There are several ways to get free tablets for low-income families: government programs or charitable organizations.
Free government laptops are available to eligible individuals who can prove their low-income status and meet other eligibility requirements. Several non-governmental organizations and charities also offer free tablets to those who can’t afford them.
Regardless of how you get it, a free tablet can ease your life to a great extent. You can work, communicate, acquire information, and complete your education.
This article explores the two ways of getting free tablets for low-income families to help you get one.
Ways to Get Free Tablets for Low Income Families
With a low income, you can get a free tablet from the government or a non-governmental organization. Here is a comprehensive look at how to get free tablets for low-income families:
How to Get Free Tablets for Low Income Families From The Government
You can get a free tablet if you meet the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) eligibility criteria. The ACP is a government assistance program similar to Lifeline Assistance. But, instead of offering free phones, it provides free tablets to qualified individuals and families.
The ACP provides a $100 discount, which applicants can use to obtain free tablets from participating network carriers. All you need to do is prove that you qualify for a free tablet.
How to Apply for a Free Government Tablet
Receiving a free government tablet via the ACP requires you to present your application. Here is a step-by-step process to do that:
- Step 1: Check that you qualify for a free government tablet. Since the ACP has an elaborate criterion, it should be easier for you to do that.
- Step 2: Choose a suitable free government tablet provider, which could be a network carrier.
- Step 3: Collect documents proving your identity, eligibility, and address.
- Step 4: Fill out your application on the National Verifier website or your network carrier’s website.
- Step 5: Wait to get approved for a free government tablet. You’ll get your free tablet in the mail a few days after approval.
How to Qualify for Free Tablets for Low Income Families
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), applicants for the ACP must meet strict eligibility criteria regardless of where they live. Each of the households applying for the ACP must meet one or more of the following criteria:
Income Under 200% of Poverty Guidelines
Is your annual household income under 200% of Federal Poverty guidelines? If so, you qualify to get a free tablet. You must submit documents proving how much income your household makes in a year.
Since the poverty guidelines vary based on location, you should check with your state government about the applicable income thresholds. The following is a summary of the 2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines in several states in America:
2022 Poverty Guidelines and ACP Income Threshold for 48 States and the District of Columbia
|No. of persons in a family or household||2022 Poverty guideline||ACP income threshold (200% of poverty guideline)|
|Each additional household member||$4,720||$9,440|
Those in a single-member household must have an income of up $27,180, with each additional member causing a $9,440 increase in the income threshold. Therefore, multi-member families may find it easier to qualify for a free government tablet.
2022 Poverty Guidelines and ACP Income Thresholds for Alaska
|No. of persons in a family or household||2022 poverty guideline||ACP Income threshold (200% of poverty guideline)|
|Each additional household member||$5,900||$11,800|
The income thresholds for the ACP are a little higher in Alaska, with single-member households required to have a maximum income of $33,980. Any additional member of the family raises the income requirement by $11,800.
2022 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|
According to the poverty guidelines in Hawaii, a household must have an income of $31,260 to get a free laptop. The income threshold rises by $10,860 with each additional family member.
Participation in Lifeline Assistance
One of the automatic ways to qualify for a free laptop is to participate in Lifeline Assistance, one of the FCC initiatives targeting low-income families.
You can get a free phone and discounted phone services through Lifeline Assistance. Once you enroll for the ACP, you also get a free tablet and an additional discount on your phone service.
Participation in Lifeline-Qualifying Programs
Do you or any of your family members participate in a Lifeline-qualifying program? The state, Tribal, or Federal bodies can provide the programs. Here are some of the eligible government assistance programs:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamps
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Tribal Head Start for households with the qualifying income standard
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
Participation in Other Government Assistance Programs
Besides the Lifeline-qualifying programs, you can get free tablets for low-income families if you participate in other ACP-only programs. The following are some of the qualifying special government assistance programs:
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Special Nutrition Supplementation Program
- Free or Reduced-Price School Lunch Program
- Free or Reduced-Price School Breakfast Program
- Recipient of the current year’s Federal Pell Grant
How to Check Eligibility for Free Tablets for Low-Income Families by The Government
To know if you can get free tablets for low income families, you should check if you meet the criteria. You may start by reviewing the requirements discussed elsewhere in this article.
If you aren’t sure of your eligibility status, call ACP support at 1-877-384-2575. Ask them about your eligibility for the ACP Discount.
Alternatively, go to the National Verifier website and check if you can get a free tablet. You may apply for the free tablet on the National Verifier website or the provider’s website.
Documents to Attach When Applying for an ACP Free Government Tablet
To apply for a free government tablet, you must attach documents proving your identity, address, and eligibility. When it comes to the eligibility criteria, you should check your ACP provider’s website to know the required documents.
But having eligibility documents is no guarantee that your application will be approved. Sometimes, you might have to submit additional documents. Also, your ACP provider might reject screenshots and hand-written documents.
The following are the various categories of documents to attach when applying for a free government tablet:
Proof of Qualification Via a Government Program
You must prove that you participate in a government assistance program by providing the necessary documents. The document must contain the applicant’s full legal name, the program’s name, and the name of the entity issuing the document. Its issue date should be 12 months before the application or have a future expiration date.
