Cell phones are part and parcel of our daily lives. At the very least, you will need a cell phone for text messaging, calling and data services. What’s more, cell phones play an important role when it comes to connecting us with friends and family. Regardless of distance, you can easily text message your loved ones or call to check on them.
Free government cell phones have made it possible for people who can’t afford phones to enjoy life. Given the digital age we live in, cell phones have become an important aspect of our lives not only in communication but myriad other functions such as reading the weather, news updates, listening to podcasts, taking photos and videos among a range of other activities.
Are there any questions around free government phones troubling you? If so, then worry no more. Today, we will set everything straight so that you don’t have to live with doubts anymore. We will provide you with information on some of the most troubling questions when it comes to these kind of phones. So, keep reading on to discover more!
The 20 Best free government cell phones
Are Free Phones Really Free?
Often, the word free is usually coupled with doubts about the product or service being a hoax. With this kind of fear and lack of information, some Americans remain confused about whether free government cell phones are really free. There shouldn’t be any course for fear or alarm whatsoever. As a matter of fact, 15 million Americans are currently using free phone cell services offered by the government.
If you are new to the program, you need not worry, and if you qualify, then it’s easy to become a beneficiary of the program. Initially, the program was referred to as Lifeline Assistance before being named a free government cell phone service. What this means for you is that you will be able to acquire a free cell that will enable you to communicate to your loved ones without breaking a sweat. The program has been operational in 49 states including Washington and spreading to parts of South America such as Puerto Rico.
Currently, many of these free phone companies operate at both the regional and national level and are recognized by the state. Getting to enroll in one of their programs or services should be a no-brainer for you.
Who Qualifies for a Free Government Cell Phone?
The Federal State Government in the US has some strict regulations regarding the acquisition and use of free government cell phones. As you will come to note, not everyone qualifies for this free cell phone service. The free government cell phone comes with 250 – 1000 of unlimited minutes for voice calls and unlimited texting every month.
If you qualify for free phone service, you won’t be charged any cost for both the service and phone. In most cases, these free cell phone companies are the ones that do the vetting and approval of people who qualify for their services. The regulations and qualification criteria set by the Federal State Government are more or less similar in every state. On the most part, you will be eligible for free cell phones if you fit in any of these Federal government programs.
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This program is administered by the social security administration. Beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income program include persons who are disabled, old-aged people, 65 years and above and orphans who can’t sufficiently take care of themselves because of a low income. The program serves 8 million Americans currently, and the rising figures are not stopping soon.
Requirements for Proof of Membership
To show proof of membership into this program, you will need to submit a check stub from SSI. Ensure that the check stub states clearly the name of the beneficiary and the date of issue. Other pieces of information that should not be missing in the SSI documentation include the program name, the participant’s name, date of application, address and the award amount you will need.
If you come from a low-income family, this program, offered by both the state and federal government suits you best. Medicaid gives medical assistance in the form of nursing homes and personal assistance services to beneficiaries of this program. Medicaid has one hell of a record if we go by its sheer dominance in the United States. Their program caters for people of all ages by providing them with a health insurance cover. The program currently serves close to 47 million Americans.
Requirements for Proof of Membership
For you to benefit from the Medicaid program, you will need to provide documentation showing proof of membership. The documentation should include your name, the state you reside in, the date of issue and the agency or state name you got the card from.
• Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP is a government manned program under FNS – Food and Nutrition Service. Key beneficiaries of this program include families with a low-income generation and reside in the United States. Figuratively, the program covers to a tune of 44. 2 million Americans. Each beneficiary of the program takes home an average of $125.51 on a monthly.
Requirements for Proof of Membership
To show proof of membership, you will need to have a certificate with the name of the program written on it. Also, details of the beneficiary should be clearly indicated on the certificate such as name, address and the date the certificate was issued to you to qualify for the free government cell phones.
• Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
This Federal government program is coordinated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It provides financial assistance and also caters for food, shelter, clothing and utility expenses of Indian American families. The program has an Individual Self-Sufficiency Plan that is updated often by a social worker as required.
Requirements for Proof of Membership
BIA requires that you provide them with documentation to show proof of membership. Alternatively, you could provide them with the ISP. This is more direct evidence to show that you are a beneficiary of the assistance plan. Like any normal documentation, your name and date shouldn’t be missing on the document.
• Public Housing Assistance (Federal, Section 8)
This program is under the US Department – Housing and Urban Development. It serves to subsidize the rent of low-income families. 4.8 million Americans benefit from this program. Families that need the assistance or service of the Federal Public Housing Assistance will need to avail a monthly voucher under the Housing Choice Voucher Program. You can get up to about $2000 monthly once you avail this program.
Requirements for Proof of Membership
There are two documents that you can use to show proof of membership to PHA. One is an award letter obtained from a Public Housing agency. There are no limits as to which PHA you should obtain the award letter. The other document you could present to show proof of membership is the Public Housing Assistance Lease Agreement. This document clearly states the credit issued by a member and therefore gives proof of membership by virtue of your pay. All said, an award letter should include names of the program, beneficiary, and the amount awarded.
• Tribal Head Start
Tribal Head Start program is reserved for Indian American families that have a low monthly income. The program has a laser focus on preschool kids from the age of 3-5 years. The program discharges its services based on the three pillars of emotional, social and mental development. This is done by ensuring support to key programs that affect the kids such as education, health, literacy, and parental engagement.
Requirements for Proof of Membership
To offer proof of membership, you will need to avail a membership letter or show enrollment confirmation bearing the name of the child.
• Veteran’s Pension and Survivors Benefit
This is tax-free cash assistance that is offered by the government monthly to the following groups of people affiliated to deceased war veterans.
- A surviving spouse
- Unmarried children
A Veteran who has served for a period less than 24 months in the military and has also never taken part in a military war for at least a day is not eligible to be in the Veteran’s Pension and Survivors Benefit. For children to acquire membership in the program, they shouldn’t be attending any Veteran Affairs institution under 23 years of age. Additionally, if you are a child of a deceased veteran and incapable of supporting self or disabled, you can enlist for the services of this program. No age has been specified for the un-remarried spouse regarding the program.
Requirements for Proof of Membership
Proof of membership into this program requires that you show documentation that qualifies you as a war veteran beneficiary. You can also present a receipt of the following letters to be considered for free government cell phones.
1. Cost of living adjustment Letter
It shows the history of payments that are being disbursed to the beneficiary on a monthly, semi-annual or annual basis. The letter should include an effective payment date.
2. Pension Grant Letter
This letter shows the address, the start date of your payments, and monthly subsidiary amount.
3. Survivor’s Benefits Summary Letter
Details of this letter include the veteran’s name, claim number, and the monthly payment of the survivor. The letter is usually issued after one has been certified for a pension.
• Tribal TANF (Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
Tribal TANF program is reserved for Indian American families with a low income. Aid is provided the form of potential jobs, child care assistance, and work preparation. To qualify, you must be living near the Indian reservation, be jobless or about to become one.
Requirements for Proof of Membership
To show membership, you will need an award letter with the names of the program and beneficiary, your address and the date the award letter was issued.
• FDPIR or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
FDPIR program also targets low-income Indian American families living in Indian reservations. This includes the five state agencies and areas. It’s estimated that 276 certified tribes now qualify for this program. Also, an estimated 85,400 individuals are serving in this program.
Requirements for Proof of Membership
You will need three documents to ascertain your proof of membership. These documents include award letters, FDPIR participation documents, and you will also require a letter from the administering agency showing participation in FDPIR. To top that up, all the letters should have an opening and a closing including telephone number, date, and the name of the beneficiary eligible for the program.
