Are you looking for a free phone and can’t afford one. Then the best option is to get a free government touch screen phone. Millions of Americans have opted for these communication devices as they are considered the most affordable and without any contracts.
The free government phone program has been in existence for almost a decade. It has helped people to be able to communicate with ease and eliminate the usage of payphones. However, there is a catch. For you to get the free phone, there are some strict eligibility requirements to filter out joyriders and people who need help.
This article will provide insights on who qualifies for a free government phone, how to apply for one, and the 10 best free government phone providers in the US. Scroll below to get more insights.
Who Qualifies For Free Touch Screen Phones
i) Qualification through total household income
You can qualify for a free government phone if your income is below a certain threshold. In most cases, the service providers tend to consider persons whose income is below 135% of the federal poverty level.
However, the percentage may vary with each State. You will also be required to provide proof of income either through tax documents or payslip and bank statements.
ii) Qualification through disability
Persons with disabilities may easily qualify for a free government phone. This option is considered the easiest and fastest way to get approved for a free phone since all you need to do is prove your disability.
You can visit the nearest Lifeline program office or simply submit documents showing your disability. An added advantage would be if you have participated in Federal assistance programs for people with disabilities.
iii) Qualification through age
In some cases, the service provider may allow US residents to qualify for a free government phone through federal assistance programs or income. Qualifying through age used to be allowed by most service providers in the past but over the years, it is slowly dwindling.
iv) Qualification through Federal Government Programs
You can get a free government phone through federal Assistance programs. These are programs that aim to help people living below the poverty line. To apply for these programs, your income should be below the minimum threshold and you should be a resident of the United States.
Some of these programs acceptable include;
- Supplemental Security Income
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program
- Food distribution program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Head Start
- Tribal Administered Temporary Assistance for needy families
- Bureau o Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit
Before starting the application process, ensure you have certifications showing you participated in any of the listed programs.
What do you need to qualify
The qualifications mentioned above are the only things required for you to get a free smartphone from the government. However, in some cases, some service providers may reject specific applications based on the qualification requirements.
Very few service providers may reject you from applying for the free government phones especially if you have certifications on food stamps or Medicaid.
Also, ensure you have the right documents as this will make the application process faster. You should also provide legit documents. Fake documents may subject you to legal issues.
How do you apply for a free government phone
The application for the government phone is straightforward. Here are some steps to take:
Step 1: Select the carrier of your choice
There are over 30 service providers who offer free government phones and plans. We will discuss them later on in the article.
Step 2: Fill out an Application form
The application form captures your name, address, and any other common information required for KYC purposes. In some cases, your SSN may also be required. The form can be filled out from the service provider’s store or their official website.
You will also be required to attach your documents of income or participation in the federal assistance program as proof that you qualify for the free government phone. The process can take some minutes but it may take 3-5 business days to get approved. For faster approval, it’s recommended to use the company’s website rather than going to the physical store.
Step 3: Receive your phone
If your application is approved, you will be able to receive your phone via mail or called to collect it at the nearest physical store. The activation process involves the following steps:
Step 1– Place the sim card inside the device. The service provider may issue you with a free sim card toolkit. Once you have the sim card, place it inside the phone and turn on the device.
Step 2– Verify the phone number is working- To ensure the sim card is working, you will be required to make a dummy call to a designated number offered by your service provider. If the call goes through, then the sim card and phone are activated.
Step 3– Sign in to your service provider’s account. To get accurate metrics on data, talk, and text usage, you will be required to download the service provider’s app on the play store or apple store.
The Top 10 Free Government Cell Phone Plans Providers
1) Qlink Wireless
Qlink is one of the largest service providers in the US. They offer their services in Georgia, Hawaii, and many other States. Qlink offers a basic plan with Qlink compatible phone that includes 1000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 3 GB of data. If you complete your allotment, you can always add more units at an affordable price. At $15/mo, you get an unlimited minute with perks like Roaming and texting, Voicemail, and Caller ID. At $40/mo, you also get unlimited data
The eligibility process applies to only those with low income and participation in Federal Assistance programs. The application process is also fast and within 3-5 business days, you’d have received your phone.
2) Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless is one of the largest service providers in the US. They work in almost all the States and are known for their great perks like reliable customer care, faster registration and so much more.
