It’s a fact that we all need to have a cell phone to communicate. It will help you keep in touch with your family, you will need your cell phone for work-related issues and to access other services such as emergency services. However, not all of us can afford to have a cell phone. The government understands too well the benefits of having a phone that’s why it introduced the free government cell phone with internet. The government has partnered with mobile phone companies to provide free government cell phone with internet to people who cannot afford to buy a cell phone.
This government-backed program is for people who can’t afford to buy a cell phone. The cell phone comes with free texts and 250 minutes or unlimited talk time every month. With more than 50 cell phone companies providing these free cell phones, more and more people are believed to benefit from this program.
How To Apply for a Free Government Cell Phone Touch Screen
If you are wondering if qualifying for a free government cell phone touch screen is complicated, worry not. It is as easy as ABC. With the program believed by many to be the most successful government program, many people are registering to get their free government cell phone with internet.
It is important to note that not everyone qualifies for a free government cell phone with internet. Mostly, it’s for people facing financial difficulties. A majority of people who benefit from the following government programs qualify for the free cell phone:
SSI – Supplemental Security Income is a program administered by social security administration. It provides assistance to the disabled members of the society in either cash, welfare or health assistance. It also offers help to the aged and orphans who cannot maintain themselves.
To qualify for the free government cell phone with internet you could present a stub check proof of membership.
Medicaid – Medicaid is a state government and federal program which provides free medical assistance to low-income earners. To qualify for the free government cell phone with internet you must produce membership proof.
Food stamps and SNAP – This is a federal program that provides free food aid to low-income earners. You must produce your certificate or any document showing the registration date, address, and the beneficiary’s name. The document or certificate must also show the name of the program.
Tribal TNAF – Tribal TNAF is a government program that provides assistance to any Indian American family that falls under the category of low-income earners. The program aims at assisting kids between 3-5 years in enhancing social, mental or emotional development by assisting their parents.
A membership letter can be presented as evidence of being a beneficiary of this program to qualify for the free government cell phone touch screen.
Veterans pension & survivor’s benefit – It’s a government program that provides tax- free cash to war veterans and their dependents. To qualify for a free government cell phone one must produce evidence of being a member of this program.
Federal-Public Housing Assistance (section 8) – This is a program that subsidizes rent for low-income earners. Provide your award letter as proof of membership to this program to qualify for a free phone from the government.
FDPIR – This is an Indian-American version of the SNAP program. A proof of membership of FDPIR program must be presented for one to qualify for the free phone from the government. Any of the documents must provide a beginning and ending date of the program.
BIA – The program mandated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to help Indian American families cope with utility expenses and basic expenses. One must provide the direct ISP or documents in order to qualify for the free government cell phone touch screen.
After you have verified that you qualify to follow the following simple process:
- Step 1
You will need to find out the free cellphone suppliers in your state.
- Step 2
Find comprehensive information about the participating cell phone companies. You will also find out how to get in contact with them. It is very crucial that you thoroughly verify the products that they are offering.
Since you will be the cell phone provider for a period of one year, go for the one which best suits your needs.
- Step 3
After you have picked the cell phone company which suits you, you can enroll on their website or via phone. Enrolling online is better since its time saving as you don’t have to wait to speak to an available operator. It’s also easy as it enables you to upload any documents that the company might require from you.
Once you have enrolled, you will have to wait for your free cell phone to arrive via mail. A delivery time varies from one company to another and it can take between one week and several weeks.
Cell Phone Companies Participating in the Free Government Cell Phone With Internet Program
1. Access Wireless
It provides subscribers with a free government cell phone with internet, 200 MB data and 750 minutes free calls monthly and unlimited texts. It provides these services to the following states: Oklahoma, Arizona, Delaware, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Indiana, Texas, Washington, California, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Utah, West Virginia, District of Columbia, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, and Connecticut.
If you live in any of these states and eligible for the free government cell phone with internet, you will get your cell phone within minutes. Subscribers who live in California get an even better deal that includes 200 MB free data, 1000 free call minutes and free texts.
2. American Assistance
This is a Lifeline Assistance Company which offers its subscribers with 500 free texts and 500 minutes of free talk time. In as much as this company only offers half what other companies offer but it makes up for this by offering free features.
Subscribers get free caller ID services, voicemail services, and call-waiting services. The company is available in the following states: Utah, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Hawaii, Colorado, Wisconsin, Nevada, Ohio, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
Subscribers who may need to use internet services are disadvantaged since American Assistance doesn’t offer free data.
3. Arctic-Slope Telephone, Association Cooperative (ASTAC)
People who live in remote areas might face difficulties trying to access the free government cell phone with internet from Lifeline Assistance Companies. ASTAC offers free government cell phones and services to residents of this area. Residents of the following areas also can assess free cell phones from ASTAC: Selavik, Alaska West Coast, Noorvik and Kotzebue.
