Cellphone is an important part of our daily life. You need it at least for texting, calling and using the internet data, if not other features. It plays an important role when you want to collect with your family or friends.
With Free Government cell phones, the life of people has become easy especially for the people who belong to below poverty line and can’t afford a smartphone because of low income. In the era, we live in, a cell phone is an important aspect not only for communicating but also other functions like news, weather, podcasts and for capturing photos and videos among many other activities.
The FCC has led some strict guidelines as to who is eligible for the free government cell phone assistance. Those who are already enrolled in one of the following programs are eligible:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Tribal-specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), Head Start, Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
If you fall under low-income group and are below 135% of the federal poverty guideline then also you are eligible for a lifeline. To apply for this government plan, you will need to submit your low-income stamp, a W-2 form, food stamps, or a letter from the government agency where you are enrolled. Here are 4 simple steps to acquire free government cell phones:
- Choose a lifeline phone provider: By visiting lifeline assistance offices you can look for the details of the phone provider and find the best lifeline provider within your State.
- Check if you qualify: Once you are done with choosing the best phone service provider that suits your requirement check if you qualify because of low income or by enrolling in a Federal assistance program.
- Fill up the application: The applications are available on the free phone provider’s website. You can fill it and submit it along with other necessary documents like food stamps and income stamps to prove your eligibility.
- Check your mail: If you are eligible for the free government phone plan and your application is approved, you will get the confirmation for the free lifetime service.
If there are more questions are lingering around in your mind, then this article is right there to help you. We will provide how to apply for these free government cell phone and which phone providers are the best.
Are These Phone Free?
When we read the word free, it is natural that there comes doubt in the mind, if the product is really free or just a hoax. With this fear, some Americans are confused whether this lifeline service is free and available in the market. The alarm or fear whatever resides in one’s mind should not exist.
You should not worry at all if you are new to this best free government plan, and if you qualify, it is really easy to become a beneficiary of this free government phone. The free plan was earlier named as the Lifeline assistance, which means that you can own a free government phone that will help you communicate without investing a penny. This lifeline program has been operational in 49 states which includes Washington and south American parts such a Puerto Rico.
Right now, many of these free government phone providers are operating at both the national level, and the regional level. They have been recognized by the state. Enrolling to one of these service, plan or program should not be a very difficult process for you.
Where Can We Find the Best Free Government Cell Phones?
A free government cell phone is provided by dozens of phone providers. These providers have to set up offices and retail stored within the state that they operate in. By having retail stores in the state, people have easy access to these services. They have official websites as well on which you can apply for these phones without needing to visit their office.
The most important issue remains to find the best free government phone service provider in the state. This is where FCC helps you. They have office set-up in every state where one can visit and get the information about all these service providers.
Is There an Option to Change the SIM Card on a Free Government Phone?
The FCC came up with some new regulations recently, which brought a positive change in the sectors concerning switching service provider. In the past one needs to do a lot of documentation formality to do this but now people can do it easily through there website. You can change your provider with no need to change the number as well what you need to know is:
- Sim card must have similar network technology as that of your phone
- The phone should not be locked (like having apple restrictions)
- You will have to first deactivate the old sim card by informing the previous service provider, before switching to a new one.
These phone providers use different network technologies which means that if your phone uses GSM then you will have to switch to sim card that is GSM compatible. To change the Sim card you will have to follow these steps:
- Check compatibility: You can do this by calling customer care for your new provider.
- Provide your details: The service provider will need certain information about you like the billing address, current phone number, name, and your account number.
- Collect the sim card: If your application is approved and your phone is compatible with your sim card, you are ready to switch to the new sim card.
Approximately 12 to 15 million Americans now have free government cell phones while the economy is still not improving. As per the estimates by experts, these numbers are going to only increase in future. Safelink Wireless and Assurance Wireless are two of the largest best free cell phone providers which are available in many states in comparison to other phone providers. Find out which of these companies provides the best free government cell phones in your vicinity and if they meet your requirements.
Ten Free Best Government Phone Providers
1. Access Wireless
Access Wireless is gradually becoming a major manufacturer of free government cell phones. They provide lifeline assistance in 35 states.
Comes with: It comes up with up to 750 minutes of calls, free unlimited text, and 200MB of mobile data every month except in California. If you live in California, you get 1,000 call minutes and texts and free data of up to 200 MB. These plans may vary as per your requirements and the state you reside.
Available in the ff states: Access wireless provides free government phone in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
2. American Assistance
American assistance is a company that provides coverage to the full nation. American Broadband and telecommunications have offered it to be the brand name of the Lifeline Assistance free government cell phones.
Comes with: With this free government cell phones, you get 500 free text messages, 500 minutes free per month, and 1GB monthly data.
This company clearly states that the phone is provided free and there are no monthly bills, contract signing process or necessary purchases when you apply for a free government phone with them. If you think that you need a different plan, they offer you options to purchase additional offers. The terms to be eligible for best free smartphones varies from state to state. Normally, they provide a free government phone if you volunteer in some government aid program.
Available in the ff states: Currently, the free government smartphones from this provider are available in Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
If you reside in any remote locations along Alaska’s North Slope coast then it might be difficult to get free government cell phone service from a traditional company
Comes with: For any long-distance calls, you need to do a deposit of $200. Roaming calls are charged at $.25 per minute for 411 calls.
