The US Federal government Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) are the major programs that offer free government smartphones and free or reduced-price cell phone plans to eligible low-income people. However, the Lifeline is a federal aided program available in every territory, state, and Tribal land. ACP, on the other hand, is a newly developed FCC supported that gives a discount on broadband services and connected devices.

    You can apply for a free phone if you are eligible for these programs, provided you meet the set requirements. To get started, proceed to the free government phone stand near me to fill out the application form, submit the required documents, and wait for several days for a free cell phone approval. The eligibility depends on 135% or 200% income level federal poverty guidelines or participate in government-supported programs such as SNAP and Medicaid, among others.

    Lifeline gives recipients free government smartphones plus a $9.25 monthly discount toward their cell phone bill. However, Tribal land qualifying households can receive up to $34.25 per month. You can apply online using the Lifeline National Verifier website or download, print, and mail the application form. After approval, you have 90 days to enroll with your preferred participating Lifeline wireless provider or ask your current provider to apply your new Lifeline benefit to your bill.

    Qualification For A Free Government Phone Through Lifeline

    Lifeline is a permanent Federally administered program that has been in existence for the past decades. This program supports low-income families with wireless services, and applicants can apply as individuals or households.

    Besides, your income must equal or not more than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines to qualify. Notably, some states feature different income percentages with income level rules ranging from 135 to 150%. Besides, regardless of your household size, you can only have one discount account per household.

    Additionally, you can qualify for a free Lifeline smartphone based on participation in federal programs or eligible state programs. Below are the Federal programs that offer automatic qualification to the Lifeline program.

    • Supplemental Security Income
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
    • Medicaid
    • Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
    • Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

    Free Government Smartphone Through The ACP

    If you qualify for Lifeline, you may qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) by default. This program is a newly developed Federal Communications Commission program that offers free or discounted internet service to qualified applicants.

    However, the ACP provides a monthly discount of up to $30 for eligible low-income people and up to $75 for households on Tribal lands. Additionally, you can get a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.

    If you qualify for Lifeline and ACP, you can apply for both benefits through a single service or apply separately. You can apply for a free government smartphone through ACP online or contact the National Verifier at 1 (833) 511-0311. Notably, only one ACP and Lifeline benefit apply to every eligible household.

    Qualification For The Affordable Connectivity Program

    You may qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) if at least one person in your household attains the following criteria:

    • A participant in the Lifeline Program
    • Is approved for the School Breakfast Program (SBP) or National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
    • A recipient of a Pell Grant in the current award year
    • Is currently qualified for certain providers’ low-income programs
    • A recipient of assistance through SNAP, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SSI, or WIC
    • Participates in Tribal-specific programs, including Tribal TANF, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.

    Households can also be eligible for the ACP if the household income is less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty thresholds, which are specific to each state.

    Application for A Free Government Smartphone

    To apply for a free government touch screen mobile phone, you must prove you’re eligible. In other words, you have to provide the documentation to support your qualification. Then, you need to pick the provider in your state that participates in the Lifeline program. You can sign up for free cell phone service through the following simple steps.

    1st Step: Locate a wireless provider in your state

    On the USAC page, you’ll get a list of all Lifeline carriers, the states in which they operate, and the type of discount they offer.

    2nd Step: Review the information on each carrier’s website

    It’s crucial to examine closely what each Company offers to eligible Lifeline customers. You will find providers who give smartphones, iPhones, tablets, and other devices. However, the cellphones and service plans will vary from one carrier to another. Thus, so you’ll have to make a thorough assessment before choosing which one is right for you.

    3rd Step: Enroll and Wait for Approval

    You can enroll online or by phone. However, the most convenient method to enroll in Lifeline’s free cell phone offer is through the provider’s website. You can typically opt to call your provider instead if you prefer. In this case, it’s much easier to apply online so that you can quickly upload any required documentation.

    Most importantly, you can enroll in Lifeline through a qualifying program instead of the income requirements. Verification for program-based qualification is automated, making the process faster and easier. If you apply through your income level, you may be required to provide additional documents to prove eligibility. After sending your application, you can wait for your phone to arrive for a week to several weeks.

    Available Best Free Government Smartphones

    If you are searching for a free government cell phone, there are numerous models you can apply for. However, the availability varies between providers and from one state to another. On the downside, depending on availability, you will get any of the following, and you have no freedom to choose the kind of device you want. The best smartphone with the latest features includes:

    • Apple iPhone 12 Mini
    • Apple iPhone 13 Pro
    • OnePlus 9 Pro
    • Google Pixel 6 Pro
    • Google Pixel 5a
    • Samsung Galaxy A32
    • Motorola E5 Play
    • OnePlus Nord 200 5G
    • HTC Desire 626s
    • TCL REVVL 5G
    • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
    • Motorola G Stylus 5G

    Providers Of Free Government Cell Phones

    There are numerous free government cell phone companies in the United States. However, you need to ensure that you explore all of the available options before making a decision. Then, choose a provider that offers services in your state. The most common providers include:

    1) SafeLink Wireless

    SafeLink is a brand of TracFone Wireless and is the largest and oldest Lifeline provider. SafeLink provides both free government phones and cell phones service in Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington D.C., Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

    Safelink’s Best Free Government Phone Plans Offers:

    • Free unlimited talk
    • Free unlimited text
    • Free calls to Canada and Mexico
    • Free 25 GB of high-speed data
    • Free 5 GB hotspot

    The actual amount of free minutes and data offered vary between states. You can check the plans available in your state at Safelink Wireless.

