There are several ways to get free government phones in Mississippi for more than 21% of the population living under the national poverty line.
The first is Lifeline Assistance, which aims to connect low-income families to a phone line and service.
Then, there is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides a discount for phone, internet, or bundled services to qualifying families.
Regardless of how you get a free government phone, you must meet the eligibility criteria to apply. This article canvasses that topic in greater detail to help you improve your chances of getting a free phone.
What Is Lifeline Assistance?
Lifeline Assistance was established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the 1980s to meet the communication needs of low-income families. Currently, those enrolling in the program get free government and affordable phone services.
In Mississippi, several network carriers offer Lifeline Assistance to those who meet the program’s eligibility criteria. For instance, you can benefit from the program if your household income is under 135% of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines.
You’ll get a free government phone and enjoy highly discounted services. The Lifeline discount on monthly phone services is $9.25 ($34.25 for Tribal Lands). You may apply it to your wired or wireless phone services.
Additionally, qualifying households may get subsidized broadband internet and voice serve bundles, depending on the network carrier. You must renew your participation in Lifeline Assistance or risk cancellation every year.
What Is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
When the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) ended in December 2021, the FCC introduced the ACP with similar benefits but a more stringent eligibility criterion. The ACP provides a $30 ($75 for Tribal Lands) discount on the phone, broadband, or bundled services for eligible individuals.
It also offers a $100 one-time discount on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. You’re eligible for the ACP if you already participate in Lifeline Assistance, have a household income under 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines, or benefit from government assistance.
How to Qualify for Free Government Phones in Mississippi
The Mississippi Public Service Commission Controls Lifeline Assistance and the ACP. However, it doesn’t have a localized eligibility criterion but depends on the one the government provides. So, you can get free government phones in Mississippi if you meet the following conditions:
1. Low-Income Status
Does your household fall in the low-income category? You can’t know that until you check the current Federal Poverty guidelines. Essentially, how you qualify for Lifeline Assistance is different from the ACP.
The FCC has established the income criterion for qualifying for Lifeline Assistance to be up to 135% of the prevailing Federal Poverty Guidelines. The table below shows the income limits for households in Mississippi based on the number of people and the 2022 poverty guidelines:
|Number of people in a household||Annual income||Monthly income||Weekly income|
|For each additional member, add:||$6,372||$531||$126|
Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Mississippi households qualify for free government phones through the ACP if their incomes are under 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The following table is the income-eligibility schedule for Mississippi residents for the ACP based on the 2022 poverty guidelines:
|Number of people per household||Income level||Monthly income||Weekly income|
|For each additional person, add:||$9,440||$787||$182|
2. Government Assistance Programs
Several government programs are targeting low-income families, including Medicaid and Food Stamps. Participation in these programs can help you qualify for free government phones in Mississippi via Lifeline Assistance, the ACP, or both. The following are the eligible government assistance programs:
- Lifeline Assistance (for ACP only)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamps
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (for ACP only)
- School Breakfast or Lunch program (for ACP only)
- Federal Pell Grant in the current year (for ACP only)
3. Residence on Qualified Tribal Lands
Tribal Lands are special units operating outside state or federal patronage. Therefore, their residents can enjoy Lifeline Assistance and ACP discounts by participating in specific programs explicitly meant for them. So, you can get a free government phone in Mississippi if you participate in any of the following programs:
- Tribal Head Start (for those qualifying by income)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
How to Apply for Free Government Phones in Mississippi
Mississippi residents applying for free government phones must stick to the laid down process to succeed. Skipping even one step may mean your application not getting approved or the need for re-application. The following are the critical steps in applying for free government phones in Mississippi:
Step 1: Check If You’re Eligible
You might not know if you meet the eligibility criteria for a free government phone until you check. Ascertain that you meet the low-income requirements or participate in a government assistance program.
The Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), the Lifeline and ACP administrator has established the National Verifier (NV), where you can check your eligibility status. You can also fill out your application right there on the National Verifier.
Step 2: Select a Lifeline and ACP Provider
Several network carriers, including Assurance Wireless, Q Link Wireless, SafeLink Wireless, enTouch Wireless, and Access Wireless, provide free government phones in Mississippi. You must pick one of these companies based on their phone service plans and how you stand to benefit from them.
After picking a Lifeline/ACP provider, you should enter your ZIP code on their website to check if their network covers your area. If the signal is strong enough, you can go on with your free government phone application.