The following are some of the acceptable documents when applying for free tablets:
- Letter of approval
- Letter of benefit award
- Benefit verification letter
- Statement of benefits
- School documentation
Proof of Qualification Via Income
Proof-of-income documents should ideally come from official sources such as an employer or the government. It should contain your full name and yearly income, showing that it is below 200% of current Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Here are some of the documents you may present to prove that you meet the laid-down income threshold:
- Workers’ compensation/unemployment benefits statement of benefits
- Pension or retirement statement of benefits
- Current paycheck stub or income statement from your employer
- A statement of benefits for the Veteran Administration
- Tribal, state, or Federal letter of benefit from government assistance
- The previous year’s Tribal, state, or federal tax returns
Besides the documents proving your ACP eligibility, you must provide personal information like your identity, age, and address. Besides filling out the form with your information, provide documents showing your full legal name and other data.
The following are some of the documents you must provide:
- Valid Tribal, state, military, or Government ID
- Valid U.S. passport
- Driver’s license
Each organization, ACP provider, or government institution has a clear way of sending these documents. For some, you may fill out an online application form and attach copies of the documents before submitting. However, others allow submission through fax, mail, or email.
How to Apply for a Free Government Tablet Via the ACP
There are several ways to apply for free tablets for low-income families. You can do it either via a government institution or the ACP provider, as shown below:
Application Via the FCC Website
To complete your application, visit the FCC Website. That should take you to the ACP online application form, which you should promptly fill out. Fill in one page at a time until you click Submit on the final page.
Application Via Mail
You can send your application via mail by downloading and printing the application form at the ACP website. You may also get a printout of the Household Worksheet.
Next, fill out your application form, followed by the Household Worksheet, and attach the necessary documentation. Send your application to the following website:
- ACP Support Center,
- P.O Box 7081,
- London, KY 40742
Application Via the ACP Provider
Before applying for a free government tablet via an ACP provider, search for a suitable one via the FCC website. Enter your state of residence to find a provider of free tablets. The provider would have a tick next to Offering Connected Devices.
After getting a suitable ACP provider, go to their website and fill out their ACP application form. Provide all the required data and attach supporting documentation. Contact the provider’s customer support agents if you cannot find the application form.
Recertifying for Free Government Tablets
You must recertify your ACP participation every year to continue enjoying the discounted internet broadband. You will get a notification from the ACP support center or ACP provider informing you how to recertify your yearly benefit. The only way to keep enjoying the ACP discounts is to meet the eligibility criteria.
How to Get Free Tablets for Low-Income Families from Charities and Non-Profit Organizations
Another way to get free tablets for low-income families is through charities and non-governmental organizations. The organizations often have various free tablets, which means some applicants may miss out on the discount. They vary in size and may operate locally or internationally.
Here are some of the charities or non-governmental organizations offering free tablets:
1. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a non-profit organization that provides basic services to low-income families to improve their lives. Thus, you can get food, clothing, furniture, and other daily necessities. Besides, you can get a free tablet.
2. The On-It Foundation
If you live in Florida, you can get a free tablet from the On-It Foundation. ‘On-It’ is the short form of ‘Opportunities Necessary to Increase Technology.’ Its mission is to improve access to technology for low-income families with K-12 students. You may use the provider’s website to apply for a free tablet.
3. Computers with Causes
Computers with Causes is a nationwide organization that gifts low-income families free tablets. You can apply on their website and get a good tablet. The organization collects donations of laptops, tablets, and desktops and gives them to those in need. They mainly target students, the disabled, and veterans requiring access to the internet.
4. Computer Technology Assistance Corps
Computer Technology Assistance Corps (CTAC) works by collecting computers and tablets from people and organizations and giving them out to those in need. They provide free tablets to low-income families, faith-based organizations, and schools. So instead of new tablets, you’ll get refurbished devices.
5. Computers for Kids
Computers for Kids operates in Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, where it offers free tablets to students for us in school. It may also give the tablets to schools or charitable organizations. It collects old tablets from individuals and organizations, refurbishes them, and provides them to needy students. So, their tablets work as well as new ones.
Interconnection is a Seattle-based non-profit organization that refurbishes donated devices before giving them to people from low-income families. Users can search for free tablets for low-income families by going to their website. However, their tablets aren’t entirely free and require payment of a small price.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know how to get free tablets for low income families, you can go on and apply for one. You may apply for the ACP discount if you qualify or get a tablet from a non-profit or charitable organization.
The ACP has stringent qualification criteria, so you should meet all the conditions. For example, you must participate in government assistance or have an income of 200% of poverty guidelines.
People Also Ask
Yes and no. Yes, because most non-profit organizations offer tablets free of charge. However, some may charge a small price. Under the ACP, you may pay between $10 and $50.
The ACP has restrictions on those applying for a free tablet. First, a family or household can get only one tablet at a time. Also, you must have an income of 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in a government assistance program.
You can get a free government tablet by applying through the ACP. Applications are either through the National Verifier or the ACP provider.