History Of Free Cell Phones For Seniors
First established under the Reagan Administration to provide free landline service to qualifying, low-income households, the government has in recent years modernized the free government cell phones for seniors verizon program by providing free cell phones and cell phone service. In the 1990s, the Federal Communications Commission set up the Lifeline phone service program funded by Universal Service Fund fees on telephone bills. The program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company , which also oversees the calculation of low-income statistics, determines who qualifies, and how much they get.
Recommended Post For You
What Is The Lifeline Program
Before we talk about the best options for getting a free phone plan from the government, lets talk about Lifeline. Lifeline is a federal program that helps subsidize the cost of phone and internet services. Established in 1985 during the Reagan administration, the Lifeline government benefit allows low-income Americans to get phone service for free or at discounted rates.
In 2016, the Lifeline program received an update that added data services to the list of offerings. This enables low-income citizens to use data to access the internet in addition to receiving voice and texting services. Lifeline is available in all fifty states, all United States territories, and on tribal lands.
Recommended Reading: Can I Sue The United States Government
Does Every Phone Or Internet Carrier Offer Lifeline
No. Only 6 companies in Massachusetts offer Lifeline. They offer cell phone, landline, Internet or a combination plan. Some wireless carriers may also offer a free or low cost device like a cell phone, computer, or tablet. The company you use depends on where you live.
If you already have a cellphone, landline, or Internet plan, ask your carrier if they offer Lifeline. Also ask them if they offer other discount programs for low-income customers. You can ask your company to apply to the state to become an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier so they can accept Lifeline.
Also Check: Government Grants For Stroke Victims
Frequently Asked Questions About Free Government Mobile Cell Companies
What Happens When You Exhaust Your Minutes?
This is a common concern among users as 250 minutes is often not enough, especially for large households. All free government cell phone companies sell extra minutes, texts and data bundles to users once they have exhausted their monthly package.
However, the rates of sale are usually special, and not as steep as the market rates for the same package. This is all in line with making cell services reachable to those in low-income strata. It can be as cheap as $2 for 20 extra minutes of talk time. The other alternative to this is waiting for the remaining period of the month until the package is renewed at the beginning of the new month.
What Is The Free Phone Like?
Contrary to what many people think, the phone offered is quite decent. The phones are usually recent models, no more than 3 years old in the market. They often feature good battery life and other features that make it convenient for talks. Additionally, they may incorporate some smart features including internet connection. But all these vary depending on the company you are subscribing to.
What Do The Companies Stand To Gain From Offering Free Services?
The companies, however, offer a free mobile handset to everyone who enrols in their program. This is a cost they have to bear in the short term in order to profit from your package over the coming months. It is, therefore, a win-win situation for the company, government, and of course the beneficiary.
How To Get A Free Phone From The Us Government
The US government offers a program called Lifeline Assistance that can give you a free cell phone and access to an inexpensive cell phone plan if you qualify. To qualify for Lifeline Assistance, you either have to have an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or be currently enrolled in any of the following government programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Tribal-specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally-Administered Temporary
- Assistance for Needy Families , Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations , Head Start
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Programs
If any of the above relates to you, then you deserve a free cell phone and a cheap cell phone plan to go with it.
Also Check: What Is The Return On Government Bonds
Free Government Cell Phones: Plans Devices How To Apply
Thanks to the governments Lifeline Assistance program, you can qualify for free cell phones and inexpensive cell phone plans.
For those of you who struggle making your cell phone payment every month, this government program was made for you. Now lets see if we can set you up with a free government phone. In this article we’ll explain how you can qualify for the Lifeline program, as well as run through the carriers that offer free government cell phones. Finally, we’ll present some low cost cell phone plan alternatives to this free program.
Getting A Free Government Cell Phone Is As Easy As 1
Step Zero: If you are on this page we assume you have already read the previous page to determine if you meet the general eligibility requirements of the program. If you have not already done so, , and then come back to this page.
Step One: The first thing to do is find out who provides the phones in your state, and that states specific eligibility requirements. To find out, go to our Free Government Phones by State page. Then, scroll down to find the list of states, and click on yours. The resulting page will list the mobile phone companies who will be able to provide you with your cell phone and service. And, it will list the eligibility requirements for your state.
Step Two: Find out more about each of the participating companies by clicking on the links youll find on your state page. On each of these resulting provider pages, youll find comprehensive information on their specific availability, their plans, and on how to contact them. We cannot stress enough that you should review every provider we list on your state page. While the federal Lifeline program provides parameters the companies must follow, plans and phone choices often vary substantially between providers. You owe it to yourself to look at them all.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Government Assistance For Health Insurance
Is Assurance And Safelink The Same
Safelinks service is rather abysmal in comparison to Assurance you only get 68 minutes of free air time per month, and theres no mention of any texting capabilities however, Safelink does allow you to upgrade to a smartphone for as little as $50, and then they do offer discounted talk, text, and 1GB of data for
Us Mobile Unlimited Talk And Text Plan
The only way to bring your bill lower than $10 a month is to throw out your data plan altogether. If you know you dont want to pay for any wireless data, the US Mobile Unlimited Talk and Text plan at $7 a month is your best bet. Bonus, US Mobile operates on both T-Mobile and Verizon networks, which offer excellent coverage.
