What Are The Best Free Government Phone Plans

A mobile phone is an essential communication tool that lets you keep in touch with friends and relatives and contact emergency services. The government recognises that some Americans do not have the budget to pay for a phone plan, which puts them at a disadvantage. To ensure that every American has access to basic phone services, the government has partnered with mobile carriers to offer affordable phone plans through the Lifeline Program and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Lifeline program enables low-income families to get free government plans that feature free minutes, free texts, and free data.

With the government Lifeline and ACP programs, you can get benefits of up to $35 per month or up to $75 for households on tribal lands to pay for your monthly phone bill. You will have to apply and meet the requirements to qualify for the benefits. In this article, we look at the best free government phone plans and how to apply.

Which Are The Best Free Government Phone Plans

The free government phone plans make it easy for the jobless and people with low income to afford a phone and get free minutes, texts and data. People already receiving government Lifeline programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Tribal-specific programs are eligible for the free government phone plans. You may also qualify for government benefits if your household income is below 135 percent of the federal poverty guideline.

The best free government phone plans largely depend on individual needs. Some carriers offer unlimited minutes and texts while others include data as part of the free phone plans. You may also get a free smartphone or a discounted handset with some mobile carriers. Furthermore, the free mobile phone carriers offer competitive features like data rollover, Wi-Fi hotspot, nationwide calling, and 4G and 5G network technology to their customers.

Best Free Government Phone Plans

Some of the best free government phone plans to consider include:

1. Safelink wireless

Safelink Wireless is the oldest and biggest provider of free government phones. It currently offers its services in over 40 states that includes Arkansas, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Delaware, Hawaii, Georgia, Illinois, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, and Louisiana. Safelink Wireless is also available in Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, and New York. Other states where you may use Safelink Wireless free government phone plans include Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, Tennesee, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Utah, West Virginia, Washington D.C., Washington, and Wisconsin.

Safelink Wireless offers a free smartphone and a SIM card to individuals who qualify for the government lifeline program. The free talk minutes, texts, and data vary by state. Safelink Wireless customers in California get unlimited minutes and 6GB of data per month. Customers in other states get 1000 free minutes and 6GB of data per month. Customers who qualify for ACP may get free unlimited data and a free smartphone. The ACP plan also features free calls to Canada and Mexico and up to 15GB of Hotspot data with a free smartphone.

Highlights

  • Unlimited minutes
  • Unlimited texts
  • 6GB of data
  • Free SIM card
  • Up to 15GB of hotspot data
  • Free smartphone

2. Access Wireless

Access Wireless provides its phone services over the Sprint network, which ensures availability in most states. You may consider the Access Wireless free government phone plans if you are living in Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa, Louisiana, Kansas, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, Michigan, Nevada, and Minnesota. Access Wireless is also a reliable Lifeline provider in Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, New York, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C.

Access Wireless free government phone plans come with unlimited minutes, free unlimited text, and 6GB of data every month for customers in California. Customers who qualify for ACP may get unlimited voice, unlimited data, and unlimited text.

Highlights

  • Free unlimited talk
  • Free unlimited text
  • 6GB of data
  • Free unlimited data with ACP

3. Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless operates on the Sprints network, which ensures fast speeds and quality connections. You may consider Assurance Wireless free phone plans if you are living in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, California, Delaware, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, and Kentucky. Assurance Wireless also has good coverage in Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oregon, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Utah, Washington, Tennessee, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

Assurance Wireless lifeline phone plans vary by state. Customers in California get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 500MB of data. Customers in other states get 350 minutes, unlimited texts, and varying free monthly data. Assurance Wireless customers who qualify for ACP can get free unlimited data, free unlimited minutes, free unlimited text, and a free android smartphone. You also get 10GB of hotspot data.

Highlights

  • Free android smartphone
  • Free unlimited data
  • Free unlimited texts
  • Free unlimited minutes
  • Free 10GB of hotspot data

4. Q Link Wireless

Q Link Wireless runs on the expansive Sprint network, which ensures quality phone services in most states. You may consider Q Link Wireless among the best free government phone plans if you are living in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Colorado, Indiana, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, and Maryland. Q Link free phone plans are also available in Minnesota, Nevada, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington.

Q Link wireless is the best lifeline carrier if you want a provider that does not have activation fees or credit checks. Q Link provides its customers with 1000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 4.5GB of data with a free phone. Customers who qualify for the ACP benefits get unlimited minutes, unlimited data, and unlimited text. Furthermore, Q Link Wireless customers in certain states can access a plan that offers rollover of unused minutes to the next month. The carrier also rewards its customers with 100 free minutes for every customer they refer who gets a phone.