Their phone plans vary with each State. For California residents, you get 5 GB, unlimited talk, and texts. Other States may get 3 GB of data and unlimited talk and text units. For $5, you can get Mexico/Canada International talk and text units. This plan allows you to text over 200 international destinations.
Their eligibility process states that your income should be below the Federal poverty line and you should have participated in a Federal Assistance program.
3) Safelink Wireless
Safelink is regarded as the largest and oldest service provider for Safelink free phones in the US. They operate in almost all the States in the US and have a simple and fast application process.
You can qualify if you have participated in the Federal Assistance programs or if your income is below the Federal poverty line. You will also be required to submit documents to show that you are eligible for the plans.
In most States, new customers get unlimited talk, text, and 3 GB of data. IN California, you get unlimited talk, text, and 5 GB of data while California Tribal residents get unlimited everything for free.
4) American Assistance
American Assistance is a lifeline provider that offers free government phones to eligible Americans in States like Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Utah, Rhode Island, and many more.
For California residents, you get Unlimited talk, text, and 4 GB of data. Non-California residents get a free smartphone with $25 as the activation fee. They also get 500 minutes, unlimited texting, and 3GB of data. You can also add top-ups at an affordable rate, starting at .99 for 100 texts and 100MB for $4.99. To apply for American Assistance, visit their site or physical store.
5) enTouch Wireless
enTouch Wireless is a leading free phone provider offering the best when it comes to free talk, text, and data units. They operate in over 20 States and offer the best customer support in both physical and online presence.
For California residents, you get unlimited talk, text, 3GB of data, and a smartphone. California non-tribal residents get unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of data. All other States get unlimited talk, text, and 100MB of data and all non-tribal States get unlimited talk, text, and 1.5GB of data plus a free smartphone. To apply, visit the enTouch Wireless website or the nearest enTouch Wireless store.
6) Assist Wireless
Assist Wireless is a growing service provider offering its services in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Maryland. They have good network coverage and offer the best free phone plans to their new and existing customers
The Assist wireless plans may vary with each State. Some States offer Unlimited talk, text 4GB data, Unlimited talk text, and 4.5GB data, and lastly unlimited talk, text, and 5GB data. To apply for this plan visit Assist Wireless lifeline. You can also check out a retail store near you if you are having trouble with their online platform.
7) SafetyNet Wireless
SafetyNet is a growing service provider based in Michigan, California, Kentucky, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. You can visit their store to apply or go through the process on their website.
Their plans start with unlimited talk and text for California residents. They also have unlimited, talk, text, and 3GB data-free. Other States can get Unlimited talk, text, and 3GB of data at the minimum. However, they will also be required to pay $25.00 as activation fees.
8) Easy Wireless
Easy wireless is a stunning lifeline service provider that offers its services in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kentucky. The service provider has some of the best plans and a simple application process.
If you qualify, you will get a free phone but the plans vary with each State. You can get unlimited minutes, texts, and 2GB of data for free. However, increasing your data by 1GB will cost $1.00 and by 5GB will cost $15.00. The plans vary by State. You can get started with the plan by visiting their website or nearest retail store.
9) Cintex Wireless
Cintex wireless offers amazing free phones and plans to qualified persons. You can get free phone and talk, text, and data units for a whole year without any restrictions. Cintex allows people who have low income or participated in federal assistance programs to apply for such services.
It currently operates in Maryland, Arkansas, Maine, and West Virginia. The company offers 1000 free minutes, unlimited texts, and 1GB of data. However, after one year, you are required to recertify to continue getting the services.
10) StandUp Wireless
StandUp Wireless is one of the fastest-growing service providers. They operate in over 20 States and the number keeps growing with time. To get their StandUp Wireless free phone plans and phone, you must meet the eligibility requirements we mentioned earlier in the article.
The company also supports bring your phone program if it is compatible with their network. If you bring your device the plan offered includes, 1000 minutes of talk, unlimited text, and 3GB of data for free for a whole year. You can also add top-up plans which are unlimited minutes of talk, unlimited text, and 8GB of data for only $3/mo.
To apply, visit StandUp wireless and fill out the application form. Ensure to also attach your eligibility documents.
From this article, you can confidently apply for a free government phone. We have talked about how to apply, what are the requirements, and the 10 best service providers you can opt for. Getting a free government phone assures you of efficient communication between your friends and family. The phones are of high quality and you can get a free phone replacement if the device is faulty.