The citizens of the United States aged 25 to 64 spend a total of $114 per month on their cell phone services. However, there are some US residents which are below the poverty line and are unable to afford a smartphone much less the cell phone bills.
We all know that having a cell phone is considered the basic necessity of life in this era. Without having a cell phone it isn’t possible to perform several common tasks which are quite essential for instance, communication, calling someone for help in case of emergencies, etc.
If you are among those people who aren’t able to afford a cell phone at this moment then we have good news for you. The Federal Government has decided to offer free smartphones to specific people through the Lifeline Assistance Program of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Now, in this post, we are going to discuss how one can get a free cell phone from the government. So let’s get started.
What is the Lifeline Assistance Program?
The Lifeline Assistance Program has the main aim to cover Americans who have an income below 135% of the federal poverty line. This program also covers the elderly citizens of the country as well as physically disabled people that meet certain criteria of the government.
In order to qualify for this program and to get a free cell phone you have to make sure that you or either your family member is participating in the following programs:
- Veterans Pension & Survivors Benefit
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) or erstwhile Food Stamps Program
- Tribal Programs for people living in tribal lands are recognized by the Federal Government.
In order to provide free cell phones to deserving citizens, the Government of the United States has partnered up with different mobile phone companies across the United States of America. Within these partnerships, you will be able to get yourself a free mobile phone device, along with limited mobile services such as free Internet, etc. This means you don’t have to pay for the Internet as well (but there is a certain limit).
One thing to notice is that the type of device and the mobile phone operator you will receive totally depends upon the state in which you are living. That is why to provide for people nationwide, there are a lot of companies that are doing tie-ups with the government for the Lifeline Assistance Program for several states of the US.
The choice of mobile phone and the operating plans you will receive will be restricted and totally dependent on your location. In rare cases, you might have to pay some amount to get the mobile device, but it is quite low.
Free Cell Phone Plans from the US Government
I have to admit one thing, you will not find any major cell phone providers or new iPhone smartphones in the Lifeline Assistance Program, however, that doesn’t mean you aren’t eligible for a discount on a reliable network. There are a lot of cell phone providers that provide free SIM Kits as well.
Following is a list of some carriers that are eligible for the Lifeline Assistance Program:
- Assurance Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
- SafetyNet Wireless
- StandUp Wireless
- Cintex Wireless
- Life Wireless
- NewPhone Wireless
- Q Link
How to Apply for a Free Cell Phone from the Government?
There are a lot of methods that can be used to apply in order to get a free Cell Phone from the Federal Government. However before you proceed to the application, it is important to check even if you qualify for a free cell phone or not. Following are a few methods to apply in order to get a free cell phone from the Government.
Method – 1: Applying Online for a Free Cell Phone
The first method is to apply online in order to get a free cell phone from the government. This process is quite easy, follow the short steps mentioned below.
- First of all, head towards this link.
- Here on this page, you will see an option to select your state. Choose your state of residence.
- After entering your state, the website will then ask about some specific details, for example you will be asked about your income as well as the other important criteria to prove whether you are qualified for the Lifeline Assistance Program or not.
Method – 2: Applying through Mail Application
The second method involves applying for the Lifeline Assistance Program Cell Phone by sending your application via mail. The forms that are required to apply for a free cell phone can be accessed online and downloaded as well.
These forms are available both in the English language and Spanish language. For this method, you will have to submit your proof of income and other eligibility criteria to prove that you are qualified to get a free cell phone from the government.
Method – 3: Applying Directly to the Mobile Phone Providers
The third method is to apply for a free cell phone directly by contacting the mobile phone companies. This method is quite fast and an easy approach. The reason why it is faster is that these companies are the direct partners of the government.
For this method, firstly you have to check which mobile phone companies are providing free mobile phones in your area. Here is a list of some providers.
After that, you will have to submit your ZIP code and the state in which you are residing currently. When you have done that, the website will show you display operators that are near your area so that you can apply directly for a free cell phone.
Please keep in mind that every mobile phone operator comes with its own unique rules for offering a free cell phone in the Lifeline Assistance Program. Some of the companies also offer a small fee while other companies charge a minimum subscription. There are also some companies that offer phones for free.
Make Sure to Verify your Documents
Before you head towards the operators to get your free cell phone, make sure that you are qualified for the free phone and that all of your documents are verified by the relevant agencies and service providers.
Make sure not to make false claims or fake any documents. This can lead you to bigger issues which might result in your disqualification from getting a free cell phone. Also if you fake anything you might have to go through the legal process.
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