The Top 10 Free Government Phones by State

The American government is giving its citizens free phones. According to research, there is an estimation that over ten million people in the USA have already received free phones. Lifeline Assistance allows those who qualify to get a free phone and is available in all states like Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. However, free government phones are not available to every citizen. The article will provide you with details about free government phones by state, which will facilitate you to have all the information needed and lastly receive a free government phone, supposing that you qualify.

While the Lifeline Assistance program started in 1996, it began to deliver the free government cell phone service in 2008 via Safelink Wireless, which contracts under Tracfone. Years later, several phone and MVNOs companies approved to offer free government cell phones for low-income and wireless services for eligible households. With this in place, most of the states are covered.

The government phone is available via the Lifeline Assistance benefit providers, and lately, almost all of the providers got approved to be EBB benefit Providers. The Lifeline Assistance and the EBB Programs blend enables the free government cell phone providers to provide better free service plans and more free government phones.

How to Receive Free Government Phones by State

The Lifeline Assistance program is overseen by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and is thus generally available throughout the country. This implies that the qualifying process, the application process, documents required, and other details are similar in all states.

However, you must note that the government does not have its own phone service companies, implying that several wireless carriers in all states support the Lifeline Assistance program. The benefits provided by the carrier vary from state to state and from carrier to carrier, yet, all wireless providers participating in the Lifeline Assistance program must meet universally set benefits, which are based on the $9.25 compensation provided by the state.

In certainty, many wireless providers make their offers way more substantial, which implies that you receive a value of more than $9.25. Most of them will offer you free smartphones, unlimited talk and text, and a free government lifeline internet. It is good to remember that the main differences occur with every provider.

Subsequently, the actual offers of free government phones depend on the wireless providers; you are limited by those wireless carriers that provide Lifeline Assistance in your State, or to be precise, in your ZIP code area.

There are over ten providers in some states, whereas, in others, there may only be one or two. Once you have determined that your household qualifies, you should select the service provider that fits you, supposing various options are available. Later on, we will give you a comprehensive list of all Lifeline Assistance providers for every state.

How to Qualify Free Government Phones By State

free government phones by state

Not every person can receive a free government smartphone. There are two means for a household to qualify:

  • Based on the income
  • Based on the federal assistance programs participation.

i) Qualification based on income

You can receive Lifeline if your total income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines. However, the guideline is centered on your household size and condition. Proof of income is needed.

ii) Qualification based on program participation

You can receive Lifeline benefits if you or a person in your household participates in one of the following federal assistance programs:

  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Medicaid
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
  • Tribal Programs :
    • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • Head Start
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

Proof of program participation is needed.

What are application Documents for Free Government Phones?

The Lifeline assistance application is commonly an online questionnaire. However, you can still apply via mail. If you are applying through the mail, you will require to print out the application itself. Besides the mail application, you have to submit the following copies of documents:

a) General documents

  • Identity proof: You must submit a document that proves your identity (full legal names and SSN4/date of birth). You can submit proofs like an ID card, passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, W-2, etc.
  • Residential address proof: A copy of an official document or a letter with the applicant’s address is needed.
  • Proof of Life (only if there are errors with the documents above): To prove you are alive, you must submit one unexpired documentation that includes your date of birth (DOB) and Social Security Number (SSN) or Tribal ID number. You can also submit unexpired documentation that proves the latest life activity within ninety days.

b) Income-based application documents

  • The previous year’s state and Tribal tax return
  • Present an income statement from your employer
  • Child support award,Divorce decree, or other official document having income info
  • The Social Security statement of assistances
  •  Workers’ Compensation statement of benefits
  • Federal or Tribal notification letter of participation in Overall Assistance

c) Program participation-based application documents

To verify participation in any of the above programs, you have to submit a proof document that, at least, includes:

  • Your full name or the legal name of your benefit qualifying person (BQP)
  • The identity of the Lifeline-qualifying program, such as SNAP
  • The government or Tribal program administrator or the managed care organization (MCO) that issued the document
  • Asubject date within the last one year or a prospect expiration date that matches the benefit period.
  • A membership card, cover letter, or other official documents including the above details will suffice.

If you are applying through the mail, you will require copies of the above documents. In the case of online applications, you will require scanned copies or digital photographs of those documents.

How to apply for Free Government Phones by state

i. Online Application

  • Visit the national verifier website, select your state or territory, click the “Get started” button and follow the instruction to complete the online application.
  • Choose a wireless provider in your area.
  • Enroll with the provider and enjoy the benefits of the Lifeline Assistance.

ii. Mail Application

  • Print out the application and fill it in
  • Send the application together with the proof documents to Lifeline Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742
  • Find and choose a wireless provider in your area.
  • Enroll with the provider and enjoy the benefits of the Lifeline Assistance.

What are the Benefits to Get When You Join Government Free Phone Program?

