If you are in dire need of a cell phone but can’t afford one, this might be your lucky day. The government in partnership with lifeline assistance phone companies have been working to assist the poor and low income working for families in accessing the equal opportunity to cell phone services. In addition, you can leverage on cell phone plans with free phones for more suitable deals. The lifeline cell phone providers, however, offer the best option for disadvantaged families and qualifying individuals to access free phones.
Are you are wondering whether you qualify for the free government cell phones for low income families? Our cell phone for free from government resource will shed more insights on how to qualify for one. But if you already know about the lifeline assistance program and are looking for the best device under the program, we are here to help you. We have put together the 10 best free government cell phones for underprivileged individuals and families so you can make an informed decision. As you will discover, some of these free cell phones are 100% compatible with Verizon cell phones for seniors.
It is very easy to imagine that free is free and that is it. There are options even for some of the free things out there. For instance, you can opt for the free touch screen government phones instead of simply choosing any free cell phone from government. Besides, some free plans are much better than others are. The vast majority of phone providers under the lifeline assistance program give the same basic service: a free cell phone carrying 250 free talk time minutes plus 250 free messages per month. This is the reason we’ve combed through lifeline cell phone companies to give you premium free phone bonanzas.
The 10 Best Free Cell Phones For Low Income From Government
An important note before we start: Because of state guidelines, the free cell phone program by government is not free in all the states. For instance, lifeline assistance cell phone companies in Oklahoma and Alaska usually carry a $1 monthly fee. Nevertheless, they also come with more texts, minutes and other services.
1. GCI Communication Corporation
Coverage: Alaska State Only
GCI is one of the largest communication companies in Alaska. Together with several of its sister firms, they provide unlimited texts and talk time at only $1 every month. Similar to DartPhone, this lifeline assistance cell phone provider caters to a very small population. On the other hand, you cannot afford to ignore their offer when checking out free government cell phones for low income persons.
2. Safelink Wireless
Coverage: 38 states including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia
As one of the big fish in the lifeline assistance lake, Safelink now offers new customers a unique sign-up bonus. For the first three months, new clients are eligible for 1000 text messages and 500 minutes for free. After those three months, new customers automatically revert to the company’s standard offer of 250 free talk-time minutes and 1000 free texts. According to Safelink, the offer is just for a limited time. However, don’t be surprised to find the company extending it or have it as their standard offer.
3. AT&T Mobility
Coverage: Alaska State Only
Similar to the state of Oklahoma, a quirky law in the Alaska lifeline assistance program does not make it quite free. Nonetheless, for just $1 a month, customers receive a free cell phone carrying 1200 anytime minutes. In addition, you will get national long distance calls for the same $1 per month. It is our hope that AT&T Mobility soon extends the program beyond the state of Alaska.
4. Assurance Wireless
Coverage: 40 states including District of Columbia
Assurance wireless comes one of the biggest names under the free government cell phones for low income program. To attract new customers, the company is now giving special bonus offers. Any newly signed customers can qualify for unlimited texts plus 500 voice minutes for the first four months. After that period, you will receive 250 voice minutes every month on top of unlimited text messages.
5. Assist Wireless
Coverage: Oklahoma, Maryland, Arkansas, and Missouri
It is important to note that Oklahoma state has some odd laws on the lifeline assistance program. The plans are not as free as the state charges just $1 per month. For the price, however, you will receive 1000 free voice minutes or texts. However, for as little as $6.20 every month, low income individuals can access monthly unlimited talk time.
Coverage: Alaska state only
The company is offering free unrestricted local calls to customers signing for the free cell phone program with them. However, these calls are restricted to and from the TelAlaska Cellular Network. The offer carries nationwide unlimited texts, 400 long distance calls monthly, plus voicemail and other calling services. Unlike Safelink and Assurance Wireless, this is TelAlaska’s standard offer for Alaska residents.
Coverage: Oklahoma State Only
DartPhone is probably the smallest cell phone company under the lifeline assistance program. However, they avail some great plans that are worth mentioning. Based in Oklahoma state, their Lifeline plan comes with a $1 monthly fee for unlimited texts and talk time. Even as the DartPhone’s 1000 + Data Plan carries a $1 monthly charge, it provides customers with 2000 text messages or 1000 voice minutes on top of 50MB internet data.
8. Infiniti Mobile
Coverage: Oklahoma State only
Infiniti Mobile is a prominent phone company in Oklahoma. Although the state ensures everyone is surcharged $1 per month, the company offers two plans. The Oklahoma Lifeline 1000 Plus deal gives 1700 text messages, 1500 voice minutes, plus 500 MB of data every month. On the other hand, the Oklahoma Lifeline Unlimited plan avails unrestricted voice minutes and texts, plus 2.5 GB data every month. For either of the two data plans, you only pay $1 per month.
9. Easy Wireless
Coverage: Oklahoma state only
With Easy Wireless, customers are eligible for 1000 free minutes or 1000 texts per month without charges. Just like TelAlaska, the free 1000 minutes or texts every month is Easy Wireless’ typical offer for Oklahoma residents under the lifeline assistance cell phones program.
10. American Assistance
Coverage: California State Only
The American Assistance comes with full nationwide availability. This is the brand name for Lifeline Assistance availed by America Broadband and Telecommunications. At the moment, they are working to expand their scope to 16 states. With a free smartphone, customers get 500 free talk time as well as 500 free texts every month plus 1GB monthly data.
The best part about American Assistance phone deal is that they have been upfront about their free phone. They do not have monthly bills, no purchases, and no contracts to sign. In case you feel the deal is not good enough, they also have an option for customers to buy additional offers.
How Free Are Free Phones?
