In Indiana, people from low-income households can get free government phones through Lifeline Assistance and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established Lifeline Assistance and the ACP to help low-income families stay connected with their loved ones.
In Indiana, the programs target hundreds of thousands of residents who live in poverty. The government partners with several network carriers to provide free phones and discounted phone services.
This article discusses how to get free government phones in Indiana. So, it should be very beneficial if you’re a resident of Indiana.
What is Lifeline Assistance?
Lifeline Assistance is an FCC program that reduces the monthly cost of internet, phone, or bundled service. It targets low-income households, each getting only one discount at a time.
Each qualifying household gets a $9.25 discount on its monthly internet, phone, or bundled service. Those living on qualifying Tribal Lands get a $34.25 discount. Additionally, you can get a free government phone.
The Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) oversees Lifeline Assistance on behalf of the FCC. It offers only one Lifeline discount per household. At the end of the year, you must recertify your eligibility to continue participating in the program.
What Is the Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is an FCC program designed to replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which assisted people with income loss to stay connected during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Low-income families qualifying for the ACP can get reliable connectivity regarding phone and internet service. All they have to do is apply.
The ACP provides a $30 discount on the monthly internet, phone, or bundled service to each qualifying household. For those living on Tribal Lands, the discount can be as much as $75 if they qualify.
Besides, the ACP offers a $100 one-time discount for purchasing a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. Your service provider may require you to pay $10 to $50 to get a smartphone or computer.
How to Qualify for Free Government Phones in Indiana
There are several pathways for qualifying for free government phones in Indiana. First, your income needs to be at a particular level, and second, you or a household member should participate in a government assistance program.
The following are some of the ways to qualify for a free government phone in Indiana:
1. Low-Income Status
You can qualify for a free government phone in Indiana if your income meets a certain threshold. For Lifeline Assistance, your household income should be up to 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The following is the income eligibility chart for Indiana Lifeline Assistance based on the 2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines.
|Number of people in a household||Income level|
|For each additional person, add:||$6,372|
For the ACP, the household income should be up to 200% of the prevailing Federal Poverty Guidelines. Here is the income eligibility chart for Indiana ACP based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2022:
|Number of people per household||Income level|
|For each additional person, add:||$9,440|
2. Beneficiary of Government Assistance
Low-income Indiana residents benefit from various government assistance programs. If you’re one of them, you should apply for Lifeline Assistance and the ACP. The following are some of the programs that can make you eligible for free government phones in Indiana:
- Lifeline Assistance (for ACP only)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or formerly Food Stamps
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (for ACP only)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Federal Pell Grant in the current year (for ACP only)
- School Breakfast or Lunch program, including USDA Community Eligibility Provision schools (for ACP only)
3. Living on Qualified Tribal Lands
Are you a resident of qualifying Tribal Lands? If so, you can get one of the free government phones in Indiana. The Tribal Lands eligibility criteria apply to both Lifeline Assistance and the ACP. Here are some of the qualifying assistance programs on Tribal Lands:
- Head Start (for those qualifying by income)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
How to Apply for Free Government Phones in Indiana
You need to apply for a free government phone in Indiana to get it. Luckily, the application process is straightforward and involves the following steps:
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility
Do you meet the Lifeline Assistance and ACP eligibility criteria? Instead of assuming that you qualify, take time to check if you meet all the conditions. You should either have the low-income requirements or participate in government assistance.
USAC operates the National Verifier (NV), through which you can ascertain whether or not you qualify for a free government phone in Indiana. Besides, you can complete your application right there on the National Verifier website.
Step 2: Collect all Necessary Documents
To complete your application for free government phones in Indiana, you must attach certain documents. For instance, you must prove your identity, address, low-income status, or benefit from government assistance.
Here is an outline of the documents you must attach to your application for a free government phone:
The qualifying household member must provide certain documents to prove their identity. Authentic documents must show their full name and the last four digits of the social security number (SSN). You may attach any of the following documents:
- Social Security Number
- U.S. Passport
- U.S Government, State, Military, or Tribal-Issued ID
- Driver’s License
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Birth Certificate
- Foreign Passport
Regardless of the network provider, you must provide proof-of-address documents. That’s because the network carrier needs to ensure you receive its bills and other correspondence.