Besides government programs, there are also state-controlled programs that can make you eligible under the Lifeline Assistance Program. These programs are state tied and can only be offered to a particular state. California is one of the biggest US states that features these programs. These programs include:
- California Healthy Families Program
- Women, Infants and Children Program
- National School Lunch Program
- California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to kids
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Greater Avenues for Independence Gain
- Welfare to Work
Can Seniors Get Free Cell Phones?
Senior citizens are also in need of free cell phones just as the young population needs them. Almost always, seniors find themselves deserted and alone. Given that most of them have no income to afford a cell phone, a free cell phone would be the next best thing to offer them. The Federal and state government know this full well. This explains the existence of Lifeline Assistance Programs that cater to old age citizens 65 years of age and above such as the Supplemental Security Income. To seniors, a free cell phone is necessary given the life emergencies that may occur when no one is available.
But before acquiring the free cell phones, senior citizens will need to check their eligibility with the different life assistance programs offered by the federal government. They may also qualify for free cell phones by virtue of living in a nursing home or a homeless shelter. Seniors must also make sure to provide the necessary documentation that will make them qualify for free cell phones.
With the record set straight, let’s look at some of the leading cell phone service providers in the US offering free government phone:
The 20 Best Free Government Cell Phone Companies
1) Q-Link Wireless
Q link is a prominent free government smartphones provider. Q link offers services to states like Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Lowa, Kansas and many more. If you are a qualified resident, you get a basic plan of 500 voice minutes and unlimited texting each month. Besides that, there are other three plans, which offer few domestic minutes as per your need. Generally, plans vary from state to state, and for you to know the plans, you can visit their website for full clarification.
The good thing about Q link Wireless is that there are no activation fees, no credit checks, and short-term contracts. If you wish to buy more Q link minutes or add data, there are 20 different add on packages. This provider also offers a bonus program. If you refer your friends, you get 100 bonus minutes for each qualified friend you recommend and is approved for the free government cell phones. Are you looking for Qlink wireless phone upgrade?
2) Verizon Wireless
If you live New York, Lowa, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, this may be one of the free government cell phones of your choice. Verizon Wireless is currently participating in the Lifeline cell phone program in a very limited capacity. This means that some costs may be incurred when you enroll in the program. However, the subsidized benefit makes Smartphones more affordable for low-income families.
The programs have some restrictions like one lifeline per household; services are not transferable to one person when you run over the allocated time, they charge you 45 cents per minute and clients must undergo a strict procedure to prove their eligibility. When you violate these rules, you can be banned from getting any lifeline benefits. Here is top 10 Verizon Wireless Free Government phone.
3) Assurance Wireless
This is a free government Smartphone provider under Sprint/Nextel Company. The provider is available in 41 states and seeks to improve the coverage to be on par with the competitors. Assurance wireless free government Smartphone offers a variety of plans depending on your state. In California, where residents are the most populous, gets the best deal of all. You get unlimited talk time, unlimited text and free 500 MB of data. In other places, you get 350 minutes of voice, unlimited text messages, and free monthly data.
Currently, Assurance Wireless is second largest company which provides Smartphones. For you to qualify, you must be on a free government assistance program or have a household income of between 135%-150% of the federal poverty level. To apply, you can apply via online or call the Assurance wireless Smartphone number for clarification. Are you looking for Assurance Wireless Compatible Phone 2020?
4) SafeLink Wireless
Safe link is the largest and oldest company that offers free government smartphones over the years. Currently, it has gained attention with millions of Americans in over 40 states who find the platform very efficient. SafeLink gives you an offer to enjoy a free Smartphone or free Sim card depending on the qualification. In California, you can opt for a free sim card and get unlimited minutes and 1 GB of data per month. If you wish to have a free government Smartphone, SafeLink offers you unlimited minutes and 2 GB of data per month.
