Low-Income Americans Get Free Cell Phone and Service

If you're struggling financially, paying for cell phone service can be a real challenge. Yet having a cell phone is almost necessary these days. If you're looking for a new job, applying for benefits, or just raising a family, you need a phone so people can reach you. Thankfully, the Lifeline program helps low-income Americans by providing them a cell phone and covering some if not all of their cellular service costs.

If you're struggling financially, paying for cell phone service can be a real challenge. Yet having a cell phone is almost necessary these days. If you're looking for a new job, applying for benefits, or just raising a family, you need a phone so people can reach you. Thankfully, the Lifeline program helps low-income Americans by providing them a cell phone and covering some if not all of their cellular service costs.

How It Works

Lifeline Assistance is a benefit program enacted by the federal government that provides low-income households with discounts for monthly phone service. This program was designed to help Americans stay connected to communication networks so they can find jobs, access health care services, and get help in emergency situations. Lifeline is supported by the federal Universal Service Fund.

The Lifeline program covers the cost of a new cellphone and will pay for anywhere from 250 to unlimited minutes. Your service plan will depend on where you get service, as various providers participate in the program. Your free phone will be a current model with full features.

To get your free phone and service, you'll need to contact one of the several providers throughout the country, such as Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Access Wireless, or one of several others. To see if you qualify, click below to continue reading.

Eligibility

The Lifeline Assistance program is available in all states, territories, commonwealth and Tribal lands to low-income subscribers. To qualify for a free cell phone and service, your income must either be at or below 135%* of the federal poverty guidelines, or you must already be enrolled and participating in one of the following programs: 

Qualifying for free cellular service through the government is easy if you already are enrolled in one of the above programs, because you won't have to prove your income. However, if you are not already a part of any of these programs but are below the income guidelines, you can still qualify with a littler paperwork. 

Dozens of companies participate in the free government cell phone program, or the Lifeline assistance program. And the program has been hugely successful, with an estimated 12-15 million Americans already using a free government cell phone. Thanks to Lifeline Assistance, millions of Americans have regular access to cellular service.

In order to claim your free government cell phone, you need to meet the income requirements. If you think you qualify, here is what to do next:

Getting Free Government Cell Phone is Easy

To claim your free government cell phone, first you will want to identify the eligibility requirements in your state and the companies that offer phones. To check your eligibility, this tool can give you an idea if you qualify.

After you've determined whether you are eligible for your free government cell phone, you'll want to find all the companies offering free cell phones in your state.

Lastly, you will need to re-certify your eligibility for your free cell service each year. Also, the Lifeline Assistance program is good for one phone per household. You will receive annual requests to update your information. Be sure to reply to these requests immediately, as not doing so may stop your benefits of free cellular service.

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