Details on proof-of-address documents must match those in the form. Any of the following documents should help you prove your address:
- Current Utility Bill
- Driver’s License
- Federal, State, or Tribal-Issued ID
- Lease or Mortgage Statement
- Paycheck Stub, Income Statement, or W2
Do you qualify for a free government phone in Indiana courtesy of a low income? You must attach documents proving how much you and other household members earn. Here are some of the proof-of-income documents
- Federal, state, or tribal tax returns
- Income statement or paycheck stub
- Social security statement of benefit
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- Worker’s compensation statement of benefits
- Pension or retirement statement of benefit
- Divorce decree or child support documents
Proof of Benefit from Government Assistance
Do you or any of your household members benefit from government assistance? Most Lifeline and ACP providers require that you submit documents proving the same. Depending on how you make an income, the following are some of the documents to provide:
- Statement for a qualifying Tribal, federal, or program
- Letter of participation in a Tribal, federal, or state program
- Documents showing evidence of participation in a Tribal, federal, or state
- Any document with the beneficiary’s full name, qualifying program name, and name of the issuing Tribal, federal, or state entity
If you’re an emancipated minor, you must attach documents proving it. For example, you may provide a court order or an emancipation certificate.
Step 3: Apply for Free Government Phones in Indiana
Now that you have confirmed eligibility for a free government phone in Indiana, you can apply for it. You can hand in your application in three ways – the National Verifier, your provider’s website, or via mail.
- National Verifier: The National Verifier is critical for checking your eligibility for free government phones in Indiana. After checking eligibility, you can proceed and apply for a Lifeline phone.
- Network Carrier’s Website: Some network carriers provide an opportunity for users to apply for a Lifeline phone. So, check with your provider to know the procedure of making an application.
- Mail-In Application: You can also download and print the Lifeline Assistance application form. Go to the USAC website to get the form. Fill out the form, attach all the relevant documents and submit it through the mail.
Step 4: Wait for Phone Delivery
Once you get approved for a free government phone, your network carrier should inform you via an email notification. Some network carriers also have toll-free phone lines and webpages where you can check the approval status.
Only a few providers allow you to choose a phone. The rest provide any available handset, denying you the opportunity to pick the best.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission runs Lifeline Assistance in the state. If you have a complaint concerning your application for a free government phone, you can use any of the following:
- Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
- 101 West Washington Street
- Suite 1500 E
- Indianapolis, IN 46204
- Main: 1-317-232-2700
- Toll-Free: 1-800-851-4268
- Complaint: 1-317-232-2712
Providers of Free Government Phones in Indiana
There are several providers of free government phones in Indiana. They include both large national carriers and local companies. Most of them follow the FCC eligibility criteria for Lifeline Assistance and ACP. Here is a brief description of each of the companies through which you can get a free government phone in Indiana:
1. Access Wireless
Access Wireless is one of Indiana’s companies offering free government phones. Additionally, users get 250 minutes, 3 G.B. of data, and unlimited texts free of charge.
Send your application via the Access Wireless website by entering your ZIP code to check network availability. After clicking Enroll, fill out the form.
The Lifeline + ACP discount comes with unlimited talk and texts, plus 15 G.B. of data. Apply for the ACP discount on the Company’s website and get one of the free government phones.
In case of any Lifeline Wireless or ACP issues, contact customer support online. New customers can call the Company at 1-888-900-5859. For old customers, the contact is 1-866-594-3644. If you can, reach out to the Company through their physical address:
- Access Wireless/i-Wireless LLC
- 1 Levee Way Newport,
- Kentucky, 41071
- United States
2. American Assistance
Besides its free government phones program, American Assistance offers 500 minutes, 3 G.B. of data, and unlimited texts. Once you open the American Assistance website, you can make an application by clicking Apply Online.
With its ACP-only program, American Assistance offers unlimited talk, 10 G.B. of data, and unlimited texts. You can get the ACP discount by applying online.
In case of an issue, contact the Company’s customer support by calling them at 1-877-266-7212. The Company’s physical address appears below:
- American Assistance
- One Seagate
- Suite 600,
- Toledo, OH 43604
3. Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless is a reliable Lifeline Assistance and ACP provider. Apart from a free government phone, the Company also offers 350 minutes, 3 G.B. of data, and unlimited texts in Lifeline Assurance. The Company doesn’t allow its clients to choose a phone.
Besides the National Verifier, you can apply for Lifeline Assistance and ACP via the Company’s website. Simply enter your ZIP code and click Apply Now.