Step 3: Collect all the Documents You Need
Lifeline Assistance and ACP applications can only be completed with the attachment of various documents. So, before completing the application, collect all the necessary documents. The following are the documents you would need to apply for free government phones in Mississippi:
Documents Proving Your Identity
You or one of your household members could be the one qualifying for Lifeline or the ACP. It’s necessary to provide documents proving the identity of the principal applicant. Some of the documents to provide include the following:
- Document with Social Security Number
- U.S. Passport
- U.S Government, State, Military, or Tribal-Issued ID
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Foreign Passport
- Driver’s License
- Birth Certificate
Documents Proving Your Address
While these documents do not affect your eligibility, they help your network carrier ensure the place to send bills and other correspondence. Besides, the network carrier will send the free government phone via mail.
Remember to provide a document with the exact address details in your application. The following are some of the proof-of-documents:
- Current Utility Bill
- Driver’s License
- Existing Mortgage
- Lease Statement
- Current Paycheck Stub
- Income Statement
- Tribal, State, or Federal-Issued ID
Documents Proving Your Income
In Mississippi, you must supply documents proving that you earn a given sum annually at the household level. A valid document should have your name (first and last) and annual income. The following are some of the documents you can provide to prove your income:
- Tax returns (Tribal, state, or federal) for the previous year
- Social security benefits statement
- Veterans Administration benefits statement
- Current paycheck stub
- Pension or retirement benefits statement
- Current income statement
- Worker’s compensation benefits statement
- Child support documents
- Divorce decree
Documents Proving Your Participation in Government Assistance
If you’re a beneficiary of a government assistance program, be sure to provide documents proving the same. The document should have your full name, name of program, name of entity advancing the benefit, and the date of the document, which should be not more than 12 months old.
Here are some of the documents you can provide to prove eligibility by benefit from government assistance:
- Current or previous year’s program statement
- A letter of participation in a program
- Other documents proving participation in a program
Emancipated minors can also get free government phones in Mississippi. All they must do is show that they are emancipated. In that case, they need a certificate of emancipation or a document from the court. They can enjoy adult rights, including the freedom to own a phone.
Step 4: Submit Your Application for Free Government Phones in Ohio
You can apply for your free government phone if you know your eligibility and have collected all necessary documents. For starters, you may complete your application on the National Verifier.
Alternatively, you may submit your application via your network carrier’s website, in-store, or via mail. If you choose the online option, you must attach photos of documents proving eligibility. For manual application, print out the form, fill it out, attach photocopies of documents, and drop it in the mail.
Finally, you may contact the Mississippi Public Service Commission for details on completing your Lifeline Assistance/ACP application. Here are their contact details:
- 501 North West Street,
- Woolfolk State Office Building,
- Jackson, MS 39201-1174.
- Main: 1-601-961-5400
- Complaint: 1-601-961-5450
Avoid attaching original documents to your application since you may need them later. Digital photos of the documents are enough for an online application, while photocopies would do for mail-in applications.
Step 5: Wait for Approval of the Application and Phone Delivery
Getting your application for a free phone approved may take a while. Once it happens, your network carrier will send an email notification. If the delay seems too prolonged, contact the company’s customer service.
You might have to wait for seven to ten business days to get the device if approved for a free phone. Network carriers send phones to approved individuals via the mail.
Best Providers of Free Government Phones in Mississippi
Mississippi has several network carriers that provide free government phones. You may choose one based on the strength of the network signal in your area and the benefits you can enjoy:
1. Access Wireless
Access Wireless is one of Mississippi’s best providers of free government phones. Besides the free phone, users also get the Lifeline and ACP phone plans. Here is a description of the three possible phone plans:
- Lifeline Plan: Free 250 minutes, 3GB of data, and unlimited texts.
- Lifeline + ACP Plan: Free unlimited texts and talk time and 15GB of data
On different pages, you can apply for both plans via the Access Wireless website. For Lifeline Assistance, visit Access Wireless Lifeline page and for Lifeline + ACP visit their official website.
n case of complaints, contact Access Wireless customer service at 1-866-594-3644 for existing customers and 1-888-900-5859 for new customers. Alternatively, fill out the contact form on the website. Here is the Access Wireless physical address:
- Access Wireless/i-Wireless LLC
- 1 Levee Way Newport,
- Kentucky, 41071
- United States
2. Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless has an impressive lineup of free government phones for Mississippi residents. It also offers Lifeline and ACP phone service discounts. Here are some of the ways your phone service gets subsidized by Access Wireless:
- Lifeline Plan: Free 350 minutes, 3GB of data, and unlimited texts
- Lifeline + ACP Plan: Free unlimited data, talk time, and texts, and 10GB of hotspot data
Applications for Lifeline Assurance get submitted via the Access Wireless website. Once there, enter your ZIP code and click Apply Now. You can then fill out the application form, attach the necessary documents, and submit it.