Now that you know about free government cell phones and how to apply, here’s your next steps:
Check out our cell phone deals page that is updated weekly.
Read Also: Secret Bank Account From Government
The Government Is Handing Out Free Cell Phones And Youre Paying For It
The good news: Millions of American are talking on free cell phones right now. The bad news: Youre paying for it.
A couple years ago, Michelle Obama was seen serving risotto at a soup kitchen down the street from the White House. She was surrounded by poor people frantically snapping photos of her with their cell phones.
One couldnt help but wonder how people whose financial situations are so precarious that they eat at a soup kitchen, yet can afford cell phones.
Do a little Googling and youll quickly discover that theres the equivalent of a government soup kitchen for cell phones. Sign up and the government will give you a free cell phone and 250 free minutes each and every month.
Well, maybe not. Youre probably not eligible.
Prepare To Be Outraged
Heres how Safelink Wireless, one of those companies involved in the scam, describes the free government phones program on its website:
Lifeline Assistance is part of a program that was created by the government to provide discounted or free telephone service to income-eligible consumers. To help bring you this important benefit, SafeLink Wireless is proud to offer Lifeline Service. Through our Lifeline Service you will receive FREE cellular service, a FREE cell phone, and FREE Minutes every month! SafeLink Wireless Service does not cost anything there are no contracts, no recurring fees and no monthly charges.
Illegal Alien? Who Cares?
Whos Scamming Who?
Is This Really a Government Program?
Find The Best Government Cell Phone For You
If your income is below certain levels or if you already participate in other government benefit programs, you could qualify for a free government cell phone plan. This can be incredibly important if youre trying to find or keep a job, as well as for coordinating childcare and more. Make sure you work with a provider who will give you the flexibility, service, and coverage you need.
Don’t Miss: Government In America Ap Edition 17th Edition
Proof Of Identification Options
Is the Lifeline program really free?
Yes! Qualifying individuals receive Free cell phone service.
If you qualify for programs like CalFresh, Medi-Cal, Medicaid, Food Stamps, or meet California Lifeline Guidelines for low income you may qualify for Free Service. Enroll Today!
How do I qualify?
The Online Enrollment Form is easy to use and will walk you through each step of the process.
If you qualify for programs like CalFresh, Medi-Cal, Medicaid, Food Stamps or are considered Low Income, you likely qualify for Free enTouch Lifeline cell phone service. Learn more about Lifeline and qualification here.
Can I bring my own phone?
What is the quality of service?
While enTouch provides Free service through Lifeline to eligible customers, enTouch uses the same technology and connections as non-Lifeline cell phone providers. You will receive great, reliable service!
How easy is it to sign up?
Yes, enrolling with enTouch Lifeline cell service is easy!
The Online Enrollment form is easy to use and will walk you through each step of the process. Click here to Enroll Today!
If you qualify for programs like CalFresh, Medi-Cal, Medicaid, Food Stamps or are considered Low Income, you likely qualify! Learn more about Lifeline and qualification.
You can also enroll by mail with a paper application. .
What is EBB?
Is data really unlimited?
Verizon Internet For Low Income Families
Verizon Fios Home Internet for Low Income Families
- 200/200 Mbps for $19.99 per month with autopay.
- 400/400 Mbps for $39.99 per month with autopay.
- Up to 940/880 Mbps for $59.99 per month with autopay.
How to Get the Verizon Low Income Internet Discount?
- Apply for the Lifeline program.
- Order the Fios plan thats right for you once your eligibility is confirmed.
Verizon Lifeline Phone ServiceVerizon $25 Lifeline Plan
- 1000 monthly anytime minutes.
- Domestic long-distance calls are included.
- Unlimited Local Mobile to Mobile Calling Minutes.
- Overages: After the plan minutes run out, youll pay 45¢ per minute.
- To know more you can check out the Verizon page.
Read Also: Rsa Identity Governance And Lifecycle
What If I Dont Qualify For An Obamaphone
Fortunately, there are other providers that offer cheap cell phones and services for all customers .
Mint Mobile offers wireless service starting at just $15/month! Mint has been highly recommended by many of my readers. Learn more about Mint here!
Do you know of another provider we havent written about yet? Let us know in the comments and well check it out!
Free 10gb Monthly Hotspot Data
10GB Hotspot Data up to 4G LTE speed.During congestion, heavy data users and customers choosing Assurance or similarly prioritized plans may notice lower speeds than other customers due to data prioritization.*Based on phone availability shipping charges may apply. Customers who have been reinstated within 60 days of their service end date will keep their original phone and phone number. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.