Other states are also not left behind, for a free sim card, you get 1000 free minutes and 1.5 GB of data per month or a free Smartphone, 1000 free minutes and 1.0 GB per month. If you run out of minutes, that should not worry you. TracFone Airtime cards are available in some retail stores like Amazon, Wal-Mart, CVS, Kmart, Target, and Radio Shack and through online means. Do you like to read abut SafeLink Compatible Phones In 2020.
5) Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile offers some of the best and cheap mobile plan services in the USA. The company has amazing home plans which may be very suitable for everyone. If you wish to join the network, ensure that it provides good coverage in your home area. The company has amazing rates in line with hotspot tethering. The highest plan is the $60 unlimited plan that customers get the chance of unlimited HD streaming with 20GB mobile data under 4G LTE networks.
On top of that, Boos Mobile gives you unlimited GB for $100 per month when you have four Sim Cards. If you wish to get a free government phone, this may not be the best option. However, Boost Mobile offers promotions where people can get free non-government smartphones where monthly costs may be incurred. If you wish to get the phones, check out their websites to find more details about their promotions and more about Boost Mobile Plans with Free Phones 2020.
6) Access Wireless
Access Wireless is becoming a major producer of free government smartphones. They offer lifeline assistance to places like Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware and states within the proximity. In all states apart from California, you get a free Smartphone, 250 voice minutes and unlimited texts per month. The plans may vary based on your state and what you may be looking for.
In access wireless, there are two types of plans, the Free Talk Text & Data plan where you get 500mb data, unlimited texts and 100 voice minutes per month. The other plan is a free talk and & Text plan where you get 500 free voice minutes, 50MB data and unlimited messages. The plans vary according to what you prefer either which may be surfing the internet or minimal data needs.
7) American Assistance
One unique fact about this company is that it offers full nationwide coverage. It is the brand name of the Lifeline assistance free government Smartphone offered by America Broadband and Telecommunications. American Assistance is currently working on making free government cell phones available to 16 states to boost its coverage. Once you get a free Smartphone, you get 500 free monthly minutes, 500 free text messages and 1GB monthly data.
The good thing about American assistance is that it has clearly stated that the phone is free. There are no monthly bills, no purchase necessary and most of all, no contracts. If you think the plan may not suit you, American Assistance offers you the chance to purchase additional offers. You can find this on their official website. In terms of eligibility to get free government smartphones, it will vary from state to state. Generally, they will offer you a phone if you participate in some government aid programs.
8) Assist Wireless
Assist wireless, famously known, as the Obama phone is a recent entry to the Lifeline assistance free government Smartphone market place. They began their venture in Maryland, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The smartphones are 100% free in Maryland and Arkansas, but in other states, you may have to pay as little as $1 per month. In the free zones, you get 500 minutes of talk time and 500 texts per month. Here they do not offer free data. If interested, you may purchase free data at a cost.
Those living in Oklahoma but are not on Tribal lands get the same free plans like other states. However, they are given the option to upgrade their plans with more data, voice minutes and texts. These options may be found on their website. Those living in Oklahoma tribal lands get better plans with less cost incurred if they wish to upgrade. To qualify, your household income should be below 135%-150% of the poverty level, or you should have participated in Government assistance programs.
9) enTouch Wireless
enTouch wireless is rapidly becoming a household name in the Lifeline assistance business. The company has so far made free government smartphones available to 20 states. The provider gives amazing deals to California residents living on tribal lands. On other states, you get moderate deals, which you can upgrade, at a very low cost. For California, there are three plans; 500 minutes plan inclusive of 100 texts and 10 MB data then there is 500 MB plan inclusive of 100 talk and text platforms.
For those living in tribal lands, they get 750 MB plan, unlimited texts and talk time. To enroll to enTouch Wireless, you can call them, send an email or visit their designated centers in some states. To qualify, the household income should be between 135-150%, and you should be on government assistance programs. Are you looking for enTouch Wireless free government phone?
