acquiring service will mirror the web application process outlined above.

Do any restrictions apply to the California LifeLine and federal Lifeline Programs?

Yes, certain restrictions apply, including the following:

  • California LifeLine discounts are only available to individuals who participate in a qualifying government program or are income eligible.
  • Discounts provided by the California LifeLine and federal Lifeline programs are limited to one per household and are non-transferable. Separate households that live at the same address are eligible, including residents of homeless shelters and nursing homes. Residents with temporary addresses are also eligible. A household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses.
  • The address you provide for your phone service must be your place of residence, whether permanent or temporary.
  • You may not resell your Life Wireless handset or give it to anyone outside your household to use.

Life Wireless service plans are subject to the Important Service/Product and General Terms and Conditions found on: https://www.lifewireless.com/main/tac

I lost the official California LifeLine Application Form from the California LifeLine Administrator. What do I do?

Please contact the California LifeLine Administrator by calling 1-877-858-7463 or TTY 1-888-858-7889. You may also go online to: https://californialifeline.com/en/contact

I never got the official California LifeLine Application Form from the California LifeLine Administrator. What do I do?

Please contact the California LifeLine Administrator by calling 1-877-858-7463 or TTY 1-888-858-7889. You may also go online to: https://californialifeline.com/en/contact

How long can I receive the California LifeLine discount?

Qualified consumers must renew their eligibility once every year in order to keep their discounts; otherwise they will be removed from the program. Qualified customers can continue to receive their discounts with Life Wireless California LifeLine wireless service so long as they continue to meet the eligibility requirements and use their service regularly.

How do I renew my eligibility once a year?

The California LifeLine Administrator oversees the annual renewal process for California LifeLine. Qualified customers will receive a renewal form once a year that requires them to renew their eligibility. In some cases, customers may be asked to provide documentation evidencing eligibility. If a qualified customer does not return the renewal form by the due date, they will be removed from the program and converted to standard rates.

How do I switch from my current Lifeline provider to Life Wireless?

You can switch from your current carrier at any time by following any of the enrollment processes outlined above. The California LifeLine Administrator will recognize you as an existing subscriber in the program and notify your current carrier of your desire to transfer service. Please be aware that after you approve transfer of your service, you will most likely lose the ability to use your old phone service as you are only allowed to have one active phone line on the California LifeLine Program and any time. This could vary depending on the losing carrier.

What should I do if I move or have a change of address?

Please contact us with your new address within 30 days by either calling Customer Care at 611 from your Life Wireless handset or by dialing 1-888-543-3620.

Who can I contact if I have a complaint?

Life Wireless Customer Service:
1-888-543-3620
info@lifewireless.com

Telrite Corp / Life Wireless
PO Box 2840
Covington, GA 30015

California Public Utilities Commission's Consumer Afairs Branch:
1-800-649-7570 (M-F 8:30am-4:30pm) or
Mail CPUC Consumer Affairs Branch
505 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA. 94102

1 The Company reserves the right to refuse to provide a free cellphone in accordance with the provisions of the Company's Handset Policy. Customers who are not entitled to a free handset must purchase a handset from the Company or provide their own compatible handset.

2 A participant may choose to use the participant's own handset, if compatible with Life Wireless service. In such case, Life Wireless will provide the participant with a free SIM card to enable such use, instead of a free phone.

3 The Company reserves the right to refuse to provide a free cellphone in accordance with the provisions of the Company's Handset Policy. Customers who are not entitled to a free handset must purchase a handset from the Company or provide their own compatible handset.

4 The waiver funded by the California LifeLine program is available for no more than a total of two wireless service activations (whether with the Company or any other wireless service provider) per household during the period commencing on December 24, 2015 and ending on December 23, 2016 or the issuance of a CPUC decision shortening such period or otherwise modifying the waiver funding rules, whichever is earlier.

5 The Company reserves the right to refuse to provide a free cellphone in accordance with the provisions of the Company's Handset Policy. Customers who are not entitled to a free handset must purchase a handset from the Company or provide their own compatible handset.

To obtain Life Wireless service potential subscribers must meet certain eligibility requirements such as receiving governmental assistance or a household income that is 135% or below Federal Poverty guidelines for a household of that size, or the percentage guideline for your state. The specifics of what determines a potential subscriber's eligibility are specific to each state. Life Wireless service is limited to one per household, and cannot be combined with any other Lifeline offering.