In many cases, the word free often comes with doubts about the item or service being a prank. The fear and inadequate information leave some Americans in confusion regarding the authenticity of free government cell phones for low income households. However, there should be no course for alarm or fear. This is because about 15 million Americans are already benefiting from the free cell phone services from government.
If you are fresh to the lifeline assistance program, you shouldn’t worry because if you qualify, it is easy to become a benefactor to the program. Before the name free government cell phone service, the program was called Lifeline Assistance. In other words, you will be acquiring a cell phone to let you connect with your family and friends without breaking a sweat. This program has been active in 49 states and is currently spreading to other parts of South America like Puerto Rico.
Today, most of the free phone providers are available at both the national and regional levels and are state certified. Therefore, enrolling in any of their programs should be a difficult task.
Are Free Government Cell Phones Available To Seniors?
Just as the young population needs free cell phones, so do senior citizens. Seniors often find themselves alone and deserted. Given that most of the elderly persons lack the income to afford a cell phone, the next best option for them would be a free cell phone. Lucky enough, both the state and federal governments know this too well. It explains the existence of lifeline assistance programs catering to the needs of seniors aged 65 years and above like the Supplemental Security Income. A free cell phone is a necessity for old age citizens, bearing in mind the multiple life emergencies that occur when they are alone.
However, seniors are no exception to the eligibility criteria. Therefore, before getting a free cell phone from the government, it is advisable that senior citizens check their eligibility with various federal government’s life assistance programs. Additionally, the elderly may also qualify for the free government cell phone by virtue of living in nursing homes or homeless shelters. In that case, they should still avail the necessary documentation to qualify for the free phones.
Are You Eligible For A Free Cell Phone?
You already know that lifeline assistance companies are working to assist underprivileged individuals or low-income families have the same prospect to phone services. The free government cell phones for low income make the difference between staying in isolation and keeping in contact with loved ones and friends. Being in a disadvantaged family qualifies you to get help with free phone services. On top of the phone plan, you will obtain a landline service or a cell phone and minutes every month. However, to be eligible for the free cell, you must produce specific documents. The free cell phone program by government has seen some fraud and abuse issues in the past.
If you want a free government cell phone currently, you must prove eligibility. To prove your lifeline eligibility, it means availing documentation on your financial status. Alternatively, you can provide proof of involvement in any of the government’s assistance programs. Doing this helps to ensure that only qualifying persons receive a free cell phone. In addition, the eligibility criteria help to stop phone providers from receiving more money than they deserve from government.
Who Is Eligible For A Government Cell Phone?
You may qualify for the free government cell phones for low income if you obtain aid from the following assistance programs:
- Food Stamps – SNAP
- The National School Free Lunch Program
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – TANF
- Supplemental Security Income – SSI
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP
- Federal Public Housing Assistance – Section 8
Furthermore, you could qualify for the government phone if you are inactive employment with a gross monthly or yearly income of 125% or below of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Apart from the national government, some state-controlled programs can also qualify you for the Lifeline Assistance Program. It is vital to remember that these programs are limited to the specific state from where they are only offered. California is among the biggest states in the US featuring the following programs:
- Welfare to Work
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- National School Lunch Program
- California Healthy Families Program
- Greater Avenues for Independence Gain
- California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids
- Women, Infants and Children Program
How To Find A Lifeline Cell Phone Provider
If you have all your documents in order, the next important step is to check for no-cost phone providers in your state. It is essential to do your homework since this program is not precisely similar in all states. Some programs partly pay for your services, while most provide free phone deals. You can locate providers by visiting the lifeline program site and clicking on the “companies near me” topic.
You will be prompted to enter your city and state or Zipcode. Thereafter, move to the provider available in your state and register online. You may as well download the application, and send it via mail or fax. Be sure to include proof of income and identity in your submission.
Do not forget to check online for reviews on individual phone providers from whom you are considering to obtain your phone. Customers have been complaining about some of these providers, with others making beneficiaries wait too long to receive help. Even with a free phone, you still deserve great customer service.
Many of the lifeline assistance companies have an automated system. This can be very infuriating, especially when you want to talk to a live customer service agent. If you are okay with the services they offer and the talk-time they avail be sure to sign up on the company’s website. As an alternative, you can call the provider requesting an application.
What Documentation Do You Require?
When preparing to make an application for the free cell phone from government, be sure to have the following documents ready:
- A payroll statement from your workplace
- An up-to-date Federal Tax Return
- A statement from the Social Services Department or SNAP Benefits
- A workman’s compensation or letter from unemployment
In case you do not have the proof required for applications, get in touch with the relevant agency in person to get the necessary documentation. Going in person ensures you get the documents the same day. In that case, it is vital to contact the cell phone provider you are applying with to determine the exact documents you require. Some providers allow you to submit online, while others may require applicants to visit a provider store. Once approved, you will be notified of your eligibility for a free cell phone from the government via email or regular mail. If there are no discrepancies with your documentation, you should get the phone in about 7 to 10 business days.
While most of us cannot imagine working without a cell phone, and even take it for granted that we are in a position to stay in touch with loved ones, the same cannot be said for low income families. Oftentimes, cell phones and accompanying services are out of their reach because of the high costs involved. Mobile phone companies in partnership with the Lifeline Assistance Program are offering cell phones and plans with different features.
It means the free government cell phones for low income households in your state may differ from what is available in other states. These differences are often because of FTC laws and different geographical features.
According to our list of the best free government cell phones, it is evident that some of these providers are only available in one state, as others offer their services in multiple states. Once you find an ideal free cell phone provider, you can be sure of receiving a free cell phone plus a monthly service. Take time to consider different factors such as how to replace lost phones or change providers before you sign up for the program.