When you are already having trouble making ends meet, a cell phone may initially seem like a luxury you have to pass up. However, communication with friends, family members, co-workers, and other people in your life, such as your doctor is essential. That is why federal programs exist that provide government cell phones for no cost to qualifying applicants.
Not all United States citizens qualify for government cell phones. To get cheap or free cell phones from the government, you must prove you have a need for such a service. Here, learn if you are in the running for a free government cell phone.
If you are in need of a cell phone but can’t afford the high cost of cell phones these days, you may be able to receive a free cell phone from the government. To qualify for cheap or free cell phone deals offered by the government, the first step is to sign up for Lifeline Assistance.
Lifeline Assistance is the name of the government program that manages providing free cell phones and assistance for phone expenses for those in need. The Lifeline Assistance program determines who is applicable for a free cell phone based on the federal poverty levels of that year, and if you meet the criteria you can be applicable for the Lifeline Assistance services and resources.
To be applicable for the Lifeline Assistance resources, annual earnings must be 135% or less of the current monetary amount that is considered to be at the poverty level as determined by the government.
However, there are other ways you can immediately apply for Lifeline Assistance resources. If you are already qualified and receiving benefits for other government welfare programs, and you are already enrolled in one or various other programs, you might immediately be applicable for Lifeline Assistance as well.
Some of the programs you are already enrolled in that will make you applicable for Lifeline Assistance are:
- Food Stamps Program, now named the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Federal Survivors and Pension Benefits for Veterans
- Native American Tribal Programs for Tribe members living on official tribal lands
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you believe you qualify for free cell service based on your income, you can apply online for Lifeline Assistance. However, you must present tax returns, pay stubs, or other documentation showing your income level. You can also enroll using proof of enrollment in one of the above programs. That proof can come in the form of an official document issued by one of those programs, a letter, or a card indicating your enrollment.
After qualification, you must select a phone service provider within 90 days. Read on to compare some phone providers that serve Lifeline Assistance members.