Thousands of people in the country cannot afford quality tablets to carry out various duties in their lives. Tablets are usually expensive compared to smartphones, yet they are essential for our everyday life. Children can carry them to school for their learning activities, while the working population can use them for their daily assignments in their workplaces. What if you cannot afford a tablet but need one? You will learn how to apply for a government free tablet later.
The government understands that people living under the poverty line cannot afford most necessities to better their lives. That is why it has various assistance programs to help those who cannot afford some services. The government recently introduced the Emergency Broadband Benefit services to those eligible applicants. The aid program saw people affected by Covid’19 get various services such as affordable data and computers to stay connected.
Getting a free tablet is not a walk in the park, as there are numerous checks to make sure that only those who qualify can get the services. That means you have to produce various documents for verification. After all, no one will look at you and assume that you require government aid. You also need to know that it’s not just the government that gives free tablets and other necessary aids. We have non-governmental organizations that also give aid services to the needy.
What are the necessities to get a government free tablet?
As I mentioned, not everyone qualifies for a free table. Since the devices are limited, there must be a way to eliminate those who do meet the requirements. Therefore, it isn’t easy to get a chance to get a free government tablet. But there is nothing to worry about as there are other options apart from the free Government tablets. A good example is the various deals you get from cellular companies when you switch.
Despite having strict requirements, it is easy to meet them. In most cases, these companies require you to purchase a plan for a given duration to get a free device. We also have NGOs that offer free tablets for the needy. Now let me take you to how you can apply for free tablet from government.
The federal government considers various groups of people, including low-income households and individuals, veterans, college students and disabled people. Before I discuss the websites you should visit to apply for free tablets, let me discuss the various things that you require.
- Income proof/ student information
- A photo ID Proof
- Eligibility proof document
- Contact details
- Income proof or salary slip
- Residence proof
The income proof should show that your total income is below or at 200% of the federal poverty level guidelines. There are various documents that you can attach, and they include the following.
- A Workmen’s/Unemployment Compensation statement of benefits
- A retirement/pension statement of benefits
- A Social Security statement of benefits
- Federal or tribal notice letter as proof of participation in General Assistance
- The previous year’s state, federal, or tribal tax return (note that W2 forms or pay stubs are unacceptable)
- A Veteran Administration statement of benefits
You can also qualify through another federal government program and provide documents to show proof of any of the following programs.
- Adult & Child Mental Health Case Management
- Food Support (a dated letter showing current eligibility is required)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Social Security Disability (SSD)
- Employment Services (only if income-based in your state)
- Federal Pell Grant
- Section 8, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Group Residential Housing (GRH)
- Extended Foster Care
- The Reduced Lunch Program or National School Lunch Program’s Free
- Financial Assistance, such as GA, TANF, etc. (a dated letter showing current eligibility is required)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Head Start
- Medicaid or Medical Assistance
How to apply for a free tablet from the Government?
There are various ways you can send your applications depending on the state, Lifeline Provider, or government institution you use. When applying, you can choose any of the various companies offering the service. You can get a free tablet when applying for the Affordable Connectivity program. Before choosing the most preferred company, you have to go to ACP Benefit to apply. You can also print out a mail-in application.
After that, you can contact your preferred participating service provider to get your discount to purchase a tablet alongside a discounted plan. Therefore, if eligible, you must first apply for the program and contact your preferred participating provider to select a service plan. Some may have their way of application, and you should liaise with them to know how to go about it.
The following are some providers who give free tablets from the government.
1) QLink Wireless
Q Link is among the best lifeline service providers in the country that can offer you a free tablet with food stamps or any other aid program. The company also offers the emergency broadband benefit (ACP) to eligible citizens. When you apply for the ACP, you can get free tablets for your various activities. Initially, it used to be EBB, but now it is ACP. You can also get funding to buy a laptop for your education or work needs. Besides the free tablet, you also get affordable communication plans to talk, text, and surf the internet.
To get started, you can visit Qlink Wireless signup and fill out an application form, attach all the required details and proof of eligibility and follow any other prompts on your screen. After making the application, you can wait for the approval and receive your tablet within 6 to 8 weeks at your physical place. The tablets come with various features such as WIFI capability, sound recorder, and webcam.
2) Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless also offers Lifeline services and gives out free tablets to low-income households on behalf of the government. You also get discounted plans with data, texts, and messages for your communication needs.
Like is with QLink Wireless, you need to fill out an application form on the company’s official website, meet their eligibility criteria, and submit the form. Next, they will screen your application, and if you qualify, you will get your device at your physical location.
3) StandUp Wireless
You can visit the StandUp Wireless website to begin your application for a free tablet. You also receive Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data, which are entirely free when you bundle your Lifeline and ACP Benefits, whereby you save up to $40. The plan has:
- 10GB of High-Speed Data – 5G/4G LTE
- Unlimited Talk & Text
- Nationwide Coverage
To get your free tablet, you can begin your application online by providing your ZIP code and email address, then qualify through the National Verifier. At StandUp Wireless, you can get a free government phone and tablet when you benefit from both Lifeline and ACP.
4) TracFone Wireless
If you qualify for the government aid program, you may get a free wireless service together with a tablet from TracFone Wireless. You can begin your submission by providing your full names, email addresses, and ZIP code.
Other companies that offer government tablets include the following;
- Cathect Communications
- Cintex Wireless
- City Communications
- Culture Wireless
- K&D Wireless
- North American Local
- PCs for People
- Pine Belt Broadcasting
- Pine Belt Wireless
- Select Wireless
- TM Telecomm Corp
- Tone Communication Services
- Torch Wireless
- US Connect
- Boost Mobile
The companies vary from state to state, although some operate almost in the whole country.
What does the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) entail?
I have mentioned that you can get a free tablet when you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. It is essential to know that the ACP program replaced the Emergency Broadband Program (EBB), whose aim was to help families affected by Covid’19 get an affordable broadband connection to work and study from home and stay connected to friends and families. The EBB program also offered tablets to eligible beneficiaries.
When you qualify for the ACP program, you can get discounts of up to $30 per month for internet service for eligible families and up to $75 per month for families on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households may also get a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a tablet, laptop, or desktop from participating providers if they raise more than $10 and less than $50 to cater for the purchase price. Therefore, the Affordable Connectivity Program tablet does not just come for free, but it is almost equal to free, considering the small amount you raise to purchase one.
What if I don’t qualify for a government program?
That is not the end if you do not qualify for a government-free tablet program. Numerous non-governmental organizations can offer you a free tablet if you confirm that you are needy. They include the following.
- The Salvation Army
- Komputers 4 kids
- World Computer Exchange
Free government tablets benefit people from low-income families, the disabled, veterans, and needy college students. You can apply for free tablet from government through the Affordable Connectivity Program, whereby you also get discounts for your data connections. Initially, the Emergency Broadband Benefit offered the services before ACP took over.
Various companies work with the Federal Communications Commission to offer the ACP services. Non-governmental organizations such as Freecycle, Komputers 4 kids World Computer Exchange and SmartRiverside also offer free tablets.