The free cell phone program popularly referred to as the Obama phone is a government initiative that runs under Lifeline assistance. The program offers low-income Americans access to free cell phone services, although following a set criterion. Lifeline is accessible to all low-income earners in every state.
Eligibility requirements remain similar at large, however not identical going by each state. To get a free government phone in Ohio per se, may slightly different compared to applying for a free government phone in Illinois. For instance, you can qualify for free government phone in Texas if you are enrolled in the State of Texas Access Reform (STAR), which is a Medicaid program regulated by the State Government of Texas.
The type of phone, number of minutes, amount of data, and free texts are not the same state to state. It is because the companies facilitating these services are different across the divide. Lifeline program has supported low-income earners since 1985. Initially, it offered monthly subsidies on services purchased from a participating provider to eligible consumers. The goal is to ensure that every citizen enjoys the chance and security provided by phone service.
What Is The Aim Of Free Government Phone In Texas?
Many still cannot afford cell phones despite a reduction in the costs of acquisition and monthly plans. The free government phone in Texas aims at providing cell phones to the needy who lack the power to purchase on their own. The whole idea is to enable them to get the opportunities that come with a phone such as:
- Staying in touch with family members and close friends.
- Maintaining contact with health care providers, thereby lowering medical costs paid by the Government.
- Establishing contact with potential employers thus, in the long run, depending less on aid programs offered by the Government.
- Be able to dial for an emergency when in distress or faced with imminent danger.
Eligibility Check For Free Government Phone In Texas
The question of who qualifies for free government phone in Texas primarily lies on individual income. Those who have a Total Household Income (THI) that is below 135% established by the Federal Poverty Guideline (FPG) or participate in any of the below government aid programs stand to benefit from this initiative. The support programs offered by the federal state are:
1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The program runs under the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA). It gives financial aid to low-income persons and families to relieve the high cost of grocery foodstuffs. It enables them to purchase food items from the convenience and grocery stores, also at some cooperative food programs and farmers’ markets.
However, despite FDA regulations, record SNAP aids are running at the state level or locality. Eligibility depends on the number of persons residing in a household and their income and monthly expenditure. The benefits are given month per month through an electronic card. The list of beneficiaries includes people living with a disability, the elderly, the employed, and the youth.
2. State of Texas Access Reform (STAR)
State of Texas Access Reform Plus (STAR+PLUS) is a Medicaid care program run by the State of Texas to help people living with disabilities or are at the age of 65 and beyond. Beneficiaries can either choose a home-based care or nursing home, from where they will receive their much-needed support and care. Those who are enrolled receive Medicaid healthcare together with long-term sustenance and amenities over a medical plan of their choice. All this can succeed through the coordination of a STAR PLUS staff in collaboration with the beneficiary’s kin and healthcare providers. Support and services given are such as;
- Assistance in remodeling your residence to guarantee safety and provide ease during mobility
- Help in house chores around your home
- Running the necessary routine and other errands that you require
- Relieving your basic caregivers
3. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program funded by the Federal State that seeks to give support to the adults and children who are living with disabilities and the elderly who fall within the low-income brackets. What makes it different from the social security retirement program is that it’s financed through tax revenues and not by social security funds. It gives benefits equal to cater to the basic requirements for clothing, shelter, and food.
4. Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
Federal Public Housing Assistance, mostly referred to as section 8, is a housing choice vouchers program that is run under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and funded by the Federal Government. The caters to the elderly, disabled, persons, and families surviving on low-income. The program gives financial aid to meet individual housing requirements and leaves the person to choose where they would like to stay.
Generally, section 8 offers subsidies that allow beneficiaries to afford to stay in private homes or apartments away from public housing facilities. If you qualify for this or any other Government assistance program, then you are eligible for free government phone in Texas.
5. Veterans Pension and Survivor Benefit
The initiative caters to low-income old-timers and their relations by giving additional income through the Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension benefit plans in two classes:
- Veterans Pension – This is monies given to survivors of war who have meager earnings. The funds are usually devoid of all taxes.
- Veterans Survivors Pension – They include funds set aside and given to surviving marriage partners or single not yet married kids of a dead trooper with a wartime serving record, living under low-income.
These form a criterion to be eligible for an Obama cell phone in Texas.
6. Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) General Assistance program offers aid to American citizens of Indian descent and members of Alaska innate tribes. It gives out cash to beneficiaries who use it to help cater to their necessities of food, housing, clothes, utility bills, and in other circumstances, it may also help offset funeral expenses.
7. Tribally Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
Tribally Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, also referred to as TANF, is a support program that receives funds from the Federal Government to assist people who affiliate to a community recognized by the Government, are natives of Alaska or Americans of Indian origin. Each community can tailor its TANF program to suit local requirements. However, the Government has a set of specific resolutions by which the program must align. They include:
- Avert and moderate the occurrence of pregnancies out of wedlock
- Help to care for children who come from low-income homes within their households
- Boost the creation and conservation of both parents’ family
- Encourage occupation training, employment and marriages among low-income parents to help lessen reliance on aid
8. Tribal Head Start
Tribal Head and Early Head Start are all-inclusive plans designed to cater to low-income kids and families residing from Native American lands. It provides elementary education, nutritional support, family sustenance, transportation services, access to health facilities, mental wellbeing support, and care for the disabled Native kids as early as from birth up to the age of five years.
These initiatives hence support the Native American child to grow emotionally, mentally, and socially.
9. Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
FDPIR gives healthy foods to the Indian elderly and low-income families who stay on the federal reservation or nearby. It substitutes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since a majority of the beneficiaries lack access to grocery stores or other places that allow SNAP benefits. In the absence of the Indian Tribal Organization (ITO), the program runs under a state government agency. Qualifying for this program demonstrates that you are eligible for a free government phone in Texas.
3 Easy Steps To Get Free Government Phone In Texas
Many people are signing up for the free government cell phone program. Several regional and national companies are cleared to give these free consumer cellular phones and services.
Having satisfied the eligibility requirements, follow the simple steps below to get your cell phone free of charge.
Research and know your area or local service provider. The companies offering free government phone within Texas are:
- Access Wireless
- Life Wireless
- SafeLink Wireless
- StandUp wireless
- enTouch Wireless
- Assurance Wireless
- True Wireless
- Q Link Wireless
- Tag Mobile
From the available list of companies, you can be able to identify which ones operate in your area. In case none of these service providers are available within your range, then go for ATT Mobility, which is also a service provider within Texas. However, ATT Mobility does not give out free phones. But instead, it offers massive Lifeline subsidies away from their fixed cell phone plans. It is an excellent stop to buy unlock phone.
Perform a background check to get more information regarding each participating company. From the gathered data, you can know offers on their plans and how to get in touch with them. Review the details carefully before making any further steps. Although the federal Lifeline has established strict conduct for companies to adhere to, phone models and plans considerably differ across companies.
Approach each provider’s webpage and view what they are offering. You can start engaging them, bearing in mind that they will be your service provider for at least until the year ends. It is, therefore, advisable to make the most suitable choice.
Once you have settled on one register either via phone call or on the company’s online page, enrolling online is an excellent way to go. You will not spend time on hold waiting for the next available operator. You can also upload any required documents easily through the internet. Upon completing the process successfully, you can now sit back and wait for your free phone through an email confirmation.
However, note that when you qualify through government program participation, there is not much documentation requirement. But if you are eligible by the level of your income, which is customary by many, then the number of documents required may be much more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The following companies offer the best free government phones:
1. access Wireless
2. Assurance Wireless
3. enTouch Wireless
4. Q Link Wireless
Verizon does not offer free government phones, however; they provide carrier services for those who qualify for the Lifeline program.
The amended rules for the Federal Communications Commission allow one phone per household applicable to all providers meaning that it is not possible to get a free government phone from different service providers.
Yes, however, you will have to stick to the available options provided under the program by the service provider. Remember that different providers have a diverse range of phones on offer.
To get a free government phone, first of all, confirm if you qualify. Bear in mind that the eligibility requirements slightly differ state-to-state. Confirm what the requirements in your state are. If you are eligible, then look for a suitable service provider within your state and enroll.
Getting a free government phone in Texas is not a difficult task once you have met the qualification requirements. However, when choosing a provider for the service, consider how long they have been in the industry. Think of their impact and reputation over the years. Look at their network coverage and the types of plans they offer. Go through their terms of service before making the final decision. you may also want to consider the kind of technology they have employed in their system. Technology is crucial because it can either improve reception at your end or completely do the opposite.