Residents of these areas will need ASTAC in order to keep in touch with loved ones or workmates. If you need to make a long distance call, you will have to make a deposit of $ 200. Otherwise calling within the Northern Slopes is free. Also, roaming calls are also not available in the region.
4. Blue Jay Wireless
This is a Lifeline Assistance Provider which serves the following states: Arizona, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Texas, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.
Unlike most Lifeline Assistance companies, this company serves Puerto Rico. Subscribers will get a free government cell phone with internet, 250 free talk time and unlimited free texts. However, there is no free data and users in California need to pay for the data at a fee of $26 for 5GB data. Subscribers who live outside California will be required to pay $3.60 for 500 MB data.
5. Assurance Wireless
Using this Lifeline Assistance free cell phone provider subscribers will get free government cell phone with internet, 500 MB free data, unlimited texts and 350 minutes of free talk time.
This company is from Nextel and it providers subscribers from the following states with free smartphones and phone services: Utah, West Virginia, Indiana, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Kansas, Minnesota, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, Alabama, California Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Ohio, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Georgia.
Plans are underway to make this service available to many more states not mentioned. This Lifeline Assistance provides subscribers with a free android cellphone, 350 free talk time and if that is not enough, users can top up using top-up cards from Virgin mobiles.
6. enTouch Wireless
This cellphone service is available in 20 states. These states include the following: Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Nebraska, North Dakota, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Idaho, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Texas, South Carolina, Missouri, and Hawaii.
The company is expanding to cover more states in the near future. Non-tribal residents in California get 500 MB of free data, unlimited texts and talk time. Tribal residents qualify for unlimited free calls and texts. They also get 2.4 free GB data monthly.
Residents of all states get 10 MB of data for the 500 minutes and 100 texts. Non- California residents the 750 MB data plan also has unlimited texts.
7. Safelink Wireless
Safelink wireless lifeline Assistance Company gets you a free government cell phone with internet, 350 minutes of free talk time and 500 MB free data and unlimited texts. It’s the oldest Lifeline Assistance Company so it’s trusted by most people who dwell in the 40 states it operates in.
Residents of California will get a free Android smartphone, unlimited minutes and texts, and 500 MB free data. Other states apart from California have two programs. The first program requires subscribers to come with their own compatible phones. They will get a free SIM card which has 350 free minutes; unlimited texts free 500 MB of data. The other program subscribers get a free government cell phone with internet, 350 free minutes, unlimited texts and 500 MB free data in a month.
8. Terracom Wireless
Terracom Wireless operates in the following states: Indiana, Iowa, Arizona, Nebraska, Minnesota, Maryland, Louisiana, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nevada, West Virginia, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Subscribers get a free smartphone which comes with 1,000 free minutes, unlimited texts and 500 MB of free data for those who live in Oklahoma.
Subscribers qualify for free texts and calls and 500MB data. This will depend on your area of residence. California residents get a free android phone, unlimited free minutes and texts and 500 MB of free data.
Residents of other states only get 100 free minutes, 500MB monthly data and unlimited texts.
10. Sprocket Wireless
People who live in the rural areas of Oklahoma can get access to a Sprocket Wireless cell phone and services for only $1. People who live in the following areas can access this program: Eufaula, Canadian, Hugo, Savanna, Idabel, Broken Bow, Dustbin, Indianola, Muskogee, Checotah, Stigler, Seminole, Crowder, Fairfax, Henryetta, and Pawhuska.
It’s not entirely free since you will be required to pay $1 to benefit from the program.
Lifeline Assistance Discounted Cell Phones Rates
Some people might not be satisfied with the free government cell phone with internet due to personal reasons. Others might reside in areas where this program
is not available.
These people might benefit from Lifeline Assistance discounted cell phone rates. The following is a list of companies which offer discounted rates for cellphones:
- Element mobile
- Cordova Wireless
- Centennial- de Puerto Rico
- ATT Mobility
- Total Call Mobile
- Verizon Wireless
- SouthernLINC wireless
- Viaero Wireless
These are just a few of the companies that provide discounted rates on cell phones. You should check the pros and cons of the services provided by the companies. This will help you find the program that fits your needs to get the best value for your hard earned money.
Facts About the Government’s Free Phones Program
Lifeline Assistance program is on the rise as the economy takes a ditch. The following is a list of facts about this program:
1. More than 10 million phones are currently in use
This is a program which began in the late 90s with landline phones. The first free wireless phone was given in 2008 and this trend has been on the rise.
2. The program is available in more than 38 states
This program can be accessed from 38 states Puerto Rico and Washington included. This program is expected to rapidly grow in the near future with more states expected to be covered soon.