Highlights

  • 4.5GB of data or unlimited data with ACP
  • 1000 minutes or unlimited talk with ACP
  • Unlimited text
  • Free SIM card activation
  • New tablet

5. enTouch Wireless

enTouch Wireless is a good option if you are looking for a carrier that runs on the best network in the country. It operates on the Verizon Wireless network, which allows you to access the largest 4G and 5G networks in the country. enTouch Wireless provides free phone plans in Arizona, California, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

You may also consider enTouch Wireless free phone plans if you are in Michigan, Maryland, Mississippi, Minnesota, Nevada, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Puerto Rico. Other states where you can access enTouch Wireless include Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Washington, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Wisconsin.

enTouch Wireless has some of the best offers for people living in the Tribal area in California. California customers can choose between three plans. You can select the plan with free unlimited minutes, unlimited text messages, and 4.5GB of data. The second plan offers unlimited minutes and texts and 6GB of data while the third plan comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 8GB of data. The carrier further offers a free phone. Customers who qualify for ACP get free unlimited text, unlimited minutes, unlimited minutes, and free international calling.

Highlights

  • Free unlimited minutes
  • Free unlimited texts
  • Up to 11GB of data
  • Free international calling
  • Free unlimited data with ACP

6. Life Wireless

Life Wireless has some of the best speeds among the free government phone plan providers. It uses AT&T towers to offer its services, which ensures some of the best upload and download speeds. Customers also benefit from the large 4G and 5G network coverage. You can consider Life Wireless if you are living in California, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Kansas, Michigan, Maryland, Minnesota, Maine, Missouri, North Dakota, and Nevada.

You may also access Life Wireless free phone plans in Oklahoma, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Utah, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

Life Wireless free plans come with unlimited talk and unlimited text. You may also qualify for unlimited data and up to 5GB of hotspot data. Customers may further get a free phone or bring their phone. Life Wireless customers in California get free activation, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 6GB of data or unlimited data with the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Highlights

  • Free activation
  • Free unlimited minutes
  • Free unlimited texts
  • Up to 6GB of data
  • Free unlimited data with ACP
  • 5GB of hotspot data

7. Assist Wireless

Assist Wireless offers its services on both Sprint and T-Mobile networks, which ensures good network coverage with high-speed connections and downloads. Assist Wireless has the best free government phone plans for people living in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Maryland. The carrier has some of the best data plans. You may qualify for free unlimited data, unlimited talk, unlimited text, and a free phone.

Assist Wireless free phone plans have unlimited talk, text, and 10GB of data for customers in Arkansas and Missouri. Customers in Maryland get free unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 10GB of data for a limited offer or 4.5GB of data. The carrier further has some of the lowest refill prices. You can add 100MB of data or 100 minutes at $4.

Highlights

  • Free unlimited minutes
  • Free unlimited texts
  • Up to 12GB of free data
  • Free unlimited data for tribal lands
  • A free phone
  • Low refill prices

8. TruConnect Wireless

TruConnect Wireless is one of the best lifeline providers that service Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. TruConnect services are also available in Alabama, Nebraska, Nevada, Arizona, Arkansas, New Hampshire, California, New Jersey, Colorado, New Mexico, Connecticut, New York, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and North Dakota.

You may also access TruConnect phone plans in Ohio, Idaho, Oklahoma, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Rhode Island, Iowa, South Carolina, Kansas, South Dakota, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Maine, Utah, Maryland, and Vermont. Other locations include Massachusetts, Virginia, Michigan, Washington, Minnesota, West Virginia, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Missouri, Wyoming, and Montana.  

TruConnect Wireless offers both lifeline and ACP benefits. Eligible customers in California get unlimited talk and text, free international calling, a free smartphone, and up to 14GB of monthly data.

Highlights

  • Free unlimited minutes
  • Free unlimited text
  • Up to 14GB of data
  • Free smartphone

How Can I Qualify for a Free Government Phone Plan

The government offers free phone plans through the Lifeline and ACP programs. You will have to qualify for the Lifeline program to call friends, text, or browse for free. Qualifying for ACP further allows you to get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited data, and a free smartphone. You may qualify for the free government phone plans if you are a participant in any of the following programs;

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • SNAP
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • National School Breakfast and Lunch Program

Bottom Line

Low income or being jobless should not prevent you from calling your friends, relatives, or applying for jobs. You only need to find the carrier with the best free government phone plans in your location to call, text, and browse at no cost. You may also qualify for a free smartphone. However, you will have to meet the Lifeline program and ACP eligibility conditions to enjoy the free government phone plans.

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People Also Ask

Which Carrier Has The Best Free Government Phone Plans?

All lifeline carriers in this list, including Safelink, Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Q Link Wireless, enTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Assist Wireless, and TruConnect Wireless offer some of the best free government phone plans. However, they all have unique aspects that make them stand out. Most carriers offer unlimited texts and unlimited minutes, but they differ in the available data. TruConnect plan has the best data offer of 14GB with Assist Wireless offering 12GB of data and enTouch offering 11GB of data.

Can I Get a Free Phone With The Free Government Phone Plans?

Yes. Some lifeline carriers offer new customers a new smartphone with free activation in addition to free minutes, text, and data. Some of the carriers you can apply to get a free government phone include TruConnect, Assist Wireless, Assurance Wireless, and Safelink Wireless.

Can I Add Minutes and Data to a Free Government Phone Plan?

Yes. Lifeline carriers allow you to top data and minutes if you exhaust your plan before the end month.