It also has a combined Lifeline + ACP plan with unlimited talk, texts, and high-speed data. Users also get 10 G.B. hotspot data to top it all.
In case of complaints, reach out to the Company’s customer support in the following ways:
- Phone: 1-888-321-5880
- Assurance Wireless,
- P.O Box 5040,
- Charleston, IL 61920-9907
4. enTouch Wireless
With enTouch Wireless, those who qualify for Lifeline Assistance get $10 off their phone plans. Lifeline-eligible users who can’t pay will get 1,000 minutes, 100MB of data, and unlimited texts. Residents of Tribal Lands get 1,000 minutes, 5 G.B. or data, and unlimited texts.
Application is either through the National Verifier or the Company’s website. Simply click Apply Now and fill out the application form.
The Company also has a Lifeline + ACP plan that provides unlimited talk, texts, and data for Tribal Lands residents. Those living in other areas get unlimited talk and texts plus 10 G.B. of data. Apply for the Lifeline and ACP combo plan online.
An ACP-only plan includes unlimited talk and texts for Tribal Lands and 15.5GB of data. Outside the Tribal Lands, you’ll get 5.5GB of data and unlimited talk and texts.
The enTouch Wireless customer service contacts are as follows:
- Phone: 1-866-488-8719
- enTouch Wireless,
- P.O Box 37,
- Hiawatha, IA 52233
5. Life Wireless
Life Wireless offers free government phones in Indiana together with 1,000 minutes, 3 G.B. of data, and unlimited texts for Lifeline customers. You can send your application online by entering your email address and ZIP code and clicking Start Now.
The Company’s ACP-only plan provides unlimited talk and texts and 15 G.B. of data. Those who qualify for the ACP discount can opt-in via the Company’s website. If you qualify for the Lifeline and ACP combo, you’ll get unlimited talk and text, 15 G.B. of data, and a free government phone.
Life Wireless customer support is available Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm. The following are the customer service contacts:
- Phone: 1-888-543-3620
- Life Wireless,
- P.O Box 2840,
- Covington, GA 30015
6. Q Link Wireless
Q Link Wireless is one of Indiana’s best providers of free government phones. Besides the free phone, the Company also offers 1,000 minutes, 3 G.B. of data, and unlimited texts.
It mostly has entry-level phones and doesn’t allow users to choose devices. Those wishing to upgrade to a better phone should pay $25. Application for Lifeline Assistance is available online.
The Company’s Lifeline and ACP combo offers unlimited data, talk, and texts. Users also qualify for a free Lifeline phone or ACP tablet. You may apply for that via the Q Link Wireless website.
Here are the Company’s customer support contacts:
- Phone: 1-855-754-6543
- Fax: 1-855-837-5465
- Q Link Wireless,
- 499 E Sheridan ST #400,
- Diana Beach, FL 33004
7. SafeLink Wireless
Did you know you can get a free government phone from SafeLink Wireless? The Company’s Lifeline plan offers 350 minutes, 3 G.B. of data, and unlimited texts. You can submit your application online by entering your ZIP code and clicking Start.
With the Company’s Lifeline and ACP combo plan, you’ll get unlimited talk and texts, 25 G.B. of data, and 5 G.B. of hotspot data. You also get the opportunity for a free government phone and calls to Canada and Mexico free of charge. You may apply for the plan via the SafeLink Wireless website.
The following are the SafeLink customer support contacts:
- Phone: 1-800-723-3546
- SafeLink Wireless,
- P.O Box 220009,
- Milwaukie, OR 97269-0009
8. Tempo Communications
With the Tempo Communications free Lifeline service bundle, you get unlimited talk, texts, and 3 G.B. of data. That’s on top of the free government phone.
There are other plans, including $5 for 250 minutes, $10 for 500MB of data, and $15 for 1,000 minutes and 1 G.B. of data.
Whenever you have the need, you can reach out to Tempo Communications via the following contacts:
- Phone: 1-888-565-1011 or 1-877-822-8201
- Tempo Communications,
- 1390 Aspen Way,
- Vista, CA 92081
The Bottom Line
Free government phones in Indiana are available through Lifeline Assistance and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Those who get these phones must meet the eligibility requirements for Lifeline Assistance and the ACP.
On top of a free government phone, users also get service bundles that include free talk, texts, and the internet. Several network carriers provide free phones and bundled services. You may apply through a network carrier or the National Verifier.