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  • How do I start using the phone?
    The phone can be activated once it has been received by an authorized individual at the Welcome Center, who will help the user through this process. Activation is simple and the instructions are included in the box. A detailed guide sheet will be also given to the user with step-by-step instructions on setting up and using the device, including how to create an email account (Gmail) and a secure password, using the Google Play store to download apps, setting up “short cuts” to important reentry resource links on the phone’s home screen for easy access, and adding contacts to the phone’s address book. Additional help and troubleshooting assistance will also be available through an 800 number or by texting HELP to 611611.
  • What if the phone is damaged or broken?
    You can inquire about your options through the 800 number. A replacement phone will generally cost around $50.
  • For how long is the service?
    Upon enrollment you will receive your monthly allowance for 12 months and you will need to re-qualify once a year. You will receive text messages on your handset to remind you that you need to re-qualify for the service.
  • What happens if I go over 25 gigabytes?
    Contact customer service at 1-800-SafeLink (1-800-723-3546) to discuss your options.
  • What happens if I don’t make calls or send SMS messages?
    Phone users are required to make at least one call or send one SMS message every month or risk being de-enrolled from the program. Customers who fail to use their handset will have 15 days from the notification to make a call or send an SMS before being de-enrolled.
  • What if I have a problem with the phone?
    You can speak with your Welcome Center representative or call 1-800-SafeLink (1-800-723-3546) or text HELP to 611611.
  • What can a smartphone do?
    Below is a listing of some popular features of a smartphone: • Make and receive phone calls and text messages. • Take, show, and store pictures and videos. • Browse the Internet • Send and receive e-mail. • Record and play audio and music. • Display time and date and other functions such as alarm clock, stopwatch, and timer. • Display weather and temperature information. • Voice dictation and take notes. • Access utilities, such as a flashlight and calculator.
  • What is a smartphone?
    A smartphone is a cell phone that allows you to do more than make phone calls and send text messages. Smartphones can browse the Internet and run software programs like a computer. Smartphones have a touch screen to allow users to interact with them using their finger.
  • Where do I pick up the phone?
    You can pick up the phone when you visit the Welcome Center and meet with an authorized representative, who will assist you with phone activation and provide you with additional instructions.
  • When will my free phone service expire?
    Your service will expire when you are no longer eligible for benefits or if you fail to re-qualify after one year of enrollment. You will be contacted with a friendly reminder before your annual verification is due. Your service will also expire when you are no longer eligible for benefits, and you voluntarily cancel service from the program as required by the FCC. If you are randomly selected for the annual verification audit you will be required to provide photocopies of full documentation for proof of program or specific documentation for Federal Poverty Guideline Income qualification. Failure to provide photocopy proof of documentation will disqualify you and will require you to be cancelled from free benefit. If you are no longer eligible and cancel your service from the program, you can function as a regular TracFone Wireless or Net10 customer through your phone and you will be able to purchase TracFone Airtime or Net10 cards and value plans to add additional airtime minutes and service days.
  • How do I qualify for a free smartphone and service through the HFGFone program?
    The HFGFone Program provides returning citizens with efficient access to a government subsidized program available to eligible consumers in selected states and territories. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), with the help of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), administers the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) that supports this program, which has helped low-income consumers afford phone service since 1984. The Program includes the following FREE features:* Android smartphone Charger and USB SIM card Unlimited Talk & Text Calls to Canada & Mexico 25GB of Monthly High-Speed Data Up to 5GB of Hotspot Data Voicemail/Caller ID/3-way Calling 911 Access 411 Directory Assistance at No Additional Cost Nationwide Coverage on America's Best Networks Actual requirements vary by state, but in general, to qualify, subscribers must either have a gross income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (see below) or participate in one of the following assistance programs: Medicaid Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Food Stamps Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8) Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit The following table reflects 135% of the 2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • Do I have to return the phone if I de-enroll in the program?
    No, the phone is yours to keep and can be used until your airtime minutes run out or expire, or indefinitely as a TracFone or Net10 phone customer if you continue purchasing airtime minutes.
  • Are there any other restrictions?
    As long as you qualify for the service according to state regulations, there are no other restrictions other than that your phone line must be based in your place of residence and under the legal name of the qualified customer.
  • Can anyone else in my family get a phone?
    Only ONE service may be obtained per household. "Household" is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address as one economic unit. An ‘‘economic unit’’ is defined as ‘‘all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household." *The Program is made available through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal government benefit program operated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) aimed at ensuring connectivity to eligible households. This new benefit aims to connect households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more. Only one ACP per household, not per person, is allowed. Certain terms and conditions apply.

If you have additional questions, contact the Bridgeport Reentry Welcome Center at (203) 416-8901.

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