10) Infiniti Mobile
Infiniti is prominent among the Oklahoma residents. It does business only in Oklahoma so all the applicants should be Oklahoma residents. In Oklahoma, the policy for getting a free government Smartphone requires the user to pay a small amount of fee, unlike other states. Infiniti Mobile offers two plans; the Oklahoma Lifeline 1000 Plus plan and Oklahoma Lifeline unlimited plan.
The first one offers you 1700 texts, 1500 talk time and 500 MB data per month all at the cost of $1.0 per month. This includes taxes and fees. The lifeline unlimited plan gives you unlimited voice minutes, unlimited texts and 2.5 GB of data per month at the cost of $1 per month. You can apply for the Infiniti mobile by filling out an application form on their website or visiting their retail offices in Tulsa. To qualify, they consider the household income and federal assistance programs. Here is Comcast cable for low income families.
11) Terracom Wireless
Terracom wireless offers its service to nine states. The free government smartphones and airtime are available to those with low income or under government assistance programs. The plans vary on where you live. For those living in Oklahoma, the plans are slightly different from other states so you can consult them for full clarification. All other states excluding Oklahoma non-tribal, Kansas and Missouri get 500 voice minutes and unlimited text messages per month.
For Tribal residents in Oklahoma get 1000 talk time, unlimited texts and 500 MB data. Oklahoma Non-tribal, Kansas and Missouri residents get 500 minutes of calls and unlimited messages. In all these offers, there is no rollover airtime at the end of the month. This means that unused data, texts and minutes expire at the end of the month.
TruConnect offers services to California, Texas, Nevada, Kansas, Missouri, and Kentucky. Like other major providers, they give better deals to California due to high reimbursement levels. In California, customers get unlimited voice and text platforms and 500 MB of data. Depending on the availability, you may receive one of the three different Smartphones with a 3.5-inch display.
TruConnect also gives you a 200 minutes talk time in Mexico City. In other states, you will get unlimited texting, 100 minutes talk time and 500 MB of data. For you to qualify. It may depend in the state you are in and household income. On top of that, the person should be enrolled in government aid programs. TruConnect may be a small name but the company is behind the name Stalwarts a leading provider of the free government cell phones.
13) SafetyNet Wireless
SafetyNet offers free government Smartphones and free minutes to qualifying American residents. To qualify, you must be under the Lifeline assistance program. SafetyNet is currently available in California, Kentucky, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. In the near future, more states are expected to be added. In California, you get the most of SafetyNet wireless. The company gives you four plans which you can choose from.
If you wish to get free international SMS, the customer should be activated to SafetyNet GSM network and with compatible devices. Unfortunately, in other States, the companies do not get favorable plans. For Lifeline Basic, you get 750 voice minutes and 500 texts per month, but there is no data plan. If the customer may wish to get the best of SafetyNet, then he/ she should be ready to incur some additional costs. The government free Smartphone is offered to those of low income and those under the federal assistance program.
14) True Wireless
True Wireless offers free government phones in four states. These include Maryland, Oklahoma, Kansas, Rhode Island, and Texas. The provider offers a plan of 500 units of talk time and Texts. Each call counts as one unit, and each text counts as three. But if you live in Oklahoma Tribal land, it might still be an incredible deal. In addition to your free government Smartphone, you will get unlimited everything ranging from calls texts and data. In other states, the budget plan which is free offers you 500 MB data and 500 Minutes or texts. If you wish to enroll, you can visit their website or call them for full information.
15) Tag Mobile
Tag Phone offers free government smartphones to 19 States across the US. In California, the client gets a Smartphone, unlimited minutes on voice, unlimited texting and 2 GB of data. In other states, the person gets 750 free voice minutes, unlimited texts and 1 GB data. You will only play a role in bringing your own Smartphone. In California, the Lifeline program may vary depending on if you use a Tag mobile –supplied Smartphone or a Tag Mobile SIM for the phone which you already have.
