Samsung is an electronics company based in South Korea. It produces various electronic devices, including Android smartphones, tablets, laptops, TVs, and smart appliances.
The free Samsung government phone is available through the network e carriers participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Lifeline Assistance.
So, Samsung won’t give you a free phone directly. Instead, you’ll get one by applying for one through a network provider. You’ll get a free phone and subsidized phone and internet services.
- You can get a free Samsung government phone by applying through Lifeline Assistance or the ACP
- Only a few Lifeline/ACP providers have free Samsung phones. Others offer only cheap flip phones.
- Lifeline Assistance and ACP applications happen online, mail-in, or via the provider’s website.
How Do You Get a Free Samsung Government Phone
To get a free phone from Samsung, you must apply for it through a phone, internet, and wireless provider participating in Lifeline Assistance or the ACP.
Lifeline Assistance is a program established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide free phones and free or subsidized monthly services.
Here are the steps you can take to get a Samsung-branded free government phone:
- Step 1: Check if you meet the Lifeline and ACP eligibility criteria, which this article discusses much later.
- Step 2: Prove your eligibility for Lifeline and ACP by attaching the necessary documents. The article discusses the required documents in the sections that follow.
- Step 3: Apply for Lifeline Assistance or the ACP. An elaborate application procedure comes much later.
- Step 4: Pick a Lifeline/ACP provider with free Samsung government phones in its lineup of products. You could also apply for free phone and subsidized service plans. After a short while, you’ll get an offer for a free phone.
Eligibility Criteria for Lifeline Assistance and the ACP
Lifeline Assistance and the ACP are two pathways through which you can get a free Samsung government phone. Each program has eligibility criteria you must meet to qualify for the phone.
Only individuals 18 years or older can qualify for a free phone via Lifeline/ACP. Additionally, applicants must meet the FCC-determined eligibility criteria.
The Federal government created Lifeline Assistance in the 1980s to provide affordable communication services to low-income families.
It provides qualifying clients with a free phone and discounted monthly phone or internet service. The Lifeline discount is $9.25 for people in general areas and $34.25 for those on Tribal Lands.
Here are the eligibility criteria for Lifeline Assistance:
Qualification Based on Your Income
Those who wish to get a free Samsung government phone should have an income under 135% of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines. Poverty guidelines vary from time to time and are based on the state government, so you should always check the rates that apply at any given time.
The following are the income thresholds for Lifeline Assistance based on your location:
2022 Poverty Guidelines and Lifeline Income Thresholds for 48 States and the District of Columbia
|No. of persons in a family or household||Poverty guideline||Lifeline income thresholds (135% of poverty guideline)|
|The amount for each additional family member||$4,720||$6,372|
In 48 states and the District of Columbia, the poverty guideline for a one-member family is $13,590, and the Lifeline income threshold is $18,347. Income thresholds for multi-member families increase by $6,372 for every additional member.
2022 Poverty Guidelines and Lifeline Income Thresholds for Alaska
|No. of persons in a family or household||Poverty guideline||Lifeline income threshold (135% of poverty guideline)|
|The amount for each additional family member||$5,900||$7,965|
Alaska is one of two states with different poverty guidelines. The other is Hawaii. The poverty guideline for a one-member household in Alaska is $16,990, and the Lifeline income threshold is $22,937. Larger households pay more by $7,965.
2022 Poverty Guidelines and Lifeline Income Thresholds for Hawaii
|No. of persons in a family or household||Poverty guideline||Lifeline Income Threshold (135% of poverty guideline)|
|The amount for each additional family member||$5,430||$7,330|
The poverty guideline for a one-member household in Hawaii is $15,630, and the Lifeline income threshold is $21,101. Larger households require a higher income, with an additional $7,330 for each additional member.
Participation in a Government Assistance Program
You or a member of your household could participate in a Federal Assistance program. Where that’s true, you’ll be eligible for a free Samsung government phone. The following are some of the eligible Federal assistance programs:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamps
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Tribal Head Start (for households that qualify based on income)
Affordable Connectivity Program
The ACP is a Federal program that came into effect on January 1, 2022, as a replacement for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). It offers a monthly discount on internet services to low-income families.
Some ACP providers may offer a $100 discount for an internet-connected devices such as desktop computers, laptops, or tablets. However, you would have to co-pay between $10 and $50.
The following are the ACP eligibility criteria:
1. Participation in Lifeline Assistance
If you already participate in Lifeline Assistance, you can get a free government phone from Samsung, courtesy of the ACP. That’s because the qualification criteria for Lifeline Assistance apply to the ACP too.
2. Participation in a Lifeline-Eligible Program
You may not already participate in Lifeline Assistance but benefit from any programs that help you qualify. In that case, you’ll still be eligible for a free phone courtesy of the ACP.
3. Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program
Do you or a family member participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program? You qualify to apply for a free government phone from Samsung. That’s as long as your chosen network carrier participates in the ACP.
4. School Lunch Program
The Federal government has several programs for providing free or subsidized food for school-going children. Examples include the School Lunch and School Breakfast programs.
These can either be wholly free or available at a discounted rate. Also included are the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools.
Participation in any of these programs makes you eligible to receive a free Samsung government phone.
5. Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is a program through which the government pays university fees for low-income students. Therefore, participation in any of these programs makes you eligible for a free government phone.
6. Annual Income Under 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines
Unlike Lifeline Assistance, which requires an income of 135% of poverty guidelines, the ACP eligibility criterion is 200% of poverty guidelines. Given the changing nature of poverty guidelines based on the state government, always check the applicable rates in your area.
Here is an outline of the applicable Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2022 and the applicable ACP income thresholds:
2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines and ACP Income Thresholds for 48 States and the District of Columbia
|No. of persons in a family or household||2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines||ACP income thresholds (200% of poverty guideline)|
|Each additional household member||$4,720||$9,440|
In 49 states, a one-member household requires an annual income of $27,180, which is 200% of $13,590. There is a corresponding increase of $9,440 for every additional household member for multi-member households.
2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines and ACP Income Thresholds for Alaska
|No. of persons in a family or household||2022 Federal poverty guideline||ACP Income thresholds (200% of poverty guideline)|
|Each additional household member||$5,900||$11,800|
The Federal Poverty Guideline for a one-member household in Alaska is $16,990, which translates to a $33,980 income threshold. In a multi-member household, the income threshold increases by $11,800 for each extra member.
2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines and ACP Income Threshold for Hawaii
|No. of persons in a family or household||Poverty guideline||ACP Income Limit (200% of poverty guideline)|
|Each additional household member||$5,430||$10,860|
The poverty guideline for a one-member family in Hawaii is $15,630, and the ACP income threshold is $31,260. Multi-member households require an additional annual income of $10,860. So, you would need a $42,120 income in a two-member household.
Documents You Need to Apply for Lifeline Assistance and ACP Free Samsung Government Phone
The government requires applicants for free phones to prove their eligibility for Lifeline/ACP. Without that, people who can afford a phone would abuse the program.
So, you must provide official, current, and unexpired documents to prove that you meet the Lifeline/ACP eligibility criteria.
Also, you must provide personal documents proving your identity and address. Therefore, you should prepare at least one document in the following categories:
Identity Verification Documents
You can prove your identity by submitting an official document with your legal name, date of birth, social security number, and age. Here are some of the documents you may collect:
- Birth Certificate
- U.S. Driver’s License
- A valid state, Tribal, military, or government ID
- Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. Citizenship
- Federal Assistance Program Document
- Green Card or Permanent Resident Card
Address Verification Documents
You can verify your address by providing a document with your name and physical address. The following are examples of documents you may provide:
- A current utility bill
- Driver’s License
- A valid state, Federal, or Tribal ID
- Tax returns or the most recent W-2
- Lease or mortgage statement
Proof of Low Income
You need to prove that you have a low income regardless of whether you’re applying for Lifeline Assistance or the ACP. Here are examples of documents you can provide:
- The previous year’s tax returns (Federal, Tribal, or state)
- A Social Security statement of benefits
- A current paycheck stub or employer income statement
- A statement of benefits for Veterans Administration
- Worker’s Compensation or Unemployment statement of benefits
- A pension/retirement statement of benefits
- Child support award, divorce decree, or another official document with your annual income
Proof of Participation in a Federal Assistance Program
You must also prove that you participate in an eligible Federal assistance program. The document you submit must contain your name, program name, name of issuing institution, and the issue date. Also, the document should last for another 12 months before expiry.
Here are some of the documents you can submit to prove your participation in Federal Assistance:
- Approval letter
- Benefit award letter
- Statement of benefits
- School documentation
- Benefit verification letter
If you’re an emancipated minor, you must also prove that. You need an official document such as a court order or a certificate of emancipation. Also, you should provide a Tribal ID number or Social Security Number proving that you’re alive.
You may submit the documents online by attaching photos or via mail by submitting photocopies. While at it, be careful not to submit an original document.
How to Apply for Lifeline Assistance and the ACP
you can apply for Lifeline Assistance and the ACP in three ways, online, via mail, or through your chosen Lifeline/ACP provider.
Fill out the relevant application form with the required information and attach digital copies of documents proving your eligibility, identity, and address.
Submit your application and wait for a notification informing you whether or not you got approved for a free Samsung government phone.
Mail-in application is also possible and starts by printing out the Lifeline Assistance application form or the ACP application form.
