A flip phone is a hinged mobile phone that appears compact when closed. Its cover “flips open” to show the keypad, screen, speaker, and microphone. It is also known as a “clamshell phone.” Most are usually simple devices without Internet access. We have more advanced devices called “feature phones,” which usually offer Internet access. People sometimes confuse feature phones with flip phones. You will learn more about the free government flip phones shortly. 

    Even though flip phones are nearly becoming extinct due to the invention of smartphones, we still have them in the market. If you are looking for a free flip phone to use for communication purposes, you are lucky to be here since I will show you how to get one. That way, you will enjoy connecting with the rest of the world.

    Usually, people from low-income households find it difficult to acquire phones due to financial challenges. However, the federal government has a program that offers free phones to the less fortunate to enjoy communicating with their friends and relatives. Apart from flip phones, you can get a smartphone from some service providers. The free devices come with a free cellular plan containing voice call minutes, texts, and data. 

    Reasons For Seniors to Choose a Flip Phone

    There are various reasons why most seniors choose flip phones for their day-to-day usage. These include the following.

    1. The phones are simple.

    Most seniors do not like complex devices around them. Since flip phones are simple, they prefer having them to make their lives enjoyable. Furthermore, the phones are light enough to carry around even on your palm.

    1. Easy to use

    Flip phones are easy to use. The keypad is highly conspicuous, with characters highly visible. If you have to call someone, you only need to dial the numbers, and you are good to go. Complex devices such as smartphones may prove challenging due to the numerous navigation steps when performing tasks. Above all, most flip phones come with an SOS button to make an emergency call when in distress. 

    1. They are Cheap 

    Flip phones are cheap compared to smartphones. You can get one at just $30 or below, while the cheapest smartphone can cost around $50. Since some seniors are financially incapacitated, getting a flip phone is the best option. Feature phones can serve as alternative cheap phones. 

    1. Durable

    Feature phones are durable since they can last for years. Most of these devices are tolerant to mechanical forces such as falling. Batteries last long when fully charged, and keypads do not fade quickly since they are ever protected by the flip cover when not used.

    Best ways to Get Free government Flip Phones for Seniors 

    The best way to get a free flip phone from the government is to apply for the Lifeline service. For your information, Lifeline is a federal government program that offers low-income families free phones and cellular plans. You must qualify for Lifeline for you to get the free device. We shall see how you can qualify for Lifeline shortly.

    Usually, Lifeline offers up to a $9.25 monthly discount on free service for qualifying low-income subscribers. Additionally, people living in the Tribals Lands get up to $34.25 per month for their cellular discount. Again, subscribers may get a Lifeline discount on a wireline or a wireless service. However, one cannot receive a discount on both services simultaneously.

    Only one person per household can benefit from a free government phone and plan. That means the other household members must rely on the beneficiary. A household can have one, two, three, or more people who do not have to be related. College students living under one address can form a household. Every beneficiary must recertify their Lifeline program to continue enjoying the free service. Again, one must keep their Lifeline service to avoid being cut off from the service. 

    Best ways to Get a Free Flip Phone for Seniors From a Charity

    Apart from the government, we have non-governmental organizations that offer free phones. You can easily apply as long as you are needy. One can apply online or visit their offices where necessary. Usually, most charitable organizations that offer free phones require similar qualifications to Lifeline.

    To get a free device from a charity, you should create an account online by providing your identification details, then uploading documents such as your identification, benefit award, birth certificate, and Social Security Number documents. You can receive your phone via your physical address. Even though most charitable organizations offer free laptops, you can still get phones from them.

    Examples of charitable organizations that may offer free phones to seniors and other eligible persons include;

    1. Everyone On
    2. National Cristina Foundation
    3. On It Foundation
    4. PCs for People
    5. Freecycle

    Qualifications for the Lifeline Program for a Free Flip Phone

    As mentioned earlier, you must qualify for Lifeline to get a free phone. There are two ways you can qualify for the free program. These include income and benefit program participation. Let us look at each one of them.  

    i. Income 

    To qualify for Lifeline through income, your gross household income should be 135% or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. People with such a level of income find it challenging to afford basic needs. 