In case of any issue, call customer support at 1-888-321-5880. Alternatively, you may use the following mail address:
- Assurance Wireless,
- P.O Box 5040,
- Charleston, IL 61920-9907
3. enTouch Wireless
With enTouch Wireless offers you a free government phone and highly-discounted phone services. It also offers Lifeline and ACP phone discounts on monthly service bills. Here are the ways you can benefit from enTouch Wireless:
- Lifeline Plan: $10 discount on phone plan or free 1,000 minutes, 100MB of data, and unlimited texts. Tribal Lands residents get 1,000 minutes, 5GB of data, and unlimited texts
- ACP-Only Plan: Free unlimited minutes and texts and 15.5GB of data on Tribal Lands, unlimited talk and texts, and 5.5GB data for other areas
- Lifeline + ACP Plan: Unlimited talk, texts, and data for Tribal Lands and unlimited talk and texts, and 10GB of data for other areas
Application for the enTouch Wireless Lifeline plan and the Lifeline + ACP plan is on the website. In case of an issue with your application, call the company at 1-866-488-8719 or fill out the online contact form. The following is the company’s mail address:
- enTouch Wireless,
- P.O Box 37,
- Hiawatha, IA 52233
4. FeelSafe Wireless
FeelSafe Wireless has attractive Lifeline and ACP phone plans on top of the free government phones. Here are the benefits you can get from this company:
- Lifeline Plan: Free 1,000 minutes, 500 texts, and 3GB of data
- ACP-Only Plan: Free unlimited texts and talk and 6GB of data for $30
- Lifeline + ACP Plan: Free unlimited talk and texts and 15GB of data for $50
You can submit your application for a free government phone via the company’s website. In case of issues with your application, call FeelSafe Wireless at 1-877-247-7799 or fill out the online contact form. Here is the FeelSafe Wireless company address:
- FeelSafe Wireless,
- 2425 Franklin,
- Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
5. Life Wireless
Life Wireless provides low-income families with opportunities for free government phones in Mississippi. It also has Lifeline and ACP discounts on monthly service plans. Here are some of the Benefits you can get from Life Wireless:
- Lifeline Plan: Free 1,000 minutes, 3GB of data, and unlimited texts
- ACP-Only Plan: Free unlimited texts and talk and 15GB of data
- Lifeline + ACP Plan: Free unlimited talk and texts and 15GB of data
Applications for both Lifeline Assistance and ACP are on the company’s website. If you experience issues with the application process, call Life Wireless at 1-888-543-3620, fill out an online contact form, or search for a local store. The following is the company’s mail address:
- Life Wireless,
- P.O Box 2840,
- Covington, GA 30015
6. Q Link Wireless
If you’re long for entry-level free government phones in Mississippi, Q Link is your go-to provider. It also offers attractive Lifeline and ACP discounts on monthly phone plans. Here is how you stand to benefit from Q Link Wireless:
- Lifeline Plan: Free 1,000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 3GB of data
- Lifeline + ACP Plan: Free unlimited talk, texts, and data
You may enroll in the Lifeline and ACP plans via the Q Link Website. The company can address your issues if you can call it at 1-855-754-6543, fax at 1-855-837-5465 or fill out an online contact form. Alternatively, you may contact Q Link Wireless via the following address:
- Q Link Wireless,
- 499 E Sheridan ST #400,
- Diana Beach, FL 33004
7. SafeLink Wireless
Did you know that SafeLink Wireless provides some of the best free government phones in Mississippi? It also offers Lifeline and ACP discounts to all eligible customers. Here is how you stand to benefit from Q Link Wireless:
- Lifeline Plan: Free 350 minutes, unlimited texts, and 3GB of data
- Lifeline + ACP Plan: Free unlimited talk and texts, 25GB of data, and 5GB of hotspot data
Enroll for Lifeline Assistance and the ACP via the company’s website. In case of issues, lodge your complaints by calling customer support at 1-800-723-3546 or finding a local dealer. The following is the SafeLink mail address:
- SafeLink Wireless,
- P.O Box 220009,
- Milwaukie, OR 97269-0009
The Bottom Line
Getting free government phones in Mississippi involves qualifying via Lifeline Assistance or the ACP. You can check your eligibility via the National Verifier and complete your application there. Alternatively, each service provider has a dedicated website through which you can enroll for Lifeline Assistance and the ACP. Whichever program you choose, you stand to enjoy free or discounted monthly phone services.