If you opt to get a free Samsung government phone via the ACP, also, you should print out the Household Worksheet.
Fill out the forms, attach supporting documents and submit them via mail to the following postal address:
- Lifeline/ACP Support Center,
- P.O. Box 7081,
- London, KY 40742
Application Via Service Provider
After choosing a Lifeline Assistance or ACP provider, you can apply via their website. Each service provider has a unique application process, so you should check with the chosen company to know what to do.
How to Apply for a Free Samsung Government Phone
There’s an elaborate process for applying for a Samsung free phone, which includes the following steps:
- Step 1: Choose a Lifeline/ACP provider with free Samsung government phones in the state where you reside. You must reside in a state where the provider offers services to qualify for the phone.
- Step 2: Go to the provider’s website and fill out the application form with the required information. Provide necessary documents. You may also use a mail-in application.
- Step 3: As part of the application process, you can choose a service plan or a Samsung phone model.
- Step 4: Wait for a notification from the Lifeline/ACP provider informing you whether or not you got approved for a free phone. Always contact customer support in case of questions.
Types of Free Samsung Government Phones
It’s difficult to know the type of phone offered by a Lifeline or ACP provider. In most cases, the phone you get depends on availability, timing, and location. However, since the providers offer mid-range Android phones, they will likely have a Samsung phone.
The following are some of the common types of free Samsung government phones:
- Samsung Galaxy A01
- Samsung Galaxy A10E
- Samsung Galaxy A11
- Samsung Galaxy A20
- Samsung Galaxy A20S
- Samsung Galaxy A21
- Samsung Galaxy A32
- Samsung Galaxy A50
- Samsung Galaxy J3
- Samsung Galaxy S6
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S8
- Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy S9
- Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
- Samsung Note 8
- Samsung Galaxy On5
Lifeline and ACP Plans that Come with the Free Samsung Government Phone
Every free Samsung government phone comes with three service plans based on the provider. Most Lifeline/ACP providers offer the following plans:
- Lifeline-Only Plan: The Lifeline-only phone plan takes advantage of the $9.25 discount. So, you may get some data, talk, and texts. Also, you could get a mid-range smartphone or a flip phone.
- ACP-Only Plan: The ACP-only plan is much better due to the $30 or $75 discount, which may cover your monthly phone bill. So, you may enjoy unlimited data, texts, talk-time, and a discounted internet-ready device.
- Lifeline + ACP Plan: By combining Lifeline Assistance and the ACP, this plan provides free unlimited data, talk, and texts. You may also get a free Samsung phone or a reduced-price tablet.
Lifeline/ACP Providers with Free Samsung Phones
Few of the Lifeline/ACP providers have free Samsung government phones. However, you might not know what to expect when applying to these providers. Here are the ACP/Lifeline providers with Samsung phones:
1. AirTalk Wirelss
AirTalk Wireless is one of the largest Lifeline/ACP providers. Applicants get to know the available phones in advance and choose the most suitable one. Besides the free Samsung government phone, you can also get free data, talk, and texts.
2. Cintex Wireless
Cintext is an AirTalk Wireless affiliate with similar high-quality phones. Its clients may get free Samsung, Apple, and flip phones. Additionally, it has free monthly wireless services like data, talk, and texts.
3. Access Wireless
Another major Lifeline/ACP provider is Access Wireless. It doesn’t make known the available phones or allow customers to choose their favorite devices. But you will likely get a free Samsung phone, given the availability of Android devices.
4. StandUp Wireless
StandUp Wireless is known to offer free phones and tablets from the government. Since they do not reveal their phones in advance, you might not know what device model to expect. The company’s monthly plans include free high-speed data and unlimited texts and talk.
5. Life Wireless
Life Wireless is a popular Lifeline and ACP provider with free unlimited data, texts, and talk. Customers may also get a free smartphone, which could be a Samsung model.
6. enTouch Wireless
enTouch Wireless doesn’t clearly state the phone models offered under the Lifeline/ACP programs. However, their phones feature Android OS, and large screens and could be brand-new. From enTouch Wireless, you can get free data, talk, and texts.
7. NewPhone Wireless
NewPhone is another AirTalk Wireless affiliate that allows its clients to get a free Samsung government phone, iPhone, or flip phone. You may also get an ACP-discounted table and free monthly data, texts, and talk.
The Bottom Line
You can get a free Samsung government phone by applying for it via Lifeline Assistance or the ACP. Applications can be online, by mail-in, or on the provider’s website. After application, you must wait for several days before getting notified of your application’s approval or lack thereof.
Besides free Samsung government phones, ACP/Lifeline providers also have free unlimited data, texts, and talk. Some also offer free tablets via the $100 discount.
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