Free government phone.
Find how, and where a low income family or senior citizen can get a free government cell phone or even a tablet or landline service near them. Most telecommunication companies will provide low income families assistance so that the household will have some form of access to a device. This can include a free wireless, smart phone or a home service. The program is run in partnership with the federal government Lifeline program or Linkup. Find how to get a free cell phone from the government as well as monthly service below.
The financial assistance program is for low income families, seniors, or even the unemployed. It is paid for using the fees that every household already pays on their telephone bills each month. The primary name of the free government phone program near you is Lifeline Assistance or Linkup, but it can be called different names in different states. The various telecommunication, cell phone or wireless companies may also refer to it by different names.
The main reason that the government provides free phones or cell service to low-income families is to ensure they can communicate during a crisis. The program was created by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) agency is to ensure that all households, including seniors, the disabled, single moms or parents and the low income, have access to some means of communication.
The fact is that many families struggle to purchase an expensive cell phone or pay the deposits to start the service at their home. Or they can’t pay the monthly service, Internet or data bills, or struggle to pay for a landline. Lifeline is there for them to give free cell phones to low-income households and the government program can help families overcome these barriers.
Many of the applicants to the free government phone program live on a fixed income. This includes a person on SSI disability or maybe a senior citizen living on a pension or social security payments. Or maybe the household is facing a short term crisis, such as the loss of a job. The up front as well as recurring savings from this government created phone plan can really add up.
No matter what may be causing the hardship, people should not hesitate to ask for help as this is exactly why Lifeline was created. After all, the fees that people pay as part of the Universal Service Fund are used to offer this free government phone service. As noted, either cell phones, tablets, or other smartphone devices may be offered, for free, by the government.
Free government phone or cell services offered by phone companies
There are a number of companies that provide the free government landline or cell phone services to consumer, and these services will be offered near you. They will often (but not always) require a contract to be signed, and the terms and conditions will vary. As with any agreement that someone enters into, they should always review the terms of the deal closely. Many states also have agencies set up to answer questions from potential applicants.
One company, Assurance Wireless is part of the Virgin Mobile network. They will provide the government backed phone program is most states, but they do not operate in all of them. In general, they will provide a qualified customer with up to 250 minutes of talk time each month as well as free texting on the cell phone. In some cases they will also offer a new customer a free mobile phone with voicemail, call waiting, and other features.
While they do offer additional services, many of those can come with a fee. The FCC Lifeline Assistance will only pay for basic landline or cellular service, so if a household wants additional features added to their telephone (such as texting or more or unlimited data), those will normally come with a cost.
While there may be a government cell phone service discount on those extra features, it is still an expense above and beyond what the government will pay. This is one key reason to always review the contract closely. If the agreement is unclear, never hesitate to get additional advice on it before signing the deal.
Another major player in the marketplace is Safelink Wireless, which is part of a company called TracFone. They partner with dozens of cell phone tower companies to provide coverage to as many parts of the nation as possible. When it comes to the monthly service costs to customers, the terms and conditions on the usage of their cell phone is similar to the other providers it that they will offer a limited number of minutes, text message at no cost, and maybe even a free handset in some cases.
Many many other companies can help low income families receive a free phone and/or a discount on their monthly cell phone service bills. Some of them include Budget Mobile, EnTouch and others. As noted, always review a contract closely and be aware of any extra fees that could be charged.
Key terms to receive free government cell services or phones
Each state government will have different application criteria in place. The customer service representatives from the companies such as Assurance or Safelink can help answer questions that people have. They too want as many families as possible to get a phone as it helps their business in the long term by having a larger customer base.
In general, a free cell phone is available for families already receiving some type of state or federal government benefits or public assistance, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), TANF cash grants, Medicaid, section 8 vouchers, or free school lunches. Also, even if a household is not on public assistance, they may still qualify for a free home or mobile telephone based on their income.
There are no restrictions of what the cell phone or land line can be used for. Senior citizens can use it to make a doctor appointment or to talk to a loved one. Single mothers can get a free government phone so that they can call their families or use it to work from home or that their kid(s) can get access to the internet for school. The disabled can get a free wireless device to call for a ride or transportation to the grocery store, a clinic, or even critical shopping. As long as the applications income qualifies them, they can apply.
Many of the participants of these programs only use Lifeline for emergency calls. As the free government cell phone plans put restrictions on the number of available minutes available each month as well as texting or data plans. If someone exceeds those limits, then the customer will need to pay for the extra charges on the telephone that are not covered by the government.
Apply for free government phone programs near you.
In addition to the providers listed above, each state near you may offer additional assistance from Lifeline or another program known as Link-Up. The local governments will also generally be able to answer questions on the free cell phone programs as well as how to pay for any monthly service. There is help for cell, wireless or landlined in a home, and all are part of the federal government as well.