Are you currently in the market for a phone but don’t have the funds to purchase one? You can opt for a free government phone instead. Many service providers in the country offer free government to consumers who cannot afford one.
How are they able to do this? By partnering with the Federal Government in the Lifeline Assistance program. This program has enabled many service providers to offer wireless services for free and even provide free phones to low-income consumers.
During the Covid-19 period, the government also developed the Emergency Broadband Benefit program (now replaced by the Affordable Connectivity Program). This program can also help you get a free phone from the government.
All service providers offering free government phones will require you to sign up for these programs before you send your free government phone application to them. If you want to know who has the best free government phones, continue reading this article!
- Who Qualifies For Free Government Phones
- Top 10 Companies Offering Free Government Phones
- How Can You Apply For Free Government Phones
- Frequently Asked Questions
Who Qualifies For Free Government Phones
Before figuring out who has the best free government phones, you will first need to sign up for the Lifeline Assistance program the Federal government offers. This program has stringent requirements that every participant has to satisfy before they can enjoy benefits such as free talk, texting, and government phones from Lifeline providers. Some qualification criteria include:
1. Membership in A Government Assistance Program
One of the best ways to qualify for a free government phone from a Lifeline/ACP provider is to enroll in an assistance program offered by the Federal Government. You will need to provide the relevant documentation to your service provider for them to verify that you’re qualified for the program. Listed below are the popular programs that make you eligible:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance(FPHA)
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(Tribal TANF)
- Supplemental Security Income(SSI)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Food Stamps
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations(FDPIR)
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families(TANF)
- National School Lunch/ Breakfast Program
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program(LIHEAP)
Note that you can apply for all of these programs from any state. Additionally, there are assistance programs that are distinct to every state. These programs are very similar to the Federal Government program, only that the state administers them. They also enable you to get a free phone from Lifeline providers.
To get a free government phone, your household’s total earnings should not go over or be equal to 135% of the Poverty Guidelines set by the Federal Communications Commission. Like the previous criteria, you need to provide relevant documents confirming your income level.
Your family’s total income includes all the taxable and non-taxable earnings that you or anyone who depends on you made for the year under consideration. Examples are salary, allowances, lottery winnings, inheritance, wages, and gifts.
If you are a person with a disability, you can be eligible for a free phone from the government. Gather all documents that show you’re living with a disability, e.g., official documents from medical practitioners. Please drop them off together with your application at a Lifeline program office near you.
Top 10 Companies Offering Free Government Phones
Many companies take part in the Lifeline program offered by the Federal government, but who has the best free government phones? This section will provide more details about each one of them.
1. Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless is one of the largest providers of free government phones in the United States. This company is a subsidiary of T-Mobile and utilizes its infrastructure to distribute network services to its consumers.
This company plies its trade in the majority of the states in the country. Assurance Wireless offers its consumers free android government phones as long as they‘re qualified. They also provide varying plans to consumers from these states.
If you reside in California, you will receive unlimited texting, talk time, and 5GB of data every month. Residents of all other states receive unlimited texting, talk time, and 3GB of data monthly.
2. SafeLink Wireless
SafeLink Wireless is a reliable telecommunication company that offers Lifeline services to deserving consumers across the country. This company which operates under the wing of Tracfone Wireless is among the earliest founded Lifeline and ACP providers.
They depend on four major network carriers, namely, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, to provide phone services to their customers. Customers can get a SafeLink Wireless free government phone if they apply for one.
However, all applicants are required to satisfy certain irreducible minimums first. SafeLink will also request you to present documents proving that you meet these minimums. Approved applicants will be given a phone for free, unlimited texting, 1000 minutes, and 2GB of data every month.
3, QLink Wireless
QLink Wireless might not be our list’s most significant telecommunication company, but they still offer incredible wireless services. On top of that, they help many Americans from low-income households to get free phones that they can use to scroll through social media, school, and apply for work.
This company relies on Sprint Mobile for network provision since they don’t have any infrastructure. Sprint has one of the best network coverage in the country, so Qlink Wireless customers can enjoy seamless connections wherever they are.
Besides the free phone, QLink Wireless also provides 3GB of data every month for surfing the internet. They also award their customers 1000 minutes of talk time and unlimited texting.
4. Terracom Wireless
Terracom is an excellent alternative to QLink Wireless for people who want a new phone but whose income is below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Terracom knows how constrained one’s budget can be when one lives under the poverty line.
You can potentially receive as much as 1840 talk time minutes and data amounting to 2GB if you apply for a free government phone from them. But you will need to be a member of the Lifeline program first. Terracom Wireless services are available in over 21 states.
5. American Assistance
American Assistance is a wireless service provider that provides free phones to financially-strained individuals in the country. Currently, they can be found in the following states: Rhode Island, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, West Virginia, Maryland, and Missouri, to mention a few.
