Are you a financially disadvantaged resident of Arizona and cannot afford a good phone? Don’t worry; there are two specific programs that you can sign up for to get a free government phone in Arizona. The first is the Lifeline, and the second is ACP (Affordable Connectivity Program).
The Federal Government and Arizona State fully fund the Lifeline and ACP. Thanks to these programs, thousands of Arizona residents can own decent phones that they can use for communicating and working.
How can you get these free government phones? By sending your application to select providers who administer these programs in Arizona. Initially, Qwest Corporation was the only telecommunication company that provided free government phones.
However, many other organizations have since taken up that role. If you want to know how to get a free government phone in Arizona, and all the service providers offering them, continue reading.
Arizona Lifeline Program
Lifeline is the primary Federal Government program that helps people to get a free government phone in Arizona. The program started in the 80s when the Federal Communication Commission wanted to make communication services affordable.
This program mainly targets low-income consumers in different states, tribal lands, and territories. It provides eligible applicants a $9.25 monthly discount to settle their wireless service expenses.
However, eligible Tribal Land applicants are entitled to discounts amounting to $34.25 monthly. Additionally, the Lifeline program gives telecommunication companies the mandate to offer free phones or highly discounted ones to financially disadvantaged people in Arizona.
Qualification Criteria for the Arizona Lifeline Program
Eligibility for a free government phone in Arizona through the lifeline program depends on a few guidelines that have been put in place by the Federal government. Below are some of them:
1. Government Subsidies
You have to receive a government subsidy to be eligible for a free government phone from Lifeline providers in Arizona. Government subsidy programs may differ from one state to the other. Some of the programs that are common in all states and will make you eligible include:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance(FPHA)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program(LIHEAP)
- Supplemental Security Income(SSI)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(TANF)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP)
- Food Distribution on Indian Reservations(FDPIR)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance(BIA)
2. Low Income
To get a free government phone in Arizona, you need to be in the low-income category. Any household with an annual income that does not surpass %135 of the Federal Poverty Guidelines is considered to be in this category. Below is a tabulation of the income figures that make you eligible.
Lifeline Income Guidelines for Arizona
|Size of The Household||Annual Household Income|
|Amount to add for each extra member||$6,372|
Limitations of the Arizona Lifeline Program
All government-funded programs usually have a few restrictions, and the Arizona Lifeline is no exception. It would be best if you took note of these restrictions before you sign up for the program:
- You cannot pass on your Lifeline benefit to another person, even if they are your relative.
- Every qualified household can only receive a single benefit. How does the Lifeline program define a household? A group of people who share the same address, expenses, and income.
- You can only receive Lifeline benefits from one service provider at ago. If you want to change your provider, you must terminate your subscription with your current provider first.
- Your Lifeline service must be used once every month to prevent it from being discontinued.
- Providing the wrong information when applying for the program constitutes a crime and is punishable by law.
- If you overstep the one benefit per household rule, you will be barred from the program and even prosecuted.
The Affordable Connectivity Program for Arizona
The ACP is a more recent Federal Government program that seeks to reduce the amount of cash low-income Arizona residents pay for their broadband services. Some wireless service providers combine this program with Lifeline to offer free government phones. There are two ways you can qualify for this program:
1. Through Government Assistance Programs
If you take part in any of the programs mentioned below, ACP providers may be able to offer you a free phone and other benefits.
- Pell Grant Awards
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- National School Lunch or Breakfast Program
- Women, Infants, and Children(WIC)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
The type of phone you will receive will depend on its availability. The phones are also offered on a first come, first serve basis.
2. Low Income Eligibility
Only Arizona residents with income levels that do not surpass 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines can be allowed into the program. The table below can help you determine if you’re eligible.
ACP Income Guidelines for Arizona
|Size of the Household||Annual Household Income|
|Amount to add for each extra member||$9,440|
Documents Needed for Free Government Phone Arizona
Every Arizona Lifeline provider will necessitate you to submit official documents to validate the information you provided when applying for a free government phone. The documents required for confirmation are:
1. Identity Confirmation Documents
You will need to confirm your identity and address before qualifying for a free government phone. This can be done quickly by providing any of the documents listed below. All of them should contain your first and last name and the final four digits of your social security number.