Recommended Reading: Government Mortgages For First Time Buyers
You May Like: Release Of Claims Government Contract
Verizon Lifeline Home Phone Discount
RecommendedVerizon Landline Service plansHow to Apply for Verizon Lifeline Assistance Program
- Qualifications for the Lifeline government program vary from a state to another.
- You may apply online via the Lifeline National Verifier.
- If you get Lifeline eligibility by the Lifeline National Verifier, you need to contact Verizon at 1-800-Verizon to select your service and begin receiving the Verizon Lifeline discount.
Walmart Family Mobile Safelink Benefit
- The Walmart Family Mobile SafeLink Benefit allows qualifying Lifeline assistance program customers to save $10 or more per month.
- The Walmart Family Mobile SafeLink Benefit program is not available in Colorado, Alaska, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, Wyoming, Virgin Islands.
- The monthly discount varies from one area to another.
- To get the monthly discount, you must purchase a monthly plan that includes 1000 minutes or 3GB of data as a minimum.
- The monthly service plan must be purchased at WalmartMoneyCenter, myfamilymobile.com, or by calling 1-877-440-9758
Walmart Family Mobile Service Plan Features
- No contracts.
- Nationwide 4G LTE coverage with T-Mobile network.
- More lines mean more savings.
- No hidden fees or overages.
- Bring your own phone .
Walmart Family Mobile PlansFor $14.88 instead of $24.88
- Unlimited talk and text.
- 3GB of high-speed data, then 2G speeds.
For $19.88 instead of $29.88
- Unlimited talk and text.
- 5GB of high-speed data, then 2G speeds.
For $29.88 instead of $39.88
- Unlimited talk, and text.
- Video streams at 480p .
Walmart Family Mobile PhonesCan I put my SafeLink SIM card in another phone?can I transfer my SafeLink service to another phone?Who is the carrier for SafeLink?Can you bring your own phone to SafeLink?What is the EBB program with SafeLink?Is SafeLink really free?What network does SafeLink wireless use?Safelink Free TabletSafelink free government phoneWhat kind of smartphone does SafeLink give you?
Recommended Reading: Data Governance And Information Governance
What Is The Lifeline Assistance Program
Lifeline Assistance is the Federal Communication Commission’s long running program designed to provide equal access to phone service for all Americans. It specifically caters to low-income residents who may not otherwise be able to afford a cell phone device or plan. The program entitles those who are eligible to wireless service for $9.25/month. It also applies to internet service, also priced at $9.25/month.
You can read more about the Lifeline program here.
How To Get Free Government Phones
Getting a free government phone is easy if you meet the income guidelines. Because of the economic downturn in the country as a whole, many Americans have been hit hard financially. The nation has been suffering as a result of the recession, leading to higher rates of poverty in every state. As a result of the economic crisis, many people feel that cell phones are luxury items that are not affordable.
Thankfully, the Lifeline Assistance program exists to assist qualified Americans in obtaining a free government phone. These phones have become known as Obama Phones and have swept the nation in an attempt to offer free service to people who earn lower than average levels of income.
Recommended Reading: Government Requirements For Electronic Medical Records
Qualify For One Qualify For It All
If you meet the requirements for the Lifeline Program, then its extremely easy to apply for the Lifeline Program and get your free government phone in Maryland. Also, when you qualify for the Infiniti Mobile Lifeline Program, you are automatically qualified for the Emergency Broadband Program ! By combining to the two programs together, we can offer you the new cell phone, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and unlimited data all in one package. Click here to get started!
How Do I Get A Free Phone
To find out if you qualify for a free government phone, youll need to make sure that your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Youll need to prove your household income with pay stubs, a W-2 form, or a letter from the government agency that you’re enrolled in.
You can start by entering your ZIP code here to see what free government service options are available in your area.
Don’t Miss: Government Policies To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Top 10 Best Free Government Cell Phone Companies
Many of us cannot imagine working without a mobile phone. While we might fail to appreciate that we can communicate with our loved ones and even access emergency services, its a different case for low-income families. Mobile phones and cell phone services are usually out of reach because of their high cost. But thanks to the Lifeline Assistance program, you can now get a free government cell phone along with cell phone plans, if you cannot afford them. The Federal Lifeline program supports disadvantaged individuals and households by subsidizing phone services. Both Link-UP and Lifeline are programs of the Federal Government that assist with free phones for low-income citizens.
The FCC through the government has been providing impoverished people with discount landline services for years. Today, however, cell phones are the primary means of communication. Transformations in the program mean less fortunate Americans can now sign up for free phone services, government free cell phones, or both. Even though most citizens call them Obama phones, it is a misleading term because the routine dates back to the George W. Bush administration.
Regardless, the initiative is still active, and you can apply for a government phone if you meet the eligibility criteria. There are plenty of free phone food stamps beneficiaries, for example, who qualify for a free government cell phone through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.