The general benefit for applying and being accepted for the Lifeline Assistance is $9.25 to be used for your monthly phone bill. However, most wireless providers participating in the Lifeline Assistance took this amount and offered more. In most cases, you will receive:

  • A free touch screen government smartphone. However, not all carriers offer free phones
  • Unlimited talk and texts. Although not all carriers offer unlimited; 1000 minutes is set as the minimum requirement)
  • At least 3GB of mobile data at a speed of 3G, 4G LTE, or 5G

Apart from the above-listed benefits, there may be some additional ones since every wireless carrier has some special deals and offers available. You can get some of these benefits at free government stands near me, distributed around the country.

The top 10 free government phones by state

1) Arizona

The Poverty threshold requirement is set at 150% of the poverty guideline and not at 135% in Arizona.

Carriers that offer free cell phone services: Q Link Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Terracom, Tag Mobile, Assurance Wireless, Access Wireless, Life Wireless, and Stand Up Wireless.

The Carrier that offers a Lifeline discount is Total Call Mobile.

2) California

The household income guideline in this state is different from other states. The income requirement is set to be less than the annual limit for your household size. Other standard Lifeline qualification rules apply. Lifeline wireless providers in California tend to offer the most beneficial packages.

The carriers that offer free cell phone services:  EnTouch Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Life Wireless, Access Wireless, SafetyNet Wireless, Feel Safe Wireless, TruConnect, Tag Mobile.

There are no companies offering Lifeline discounts in California.

3) Colorado

In Colorado, Standard Lifeline qualification rules apply. Carriers that offer free cell phone services: Tempo Communications, Tag Mobile, Stand Up Wireless, Life Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, Terracom Wireless, TruConnect, Q Link Wireless, Life Wireless, and Tempo Communications.

There are no companies offering Lifeline discounts in Colorado.

4) Delaware

In Delaware, standard Lifeline qualification rules apply. Some carriers offer free cell phone services: Safelink Wireless, Access Wireless, and Assurance Wireless.

The only Carrier that offers Lifeline discounts is T-Mobile.

5) Florida

The Standard Lifeline qualification rules apply; however, some providers require 150% of the poverty guideline instead of 135%. Carriers offering free cell phone services are Assurance Wireless, Access Wireless, and Safelink Wireless.

The only carrier that offers Lifeline discounts is T-Mobile.

6) Georgia

The Standard Lifeline qualification rules apply in Georgia. Some carriers offer free cell phone services: EnTouch Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Life Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Qlink Wireless, SafetyNet Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Amerimex Wireless, Access Wireless, TruConnect, and Tempo Communication.

Carriers that offer Lifeline discounts are T-Mobile and SouthernLINC Wireless.

7) Lowa

In Lowa, standard Lifeline qualification rules apply. Carriers that offer free cell phone services: QLink Wireless, Access Wireless, Life Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Tempo Communications, Safelink Wireless, Terracom Wireless, and EnTouch Wireless, Tag Mobile, TruConnect, and Stand Up Wireless.

Carriers that offer Lifeline discounts are US Cellular, iWireless, and Verizon Wireless.

8) Nevada

Standard Lifeline qualification rules apply for program participation; however, income-based eligibility is slightly different. The annual income for a household with a single member is $17,226, whereas that of a household with eight members is $59,562. A household with more than eight members must add $6,048 for each extra member.

Carriers that offer free cell phone services: Life Wireless, Assurance Wireless, American Assistance, TruConnect, Tempo Communications, Terracom Wireless, Tag Mobile, QLink Wireless, Absolute Mobile, EnTouch Wireless, and Access Wireless.

There are no wireless carriers offering Lifeline discounts in Nevada.

9) New Jersey

Standard Lifeline qualification rules apply; however, some providers require 150% of the Federal Poverty guideline. Carriers that offer free cell phone services: Safelink Wireless and Assurance Wireless.

The only carrier that offers Lifeline discounts is T-Mobile.

10) Texas

Standard Lifeline qualification rules apply; however, some providers have a less strict poverty threshold set at 150%. Carriers that offer free cell phone services: Assurance Wireless, True Mobile, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Life Wireless, Access Wireless, EnTouch Wireless TruConnect, Tag Mobile, Terracom, and Stand Up Wireless.

The only carrier offering a Lifeline discount is AT&T Mobility.

We have provided you with the top free government phones by state providers above. However, you may also use this practical online tool to search your zip code.

Can I receive free government touchscreen phones?

Some Lifeline Assistance providers like Assurance Wireless, Q Link Wireless, American Assistance, Tag Mobile, Safelink Wireless, and several others offer free touchscreen government phones. The free government smartphone is typically an Android phone; few Lifeline providers provide free government iPhones like Cintex Wireless.

However, if you do not like the offered phone and have a preferred phone, some Lifeline Assistance providers permit you to bring your own phone, whereas others do not have the BYOD option.

Bottom line

Suppose you are qualified for the Lifeline Assistance Program. In that case, you can receive a free government cellphone having free talks, texts, and internet once you are known at a Lifeline cell phone provider, including Qlink Wireless and SafeLink Wireless. Free government phones are not available to just everyone.

The article has provided you with details about free government phones by state, which will allow you to receive all the information needed and get a free government phone.