3. Beneficiaries of other government aids qualify for this program
If you are a beneficiary of other government aid programs like food STAMP, Medicaid, SSI among others. You will be required to provide proof of membership to qualify free government cell phone with internet.
4. It’s also called the “Obama Phone”
It’s popularly known as the “Obama Phone” though the first free phone was issued during Bush’s presidency.
5. Illegal aliens also qualify
This is a program which doesn’t discriminate against non-US citizens. There is no mechanism to verify citizenship
6. The biggest player is the world’s richest man
Safelink Wireless is the original and oldest company to partner with the government to provide free phones. The company is owned by Carlos Slim. He is the richest man in the world.
7. Its plagued by fraud
Unfortunately, this program is plagued by fraud. This means that those individuals who qualify for this program may be left out and the phones are given to nondeserving individuals. It’s a relief that FCC is going after the fraudsters.
The oddball is that residents of California pay $1 for 1,000 free minutes. In Alaska, subscribers pay $1 for unlimited free call minutes while in the other states
subscribers get 250 free talk time monthly.
9. If your income is 150% of the poverty level you qualify for the free cell phone
In all the states apart from Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, Ohio, Florida, Arizona, New Jersey, and Texas, you can qualify with 135% federal poverty guidelines.
10. You are bound to love the free internet program from the government if you already love the free government cell phone program.
An affordable internet is already here but better things are on the way with free internet expected soon.
Are The Phones Really Free?
It’s hard to believe that a carrier can offer something for absolutely free. There seems to be a catch somewhere but where?
1. Contracts on Free Phones
You don’t require paying anything to have this phone but the catch is here, the price is inflated for the customers who buy smartphones for the two-year plan. You may not be paying anything for your phone but you are paying for it through the cell plan price.
In the two years period, you will pay the same amount you would be paying for the same phone in 24 months instalment. In summary:
- Most carriers no longer provide contracts.
- The phones on contract are actually not free. There’s a cost you pay for it in the monthly charges you pay though you will not see it in your bills.
- Your line and the phone will be wrapped in one into a 24 months commitment with the carrier.
2. Buy One and Get One Free
At times, carriers may run a buy one get one free variation of free phones. This is meant to encourage buyers to buy these expensive gadgets. Do not confuse this with a simple process of just picking one phone for free and paying for the other one.
You only qualify for a Free Government Cell Phone With Internet after you have added a new line to your account. You will be now paying an extra $45 which you didn’t initially plan for. The phone might cost you nothing but you will be paying $ 30 monthly charges. Should you plan to cancel this program before the 30 months have elapsed, you will be required to pay the balance in full. So technically you will have a free phone but you will be paying for it in the monthly bills.
3. Surprise Fees and Sales Tax
You will still be paying for the full tax as required by law regardless of your credit score. You may be expected to pay an upgrade fee which ranges between $35 and $40. These are costs which are meant to cover switching to a new phone line and exchanging your old phone with a new one.
Should you decide to return your new handset, you may be asked to pay a restocking fee for putting this phone back to the market. This costs $35-$40.
What this means, in short, is that:
- Early upgrades or instalments will require full tax payment of the full amount of the phone as if you are purchasing the phone and paying for it in slow instalments.
- You don’t have to pay the full amount of tax since you are not owning but leasing the phone.
- Should you need to change providers, you will be expected to pay all the remaining instalments on your phone or you return it.
4. Free Cell Phones from the Government
The government does provide its citizen with absolutely free cell phones. However, this is only for those individuals who will qualify for this program from Lifeline Assistance. Depending on your area of residence and personal circumstance you may qualify for a free phone from the government and 250 minutes of free calls monthly.
This program is meant for people who are financially challenged. These individuals may not be in a position to afford a cellphone. The eligibility requirements vary depending on states and the participating providers.
The general rule is that the individuals qualifying must have a total of less than 150% federal poverty guideline.
5. Free Cellphone Plans
Free phones are not always entirely free. However, there are ways to nab free calls, data plans, and texts on your phone. There are several providers who are keen on providing free phone services to qualifying individuals.
Included in this plan are monthly free minutes, texts and data. It is important to note the following when choosing this plan:
- Understand that you might not get a 100% free service as providers still expect to earn something from you.
- To qualify for the free plan, you will be expected to bring a compatible phone or buy one from the provider.
There is no doubt that everyone requires a telecommunication service to keep in touch with loved ones or for work-related purposes. However, it’s not everybody who can afford to have a cell phone. For this reason, the government has partnered with several Lifeline Assistance companies to provide free government cell phone with internet to deserving individuals. Eligibility varies from state to state and also depending on the providers. However, it’s a general rule that to qualify you must meet the 150% federal poverty guideline. One must also be a beneficiary of other government assistance programs like food STAMPS, Medicaid among others.