    2) Cintex Wireless

    Cintex is a regional Lifeline and an Affordable Connectivity Program provider that provides free government devices and plans in Arkansas, Rhode Island, Maine, Maryland, and West Virginia. Although Cintex doesn’t cover many states, it is among the Lifeline providers offering free government iPhones.

    The Cintex Wireless Free Government Phone Plan Includes:

    • Free talk
    • Free text
    • Free data

    However, the number of free minutes and data vary based on the state. At Cintex Wireless, Lifeline-eligible families can get a free 4G/5G LTE smartphone depending on availability.

    3) Easy Wireless

    Easy Wireless is a Lifeline and an Affordable Connectivity Program provider of free government cell phones and plans. The Company only serves a few states, including Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kentucky.

    Easy Wireless Free Lifeline And Acp Plan Offers:

    • Free unlimited talk
    • Free unlimited text
    • Unlimited data and hotspot

    At Easy Wireless, Lifeline-eligible households can get a free smartphone or even an 8-inch tablet, depending on availability. The tablet offer is for a limited time available through the Affordable Connectivity Program.

    4) Assurance Wireless

    This provider is a Lifeline provider that operates in Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, South Carolina, Washington DC, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

    Assurance Wireless’ Free Government Phone Plans Offer:

    • Free unlimited minutes
    • Free monthly data
    • Free unlimited texts
    • Free 10 GB of mobile hotspot data up to 4G LTE speed

    5) Q Link Wireless

    Qlink Wireless is a prominent Lifeline and ACP provider that offer free government discounts to eligible low-income people. However, this carrier offers services in Arkansas, Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Washington, and West Virginia.

    Q Link Wireless Offers The Best Free Government Phone Plans With:

    • Free unlimited text
    • Free unlimited data
    • Free unlimited talk
    • The ability to bring your own phone (BYOP) and number
    • Voicemail, three-way calling, call waiting, caller ID, free domestic roaming

    At Q Link Wireless, Lifeline, and ACP-eligible, customers can get a new free government tablet for just $10.01, although offers on smartphones and tablets depend on availability.

    6) Access Wireless

    Access Wireless is also a popular free government smartphone provider that is available in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

    Access Wireless’ Free Government Phone Plan Features:

    • Unlimited text
    • Unlimited talk
    • Unlimited data (15 GB of high speed)
    • Hotspot data
    • Free long-distance calls and international calling availability

    Additionally, suppose you require more minutes or data. In that case, you can purchase an Access Wireless prepaid card at a participating retailer, like Kroger, Speedway, or Family Dollar, and top it up to your plan.

    7) Life Wireless

    Life Wireless is a Lifeline provider that runs using the AT&T network. However, the Company operates in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Texas, Utah, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington.

    Life Wireless Best Free Government Phone Plans Features:

    • Call waiting
    • Voicemail
    • Three-way calling
    • Unlimited text
    • Nationwide calling, no roaming charges, and no charges for domestic long-distance calls
    • Affordable recharge plans

    Life Wireless customers also qualify for a free government phone. Besides, the free phone plans vary between states, and you can check on the plan offers at your state of residence at Life Wireless plans.

    8) FeelSafe Wireless

    FreeSafe’s Lifeline services are available in California, South Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.

    Feelsafe Wireless Offers a Free Government Phone Plan With:

    • Free talk
    • Free text
    • Free data
    • Free Wi-Fi finder and map

    Notably, the actual amount of free minutes and data depends on your state of residence. The provider also enables you to top up more minutes. At Easy Wireless, Lifeline-eligible customer also receives a free cell phone from the government.

    9) enTouch Wireless

    This Company is a Lifeline and an ACP provider that provides wireless services using the Verizon Wireless network. If you qualify, you can apply for a free government phone if you live in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and West Virginia.

    Additionally, enTouch Wireless provides a variety of Lifeline plans, and Lifeline-eligible customers can also get a free 4G/5G smartphone. Some are Tribal plans, while others are non-tribal plans. Besides, the actual amount of data and they vary between states. Generally, the best free government phone plans from enTouch Wireless include:

    • Free unlimited talk
    • Free unlimited text
    • Free unlimited data (through ACP).

    Bottom Line

    The US Federal Government recognizes the importance of embracing modern technology. For this reason, through the Lifeline and the ACP, eligible households who can afford to buy a quality cell phone independently can receive a free government smartphone and monthly cellular benefits.

    However, you must qualify by meeting the set eligibility requirements and providing the necessary documentation to receive the free government benefits meant for low-income families.