Are you looking for a Cricket Wireless free government phone? The Cricket network carrier provides free phones to qualifying families through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Lifeline Assistance Program. In addition, the Government provides a subsidy, which covers the cost of the telephone and wireless services.
During its initial years, qualifying low-income families would get a landline connection, but now they give free mobile phones through participating network carriers. Thus, the Cricket Wireless free government phone is based on one qualifying for Lifeline Assistance.
In addition to a free phone, low-income families can also get free or discounted data, talk, and messaging plans via the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). In addition, subscribers have access to 4G LTE nationwide coverage and 5G in select locations on the Cricket Wireless network.
The Lifeline Assistance Program accepts only eligible households meeting certain gross income thresholds. One can find out their eligibility status via the National Verifier. In addition, the Lifeline Program provides one wired or wireless phone per family.
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers the Lifeline Program and helps consumers apply for it. Consumers can access the Lifeline eligibility requirements and carry out annual recertification through the USAC website.
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The Government introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) in 2022 to replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. It is an initiative of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) targeting low-income households with free or affordable call, messaging, and internet services.
Even though the ACP has the most significant discounts, it’s possible to enroll in both the Lifeline and ACP programs.
How to Qualify for a Cricket Wireless Free Government Phone Via Lifeline Assistance
There’s a stringent eligibility criterion for those wishing to enroll in Lifeline Assistance or ACP programs. Even if they have no relations, any group living together forms a household. A household can qualify for Lifeline Assistance if they live in a home with 135% of prevailing Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Alternatively, at least one member of the house should participate in any of the following assistance programs:
- Federal House Assistance
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Head Start
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Application for a Cricket Wireless free government phone happens through the National Verifier, an application system established by the FCC under USAC. The National Verifier verifies individuals’ eligibility for Lifeline Assistance and recertifies older members annually.
Once approved for the program, applicants can go to Companies Near Me and select Cricket Wireless from a list of Lifeline providers.
Applications can also be made directly via the Cricket Wireless network. You can apply in-store at any Cricket Wireless destination or download the application form. The applicant then sends a complete application with evidence of participation in one government assistance program.
Cricket Wireless Phone and Internet Discounts
Apart from getting a Cricket Wireless free government phone, eligible households also get discounts on their phone and internet services. The discount level depends on which eligibility criteria one used to gain entry into the program.
Here are the different ways Cricket Wireless applies the discount on their customers’ phone and internet services:
- Cricket Wireless More: $10 per month for unlimited calls and data and 15GB for a mobile hotspot after a $60 discount. Auto Pay single-line customers pay $5. Besides, subscribers get 150GB of cloud storage, HBO Max, 480p video streaming, and unlimited texts to 37 countries.
- Cricket Wireless Core: $5 per month for unlimited calls, texts, and data after a $55 discount. Auto Pay Single-line customers get this for free. This package includes restricted calls to Mexico and Canada and unlimited tests to 37 countries.
- Cricket Wireless Simply Data: $5 per month for 100GB of high-speed internet for a $35 discount. New Cricket Wireless accounts can also make calls to Mexico and Canada via this package.
Getting a Cricket Wireless free government phone is as simple as applying and qualifying for the Lifeline Assistance or Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Through the National Verifier, you can check your eligibility status to know if you are eligible for the program.
Under the program, a household can only have one phone at a time. Once every year, the household needs recertification through the National Verifier. Families that get recertified can continue receiving Cricket Wireless discounted phone and data services while those that don’t get disqualified.