Verizon Wireless is one of the largest wireless network providers in the United States, with nearly 150 million subscribers. It collaborates with the U.S. government to provide free mobile phones to low-income families.
That’s in line with the government’s desire to enable all residents of the U.S. easily communicate with their friends and family members. Eligible families can get a Verizon Wireless free government phone through the Lifeline Program, operational since 1985.
Apart from a free phone, qualifying families also get free or discounted mobile phone services, depending on the prevailing state and federal eligibility requirements. Members of the Lifeline program also get a $9.25 discount on their monthly phone subscription.
Thus, the Verizon Wireless free government phones make it possible for members of low-income families to stay in touch with their loved ones more affordably. Furthermore, the program makes it easier for seniors to obtain emergency care by making it easier to call a doctor.
Once qualified for this program, individuals and their families can get either a free or discounted phone. One has to choose whether they want a wireless phone or a landline. The program doesn’t allow a family to have both.
- How Does the Lifeline Program Work on Verizon Wireless
- Qualifications for a Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
- Government-Sponsored Programs for the Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
- Government-Sponsored Programs for People on Tribal Lands
- Where to Get a Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
- How to Get a Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
- Verizon Wireless Plans
- Additional Features of the Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
- Hidden Requirements for the Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
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How Does the Lifeline Program Work on Verizon Wireless
The Lifeline program is a government initiative for supporting low-income families to get a free phone and subsidized phone services. Through it, the government works together with network carriers such as Verizon Wireless to help disadvantaged families stay in touch with their loved ones.
However, the program isn’t available automatically but requires one to qualify by meeting a strict criterion. The primary qualification is an aggregate household income of up to 135% of the prevailing Federal Poverty Guidelines. Besides, qualifying families must also participate in at least one of the government aid programs to get a free phone from Verizon, courtesy of the government.
Qualifications for a Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
The first qualification to get a free phone from the Lifeline program is to be a resident of the U.S. Therefore, foreigners may not qualify for a free phone through the program. However, being a U.S. resident is not enough to help you qualify for a free phone. You have to participate in a government-sponsored program and have your household income at a certain level.
If you’re from a low-income family, you can get a free phone through Verizon Wireless Lifeline Program if your aggregate income is up to 135% of the prevailing Federal Poverty Guidelines. You can also qualify if you’re already participating in the government’s Lifeline program. Besides, you must provide proof of participation in a government-sponsored program and verify your status through the laid down procedures.
Government-Sponsored Programs for the Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
Are you or a member of your household participating in any of the following programs? People living in non-tribal areas must prove participation in at least one government-sponsored program. To verify your eligibility for a free phone from Verizon Wireless, you need to produce the necessary documents:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA Section 8)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/food stamps
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Veterans’ and survivors’ pension benefits
- Medicaid (not Medicare)
Government-Sponsored Programs for People on Tribal Lands
If you’re living on tribal lands, you need to be participating in the following government-sponsored programs to get a Verizon Wireless free government phone:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Head Start (for those who meet its income standards)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Tribally Administered (TANF)
- Additional North Carolina state-sponsored programs
Where to Get a Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
Getting a Verizon Wireless free government phone is easy if you meet all the prerequisite criteria. Regardless of the state in which you reside, you can get a free government phone by dialing the toll-free number 1-800-417-3849.
Even if you’re not sure, you have to assume that Verizon offers free government phones in your state. You can apply for the Lifeline program through the Verizon website or print and fill out the application form. For the online application, you must provide information such as the following:
- Date of birth
- First and last name
- Your social security number (last four digits)
Those who wish to apply for a free government phone without going to the Verizon website must use the following contacts, depending on where they reside:
Offline applicants should submit their applications through the following addresses:
Residents of Maryland, Massachusetts, and Connecticut:
Residents of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Delaware, and Washington DC:
How to Get a Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
Depending on how you qualify for a free government phone, you must prove your eligibility by attaching copies of the necessary documents. For example, it is required to verify your income by presenting the most recent pay stubs and other essential documents. Those who qualify for a government-provided program should submit a copy of a document showing eligibility for the program.
Some of the required documents include the following:
- Official name from the managed care organization (MCO), tribal program administrator, or another government program
- Your name or that of the qualifying person in your family
- The government-assisted program for which you qualify
- Issue date for the program within the last 12 months
When applying for a Verizon free government phone, remember to attach only photocopy documents and not the originals. The verification documents are for Veterans Pension, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, and Veterans Survivors Benefit.