You can apply for a free government phone from them through their Lifeline program. If your application is approved, they will send you a free phone. The only downside is that you will be required to pay $25 to activate your phone.
They will also provide unlimited texting, 500 minutes of talk time, and data amounting to 3GB. Any lifeline customer in California will receive unlimited texting, talk time, and data amounting to 4GB from American Assistance.
6. enTouch Wireless
enTouch Wireless is commonly referred to as Boomerang Wireless. This company serves Americans residing in more than 20 states. Not only do they have excellent network coverage, but also an impeccable customer support team.
If you reside in any state other than California and are a member of the Lifeline program, you will be eligible for data amounting to 100MB. Furthermore, you will receive unlimited texting and 1000 talk time minutes. In addition, you will receive a fully functional cell phone.
California residents enjoy better perks, including unlimited texting, talk time, and a 500 MB data bundle every month. One good thing is that enTouch Wireless has a “bring your own device” program.
If you were wondering who has the best free government phones, then TrueConnect fits that bill. Their Lifeline assistance program has helped low-income people from more than 22 states to get free phones to enjoy their good network.
TruConnect does not have any network towers of its own, so it depends on two major carriers to supply networks; T-Mobile and Sprint Mobile. Any customer enrolled in their Lifeline program stands the chance of being awarded a free cellphone.
This company offers unlimited talk time and as much as 3GB of data every month. Fortunately, you can also bring your own phone if you don’t qualify for a free one. This will enable you to continue enjoying their wireless services.
8. Access Wireless
Access Wireless is a common name in the free government phone providers’ arena. They rely on Sprint for the network. What makes them unique is that they offer free government touch screen phones to eligible customers. Existing customers can exchange their basic phones for more advanced models in the phone upgrade program.
Eligible customers of Access Wireless can enjoy unlimited texting, data amounting to 50MB, and 1000 talk time minutes. Fortunately, there are three major plans for customers who aren’t eligible for Lifeline. The first plan offers unlimited texting, WiFi, and talk time for $20.
The second one, which costs $35, gives you 3GB of data and unlimited texting and talk time. Finally, a $50 plan gives you data amounting to 10GB and unlimited texting and talk time.
9. Tag Mobile
Tag Mobile was established in 2010 to make phone services affordable to people from low-income households. They do this by collaborating with the Federal Government in the Lifeline program. Through this program, they are also able to distribute free phones.
This telecommunication company has three major network carriers; T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint, so you are always assured of a reliable network. Customers who receive free government phones will also enjoy unlimited texting, 1GB of data monthly, and 1000 minutes of talk time.
T-Mobile is among the largest wireless service providers in the industry. More than 80 million Americans are currently subscribed to their service. Despite their vast size, they are only able to provide free phones to people from nine states only.
However, if you reside in any of these states and qualify for their Lifeline program, they will promptly start offering unlimited talking, texting, and data. Additionally, they will give you a free government phone to help you enjoy these services.
How Can You Apply For Free Government Phones
You can follow the simple steps below to complete your application for a free government phone:
- Step 1: Confirm if you’re eligible for a free phone from the government. You can do this by visiting the National Verifier.
- Step 2: If you meet all the qualification requirements, choose the service provider you deem fit from the above-mentioned list.
- Step 3: Apply for a free government phone from your chosen Lifeline provider by downloading a form from their online site, filling and sending it to them. Alternatively, you can use their online portal to make your application.
- Step 4: Wait for your application to be vetted. Your respective Lifeline provider will contact you once the process is done to inform you if you were accepted to the program or not. Your phone will be mailed to you if the application is accepted
This article has provided a comprehensive list of companies that offer free government phones. All the companies have specific perks that their customers can enjoy. You can compare and contrast them and send your application to the best one that suits your needs.
Remember, you will need to sign up for the Lifeline program first before you can make your application. If you don’t satisfy the prerequisite criteria for this program, you can search online for phone deals that will enable you to save a substantial amount of cash when purchasing new phones.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Which Government Program Provides The Best Phones?
The Lifeline Assistance Program was set up to make cellular services budget-friendly for people from financially-constrained backgrounds.
How Can You Qualify For A Free Government Phone?
You can receive a free government phone from a Lifeline service provider if you’re enrolled in any of the assistance programs offered by the federal government, e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/SNAP, Medicaid, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance e.t.c
What Kind Of Phones Can You Get From The Government For Free?
Unfortunately, the government does not provide advanced phones such as the iPhone 13 or Samsung Galaxy S22. You can only find basic android devices like the Alcatel Dawn.
Can You Bring Your Own Device To Lifeline?
Yes, you can. However, not all service providers offer the “Bring Your Own Phone” program. So, it would help if you looked for one that does.