    However, that is much lower than the newly started benefit program: the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which requires you to have a gross household income of 200% or below the Federal Poverty Guideline. ACP offers discounts for your broadband service. 

    ii. Benefit Program Participation

    You can also qualify for Lifeline through various benefit program participation. One program is enough to qualify you for the free service and get a free flip phone. Examples of benefit programs that allow you to qualify for Lifeline include the following.

    1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    2. Medicaid
    3. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    4. Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
    5. Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)

    If you live on the Tribal Lands, you can qualify for Lifeline through the following Tribal benefits. 

    1. Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    2. Tribal Head Start
    3. Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance to Needy Families 
    4. Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

    Documentations That Do I Need When Applying for the Lifeline Program

    To prove that you are eligible for Lifeline through the income benefits program, you should provide accompanying documents. For income eligibility, you can bring the following documents. 

    1. Previous year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
    2. Veterans Administration statement of benefits
    3. Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation statement of benefits
    4. A paycheck stub
    5. Federal/Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
    6. Current income statement from your employer 
    7. Divorce decree, child support award, or other necessary document containing income information

    You can bring any of the following documents to show that you qualify for a benefits program. 

    1. Benefit award letter
    2. Statement of benefits
    3. Benefit verification letter
    4. Approval letter

    Additionally, you should bring a document to prove your date of birth. Examples of documents to prove the date of birth includes the following.

    1. Government, state, military, or Tribal ID
    2. Birth Certificate
    3. Government assistance program document
    4. Driver’s license
    5. Permanent Resident Card or Green Card
    6. Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization

    You also need to bring a document to show your Social Security Number or Tribal ID Number. Documents you can bring include;

    1. Most recent W-2 or tax return
    2. Government, military, state, or Tribal ID
    3. Social Security Card
    4. Military discharge documentation
    5. Unemployment/Workers’ compensation benefits
    6. Government assistance program document

    The government also requires you to prove your address by bringing documents such as;

    1. Utility bill
    2. Mortgage or lease statement
    3. Driver’s license or other valid government, state, or Tribal ID
    4. Most recent W-2 or tax return

    To prove Life, you should bring any of the following.

    1. Government, military, state, or Tribal ID
    2. Birth certificate
    3. Government assistance program document
    4. Social Security card
    5. Prior year’s tax return or W-2

    How to Apply for the Lifeline Program

    There are three main ways you can apply for Lifeline. These include;

    1. Online at nv.fcc.gov/Lifeline, whereby you should create an account and apply.
    2. By mail, when you download the Lifeline application form, fill out and attach the necessary documents.
    3. Through your service provider’s website.

    Which Providers Offer Free Flip Cell Phones for Seniors Under the Lifeline Program

    You might be looking for the right service provider to offer you a flip phone and a free service. If that is the case, we have various service providers you can get the device from. These include the following.

    1. Q Link Wireless

    If you qualify, you can get a free flip phone from the government through Q Link. You can apply online on the Q Link website with your phone, computer, or tablet. Eligibility for the service can be via income or benefit program.

    1. Life Wireless

    You can also apply for Lifeline to get a free phone through Life Wireless. You will then get your free device once your application goes through. The company delivers your phone via your physical address.

    1. Assurance Wireless

    Another service provider you can opt for is Assurance Wireless, whereby you can apply for the Lifeline service online. Once you qualify, you get your free device at your address. 

    1. TrueConnect

    The company allows you to apply for your Lifeline service to get a free phone online. You should create an account and submit the necessary details during your application. Once successful, you receive your phone.

    1. SafeLink Wireless

    If you qualify, you can apply for your free government phone at SafeLink Wireless and get a free flip phone or any other device. SafeLink offers services on Verizon, and you can expect the best connectivity. 

    Bottom Line 

    A flip phone is a hinged mobile phone that appears compact when closed. Its cover flips open to show the keypad, screen, speaker, and microphone. It is also known as a clamshell phone. Some flip phones have no internet access. You can get a free flip phone from the government if you qualify for Lifeline.