Application Restrictions for the Lifeline Program:
- Only one family member can get the Lifeline discounts
- One can get benefits from only one wireless network provider
- Applicants for Lifeline Assistance must prove identification in two ways
- The benefits of Lifeline Assistance aren’t transferrable to others
- Applicants must provide proof of residence in an area covered by Verizon Wireless
- Qualifying applicants get either a landline or mobile number, not both
- Lifeline discount phones cannot make calls outside the U.S.
- You can’t provide a false statement since it’s punishable
Verizon Wireless Plans
Apart from a Verizon Wireless free government phone, qualifying applicants also enjoy impressive discounts on the network. Here is a breakdown of some of the plans you can enjoy once you join the Verizon Wireless network:
1. Verizon Wireless Lifeline Discount
Courtesy of the Lifeline program, they can enjoy a $9.25 discount or $25 and 400 minutes if they live in designated Tribal lands. The airtime is only for calling mobile-to-mobile within the local coverage area.
2. Verizon Wireless Shared Data Plans
Verizon Wireless has several plans designed to meet the family’s calling, messaging, and internet needs. The cost can be forbidding for families with a single or two lines but gets better with additional lines. Some of the latest packages from the company are on the 5G network, while few are on the 4G LTE network. Here are some of the Verizon Wireless 5G plans:
- 5G Play More Plan: This unlimited family plan creates a balance between price and the value it delivers. It offers 50 G.B. of data per line, enough for basic internet use but not hardcore video streaming and gaming. It costs $80/month for one line, $70/month for two lines, $55 for three lines, $45 for flour lines, and $40 for 5+ lines. The plan includes Disney Bundle with Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass. Also included is 25 G.B. mobile hotspot data.
- 5G Start: The Verizon 5G Start plan is a no-frills plan, sticking to the basics like unlimited data, talk time, and messaging. While the cost for this plan is at $70/month for a single line, it reduces to $60/month for two lines, $45/month for three lines, $35/month for four lines, and $30/month for five lines. However, users would have no access to the 5G ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity, dedicated mobile hotspot data, and streaming perks.
- 5G Get More: With Verizon’s 5G Get More plan, subscribers get unlimited high-speed data that doesn’t get deprioritized and goes up to 5G. It includes 50 G.B. mobile hotspot data for you and your family. This family plan costs $90/month for one line, $80/month for two lines, $65/month for three lines, $55/month for four lines, and $50/month for five lines. One of the most attractive things about this package is the inclusion of Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu. Other benefits include Apple Arcade, Google Play, Apple Music and Verizon Cloud storage of up to 600GB.
Additional Features of the Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
Members of the Lifeline Assistance Program that meet specific criteria can also get a discount on their monthly phone charges. The discount is up to $9.25 per month, which can go a long way for a low-income family. For those living on Tribal lands, there’s an additional $25 discount on their home phone services, including expenses for installing a new home phone service.
Besides, Verizon Wireless provides its users with a Fios Home Internet and subsidized home phone subscription. Qualifying Verizon Wireless cell phone users also get tremendous Lifeline savings for enrolling in the program.
Qualifying low-income families get a $20/month discount on the Verizon Fios Internet Service, thus paying much less for the Verizon Wireless plans than any other subscribers. Additionally, Verizon provides a 60-day window to forego the router rental fee. Qualified Lifeline subscribers also get more Fios benefits subject to availability when applying for the discount. New Verizon Fios subscribers get a $20/month discount on the 200 Mbps internet package through this offer.
Hidden Requirements for the Verizon Wireless Free Government Phone
There is nothing like a free phone since you’ll likely encounter hidden requirements when applying for one. First, you must provide two types of identification documents and prove your enrollment in a government-sponsored program. If you deliberately make false representation, you would be liable for perjury, risking imprisonment, a fine, or disqualification from the program.
Also, your residential address for the Lifeline program should be in a region with Verizon Wireless as an authorized Lifeline service provider. The Lifeline program doesn’t get applied retrogressively, and variations like the Tribal Link-Up program don’t cover equipment or customer facilities like the cost of a phone.
Residents of the U.S. can get a Verizon wireless free government phone through the Lifeline Assistance Program. The U.S. government established the Lifeline Program to help low-income families get connected with friends and family. When applying for a free phone, people must prove that they qualify for the Lifeline Program and come from a low-income family. Qualifying applicants get a free phone and a $9.25 discount on their phone bills. For residents of Tribal areas, the discount can be as high as $25.
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