TruConnect Provides Access to Unemployment Benefits Through Free Cell Phones for Customers Who Have Lost Work Due to COVID-19
California LifeLine Program Keeps State's Most Vulnerable Residents Connected During COVID-19 Crisis
LOS ANGELES, CA, APRIL 3, 2020 —TruConnect, the only California-based provider of free broadband services to low-income residents, connected its customers across the state with access to unemployment benefits through their free California LifeLine cell phone. This week, TruConnect provided a text message with a link allowing those who have lost work during the COVID-19 crisis to enroll in Unemployment Insurance through the California Employment Development Department.
TruConnect provides free wireless service to nearly 225,000 residents across the state through the California LifeLine program. TruConnect customers receive no-cost broadband service and a free mobile phone that is now equipped with food security apps that provide access to foodbanks and free lunch programs during the coronavirus pandemic.
During the COVID-19 crisis, TruConnect is working with anti-poverty advocates to identify ways to use free wireless service to expand the health and financial safety net for low-income Californians residents during the economic hardship caused by COVID-19.
There are approximately 4.5 million Californians eligible for LifeLine that are not currently enrolled in the program.
"California's most vulnerable community members need access to the economic resources they need to survive during this crisis," said TruConnect Co-CEO Nathan Johnson. "We're taking every step that we can as a company to ensure that those individuals and families stay connected and that they can access as many necessary resources as possible through their phone, starting with financial support and food security."
Last month, TruConnect and community advocates successfully petitioned the California Public Utilities Commission to suspend California LifeLine renewal requirements for a period of 90 days, relieving low-income program participants of an excessive burden in maintaining their connection to broadband wireless service. TruConnect had previously committed that it would not disconnect any of its customers from the program due to issues with recertification, but would instead pay for the cost to keep those individuals connected out of its own pocket.
TruConnect continues to offer free mobile telephone and broadband service during the Shelter-In-Place order through its website, www.truconnect.com . Applicants who meet low-income eligibility requirements will receive a free phone through the mail and be able to stay connected throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The state, however, continues to allow only one California LifeLine phone per household.
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Founded in 2011, TruConnect has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing provider of Lifeline wireless telecommunications services, expanding into over 30 states in the past two years TruConnect strives to provide affordable & flexible technology solutions to low-income communities and budget-conscious consumers, helping to bring us closer to closing the digital divide. To learn more, visit us at www.truconnect.com .
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