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Phone bill assistance

Find help paying a phone bill. Government programs help low-income families, seniors and the disabled to ensure they have some form of landline or smartphone available. There is financial help to pay cell phone bills, landlines and even internet connections from Life Line or other government benefits. Get details on phone bill assistance programs near you below.

To help ensure that some form of telephone service is both affordable and available to all people, especially lower income families as well senior citizens, the federal government has an assistance program that is run by individual state governments as well as phone companies, including Safelink, Tracfone, Assurance and even call major providers such as T Mobile, Verizon or AT&T. There are discounts, cheap cell phone service, payment plans and sometimes emergency financial help given today to customers that are facing a hardship.

Programs that help with paying cell phone bills

A local state government will provide low-income families and people on public assistance, such as SNAP or Medicaid, a combination of credits on a existing telephone bill plan or they may offer free cellular or home phones. There is also financial help or free phones for senior citizens or disabled people too. Many carriers, as noted below, also provide cell phone bill help today for people in a crisis.

The first component of this program, known as Lifeline, will provide lower income consumers along with people living in poverty a discount of up to $20 per month, depending on the state where the applicant lives. The savings will apply to the local service portion of your cell phone or landline bill. The discount can last for a year or even longer.

  • Then if you also select the lowest cost residential service plan that is offered by your local telephone company or wireless provider, that will ensure that those in need have an affordable monthly telephone bill or even home broadband internet service. All companies need to offer this help per the FTC, and cell phone companies such as Verizon, Qlink Wireless, enTouch, T Mobile and others offer assistance. Note that the government Lifeline program will even provide financial aid for buy a cell phone as well.




The second component of the government phone assistance program is Link-up. This will pay for half of the telephone installation charges or deposits. The credit is given to someone installing a new telephone service in their home or that is activating a wireless phone. The amount of cash assistance paid out will be to a maximum of $50.00 or so, depending on your state.

  • Link-Up is also flexible. It will even pay for cell phone service, internet as well as a more traditional landlines. Link-up is but one program offered by many states and local organizations. Find additional government assistance programs.
  • To further reduce the initial cost to families to establish this new telephone service, consumers that need help can also request to your local phone company that the balance of the installation charge be divided over a period of several months into an affordable payment plan. So you can pay the initial installation costs over a period of time rather than having it due immediately.
  • In addition, the Link-Up program will also let consumers borrow up hundreds of dollars for setup fees, interest-free, for up to one year time frame, so customers can technically get a zero percent interest loan to help pay their phone installation bills.

Both of these government telephone assistance programs were created to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income families and the elderly across the nation. This is also why a free smartphone, even iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, may be provided. Look here for details on a free iPhone and service.

The government wants to help provide low-income families access to some form of communication service, and even cellular phones, at affordable rates. The Lifeline program is funded by the Universal Service Charge which is billed to all cell phone users across the county.

Lifeline requirements

Each state has its own criteria. Families or single people that receive some form of public assistance, including, but not limited to, SNAP food stamps, TANF, Section 8 housing vouchers, Medicaid, or SSI may be qualified for a free cell phone or financial help / discounts. Low-income families that have an EBT card or get financial assistance from LIHEAP will also get phone bill help or free a cell.





The government Link-Up and Lifeline Telephone Assistance Programs are available in every state across the country. People can even be eligible for the program if they live in US territories and commonwealths, or they can get a free tablet from Apple or Samsung. More on a free tablet with SNAP benefits.

A household can only enroll into the program one time, so that means only one account can be subsidized by this government benefit. They can also only use one phone per residence, so select a cellular or home phone that is to be covered. Currently since states have their own Lifeline program, they will have their own criteria for being able to apply.

Some states will even partner with private companies near you and telecommunication providers to provide these phone bill assistance programs to their residents. Or a municipality will work with other companies in the state to pass out free phones to people living in poverty as well as the elderly or disabled.Phone bill assistance programs

Individuals can also dial the Universal Service Administrative Company at 1-888-641-8722 to learn more about the Lifeline or Link-Up programs or other related plans. Or call your telephone or cellular provider and inquire into this with customer service. The FCC also has information on low-income phone discounts. All phone companies, including AT&T and Verizon, will have information available to qualified low income customers.

Low cost, high speed Internet service for phone calls

Another option for lower income families is to explore programs that provide low cost Internet access. Cable companies such as Comcast and others offer this to households with children that are enrolled into school. So the family can use the Internet for both every day tasks and also to make telephone calls, using services such as Skype. So Lifeline can be combined with these programs from Comcast and other providers for significant savings. Find more details on low cost Internet.

Free cell phones with discounted pricing plans

There are companies that provide low income families with a free telephone as well. This is also available as part of the Lifeline program, and both SafeLink Wireless as well as Assurance provide millions of consumers this service. Some providers will not need a contract either. Anyone who gets a phone, or has one now, can also find details on how to make money using apps on a cell phone, which is free to do.







While the phone may not be the latest model available, it will almost always provide access to the Internet, come with texting functions, and have many other features. Not only can an individual get a free phone from this component of Lifeline, but the monthly plan provided to them will also be much less expensive than their competitors. The program can help them cut back on the bills associated with their monthly plans. Learn more information the Assurance free telephone programs.

The federal government also partners on these programs as they are paid for using taxpayer dollars. This means that if a household does not qualify for a free telephone phone from one company, there are many others they can try. The FCC regulates this service on a national and local level in an effort to ensure that all low income families have the ability to communicate in an emergency. For more information, locate free government funded phone programs.

Low income senior citizens can also receive a free wireless or home phone near them. This is part of the Lifeline service listed below. The primary reason that the elderly may be given priority is it can help them ensure they have some form of communication for medical reasons, such as calling a doctor. The free phone as well as minutes given to them can also combat loneliness of our elderly population. Find how seniors can get free phones.

Apply for help near you with phone bills

Select a state below. As noted, each state may have their own rules and regulations, but the assistance is mandated. In addition, cell phone and cable companies also process applications to give help for phone bills.





















New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina








South Carolina






Additional ways to get phone or cell bill assistance

Another option is to contact a non-profit agency in your county. The Lifeline telephone assistance program is part of the Low Income Program of the Universal Service Fund. Many community action agencies can also refer people to the program and provide more information on Link-Up and Lifeline.


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By Jon McNamara











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