If you get a SIM plan, Tag Mobile gives you a free 2GB month. If you apply for the Smartphone plan, you get 1GB of data every month. The qualification process varies with the Federal poverty guidelines. To contact them, the client can visit their website or call them which is very efficient.
16) Cintex Wireless
Cintex Wireless is a small service provider but plays a big role especially in the Northeast of America. Cintex offers its services to five states, which are, Arkansas, Maine, Maryland, West Virginia, and Rhode Island. The company offers an amazing free plans for all the residents living in those areas. Those who qualify for the free government cell phones are given 1000 free minutes unlimited texts and 1 GB data. For one to qualify he/she should be of low income which is 135% below the poverty level and the proof is required for this.
On top of that, food stamps, Low-income energy assistance plan among other requirements should be fulfilled to get these plans. If you wish to enroll, first compare it with other free government Smartphone providers in your area. If Cintex is the best choice for you, then you can enroll in their plans. To apply for their services, you can fill out an online application form or call them for full details about what they have to offer.
17) Easy Wireless
Easy Wireless is a free lifeline government Smartphone provider that you should check if you live in particular states. The states include Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Missouri. For Oklahoma residents, they get 2250 minutes, unlimited texts and 50 MB data only for $1 per month. In other States, plans may vary so before you enroll, you should do a check-up to ensure the plans suit you. For Oklahoma, the plans vary between Tribal and Non-Tribal plans.
In Kentucky and Missouri, the plans vary between Tribal and Non-Tribal. For you to qualify, there are some legal standards that the federal government may consider. This may range from the aid programs, your household income which should meet a certain poverty level in the area you live in. Once you are interested, you can submit the application form via email or call them to know if you qualify.
As per its name, TelAlaska offers its services to residents in Alaska only. The lifeline assistance program. The company offers you a free government Smartphone, unlimited texting and 400 minutes for long distance calls, free nationwide text messaging plan. If you have some doubt about this company, you should eliminate some of it. TelAlaska began 40 years ago and is a statewide telecommunications company. In their website, they have disclosed limited information on what they have to offer, but it is worth the try.
To be qualified for a Government free Smartphone, you should have met the federal requirements, which are in line with TelAlaska wireless. On top of that, before anyone wishes to enroll, do some research about the company and compare it with other service providers in your area to get the best offer. You can email them to get some deep details on their plans.
19) H2O Wireless
H2O Wireless does not reveal so much info to the public. However, if you wish to enroll, there are two types of plans that are monthly and pay as you go plan. These plans come at accost which I will help you break down. For the first plan, you get 500 MB of 4G LTE data with free text and calls across the State for only $20. If you wish to make international calls, a $10 will be charged per month for international talk credit.
The second plan calls are credited with 2.5 cents per minute and the same for texts. If you wish to increase your plan, you can do this by visiting their website and get full clarifications of what they have to offer. Otherwise, you can look for a dealer who works as independent contractors under their company name.
20) Pure Talk
Pure Talk is a leading provider of no-contract affordable mobile phone services. They are located in most parts of the country hence giving an appropriate outreach to anyone who wishes to have a phone. Recently, Pure Talk introduced a new unlimited plus plan which has the following; unlimited cost, unlimited texts, multimedia messages and 2GB of data per month.
This plan is very convenient for users who may wish to have a lot of talk time. Other plans include the simple plan for only $5 per month for 80 minutes. Other plans are Flex plan, Family flex plan, and the unlimited plus plan which gives you various options.
Mobile phone service providers partnering with the Lifeline Assistance program provide you with plans which have different features. This means that the free government cell phones plan in your state can be different from what’s offered in another state. The difference can be attributed to the various geographical features as well as FTC regulations.
Some service providers offer services in certain states only while some offer in more than one state. Being a smart consumer, you are, begin by comparing the pros and cons of each of the providers available in your area to find a suitable government supported plan that meets your requirements.