- Arizona State-Issued Identity Card
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s License
- Individual’s Taxpayer Identification Number
- Birth Certificate
- Permanent Resident Card
- Military Identity Card
2. Program Participation Documents
If you’re currently enrolled in a government assistance program, you will need to prove it. You can do this by submitting an official document that contains your name, the name of the assistance program, the name of the agency issuing it, and the date it was issued. Some examples are
- Program approval letter
- Statement of Benefits
- Benefits verification letter
- Benefit award letter
3. Income Level Confirmation Documents
You need to submit documents to show that you’re living under the Poverty Line. Your documents should show your yearly income and first and last name. Examples of such documents include:
- Social security benefits statement
- An income statement from your current place of employment
- Child support documents
- Workers compensation benefits statement
- Unemployment or workers’ compensation statement of benefits
- A Veterans Administration statement of benefits
4. Address Confirmation Documents
Unfortunately, lifeline providers cannot admit you to the assistance programs if you don’t have a physical address. So the last set of documents you may be required to submit before your application is approved is the ones that show where you reside. These documents should also contain your full name. Examples are like
- Utility bills
- Mortgage statements
- Tax return for the recent year
Important points to note when submitting your documents:
- Avoid sending the originals; use copies or photos of the originals instead.
- Copies of your documents should always be clear and unobstructed.
How to Apply for Free Government Phone Arizona
Every Lifeline provider has steps you can follow when applying for a free government phone in Arizona. However, the procedure is generally similar for most of them. Below is a summary.
- You should first check if you qualify for a free government phone through the National Verifier online portal.
- Search for free government phone providers near you. This can be done by visiting the Universal Service Administrative Company’s official website.
- Select your preferred provider and sign up for their service by entering your Zip Code and email address.
- Fill out an application form on the website of your chosen provider. The information you will fill out will typically include details such as your household’s size, income level, and physical address.
- Attach all the relevant documents mentioned in the previous section and send them with your application.
- If all the details you provide are accurate, the Lifeline provider in Arizona will send you your free government phone by mail.
It would be best to contact your free government phone provider if you face any challenges during the application process. They should be able to help you out.
The 5 Best Free Government Phone Providers in Arizona
There are plenty of free government phone providers to choose from in Arizona. You should carefully analyze their plans and other benefits that you can enjoy when you sign up with them. The five best providers you can send your application to include:
1. Tag Mobile
Tag Mobile is a reputable company when it comes to Lifeline service provision. They provide free government phones to qualified customers residing in Arizona. You can apply for their Lifeline program through Tag Mobile website. Once you subscribe to one of their Lifeline plans, you can enjoy the following benefits:
- Free unlimited texts
- 8.5GB of monthly data
- Free unlimited minutes
- Call waiting
- Nationwide Coverage
- No contract, No cost
Additionally, Tag Mobile provides top-up plans enabling you to replenish minutes and data once they are exhausted. You can easily reach Tag Mobile at 1-866-959-4918.
2. Q Link Wireless
Q Link Wireless has helped several unemployed individuals in Arizona to stay connected by providing free smartphones. You can begin your application from the Q Link Wireless website. Below are some of the perks of subscribing to their Lifeline plan:
- Unlimited picture messaging
- Make emergency calls to 911
- Free SIM card and activation
- Unlimited minutes and texts
- 3-way calling feature
Fortunately, Q Link Wireless allows you to retain your current number. They also provide a new tablet to anyone who joins their ACP program. In case you need further guidance on how to apply, contact them at 1-855-754-6543 or email them at this address: 499 E Sheridan ST #400, Diana Beach, FL 3304.
3. Life Wireless
Life Wireless offer both the Lifeline and ACP programs to low-income families in the state of Arizona. They also provide a free cell phone to several residents who meet the prerequisite criteria for this program.
You can begin your free phone application by entering your email address and Zip Code on their application page. You will enjoy the features below if you’re successful.
- Unlimited text and text at no cost
- Unlimited data
- 5GB data for hotspot
- No roaming charges
- Caller ID
- Free domestic long-distance calls
You can check out Life Wireless’s terms and conditions before signing up for their service. Alternatively, you can talk to one of their representatives at 1-888-543-3620.
4. Safelink Wireless
SafeLink is the subsidiary of the telecommunication company Tracfone. It distributes a substantial amount of free government phones in Arizona every year. New and existing customers can fill out an application form on the company’s website. Safelink plans and service come will allow you to enjoy:
- Unlimited data
- Unlimited talk and text
- Carryover minutes
- Call waiting feature
If you need customer support, you can use the following methods to reach them: Phone: 1-800-378-1684, mailing address: 9700 NW 122th Avenue Miami, FL 33178.
5. enTouch Wireless
enTouch Wireless provides free government cell phones to new customers eligible for their lifeline program. Currently, they have a limited-time offer when you subscribe to one of their plans. The offer comes with:
- Free calls internationally
- Unlimited text
- Unlimited talk
- 10GB of free data
enTouch Wireless customer support is available from Monday to Friday, so you can reach them by dialing 611 on your free government phone. If you don’t get any help, you can call 1-800-222-7000 or send a mail to 1200 W. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85007.
The Lifeline and ACP programs have enabled several residents of Arizona to get phones and wireless services without paying for anything. Furthermore, applying for a free government phone from any service provider in Arizona is very straightforward.
All you need are your details and documents for you to begin the application process. However, before sending your application, you should always compare the plans and benefits offered by the different service providers.
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