Available in the ff states: The Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative (ASTAC) provides free government phone to people living in this area and even in Alaska’s west coast region and in South at places like Kotzebue, Selavik and Noorvik. The downside of this provider is that it only provides free unlimited local text, calling and data within the North Slope area.
4. Safelink Wireless
Safelink is the oldest and the largest company providing best free government smartphones for years. Currently, millions of people in over 40 states find this platform very efficient. They offer a free government smartphone and sim card depending on your qualification.
Comes with: In California, with free sim, they provide unlimited minutes and 1 GB of data per month. With a free smartphone, you get unlimited calling minutes and 2 GB of data per month.
In other states, with the free sim, you get 1000 free minutes and 1.5 GB of data per month or with a free government Smartphone, 1000 free minutes and 1.0 GB of data per month.
5. Assurance Wireless
Sprint/Nextel is the company behind these smartphones. They provide phone services in 41 states and are improving to be at par with other competitors.
Comes with: They offer different lifeline plans based on the state you are located. In California, You get unlimited talk time, unlimited text and free 500 MB of data. In other places, you get 350 minutes of voice, unlimited text messages, and free monthly data.
Available in the ff states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. They are working to make it available soon in other states as well.
6. Qlink Wireless
These are one of those phone providers that do not ask for activation fees, involve no credit checks, and do not make a short-term contract. If you wish to buy more minutes or data, there are different additional packages available that you can purchase.
Comes with: Qlink is a lifeline provider that gives 500 call minutes and unlimited texts every month with a free cell phone and also, you can avail the plan that lets you roll over unused minutes to next month. This is an amazing deal available depending on the state you are located in, and you can get more information by entering your zip code on their official website. Also, for every friend that you refer and who receives a phone from Q Link Wireless, you earn 100 free bonus minutes.
Available in the ff states: They serves the states of Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Like any other lifeline service provider TruConnect also provides better deals in California because of high reimbursement levels. They also give 200 minutes talk time in Mexico City. Qualification for this phone depends on the state you reside in and your household income. Also, with this, you need to be enrolled in a government aid program. Though Truconnect may be a small company, Stalwarts is the leading provider behind them.
Comes with: In California, you can enjoy unlimited text, calling and 500 MB of data. You can also receive one of the three different Smartphones with a 3.5-inch display, depending on the phone’s availability.
Depending on the availability, one can receive one of the three Smartphones with a 3.5-inch display. In other states, they provide unlimited texting, 100 minutes talk time and 500 MB of data.
Available in the ff states: TruConnect offers Lifeline service in 24 states + Puerto Rico: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
8. Blu Jay Wireless
This is an eligible telecommunications carrier licensed for providing free government phone services in many states. This lifeline provider aims to provide free best phones to low-income people along with wireless services.
The lifeline eligible customer receives a device and basic service plan monthly at no cost. They do not have to pay any bill or sign any contract. They have some extra options to use, which are not mandatory and you can pay if you want to utilize those services. These additional services include unlimited minutes, web data packages, and so on.
Comes with: With Blu Jay wireless free cell phone, you get 250 to 500 minutes and free unlimited texts. For people residing in California, it comes with unlimited texts and calls. But, they do not provide free data. If you want to use the internet, you will have to pay an amount of $26 per month for 5 GB additional data if you live in California and $3.60 per month for additional 500MB data if you reside outside California.
Available in the ff states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
9. enTouch Wireless
enTouch is rapidly growing its user base when it comes to Lifeline assistance business. This company till now provides free government smartphone to 20 states. They provide amazing deals to people living in the tribal area in California. In other states, they provide moderate deals that can be upgraded at a very nominal cost. To qualify, your household income should lie between 135% to 150%, and you should be enrolled in a government assistance program.
Comes with: For California, they provide 3 talks and text plan to select from Free 500 minutes and a hundred text messages per month with only 10MB of Data; 500 MB of data plan inclusive of 100 minutes call time and text platforms. In the tribal location, they provide unlimited texts, unlimited talk time and 750 MB data plan.
Available in the ff states: en Touch Wireless is available in the state of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
10. Feelsafe Wireless
AirVoice wireless is the brand that offers free government cell phones by the name of FeelSafe Wireless.
Comes with: In California, you have the choice to select unlimited talk and text; or unlimited text, calls, 2GB of internet and 100 international SMS per month. For other states, with a free smartphone, you receive 1000 voice minutes, 500 SMS and 500MB of free data every month. It might vary a little, depending on the state you reside.
Available in the ff states: FeelSafe wireless is available in the state of California, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.
The free Cell phones provided by these companies are smartphones. If you are lucky enough, you may get the best touchscreen phone which includes some of the best features like:
- 4G internet data access
- Reliable camera and screen resolution
- User-friendly interface
Most of these phones are second hand, and they might have some issues with time. However, the Government is ensuring that all the lifeline phones are tested and are of high quality. These best free government phones are provided on a first-come-first-serve basis, so the best time to apply for it is today.
Companies that provide the Lifeline Assistance program offer various plans and features. A plan running in one state can be different from another state due to FTC regulations are geographical features of the locality.
Many companies may provide free services in one area while the other provides in multiple areas. You must see for the pros and cons of the phone providers and their plans in your area to choose the one that fits your plan.