You can get a free government phone Utah through specific government programs or nongovernmental organizations. Utah is a state in the west of the United States. It borders Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada. Utah is among the Four Corner states of the US, which shares a corner with the other three states. We have numerous people in the state who cannot afford a phone for their usage. That is why this article seeks to explain various ways you can obtain a free phone.
We cannot escape from the fact that phones are integral to modern life. They are used for various purposes, including communication, entertainment, and information. Also, if you have a handset, you can stay in touch with friends/family near and far. You can also make business calls, conduct interviews, and collaborate on projects. Additionally, you can use the devices for entertainment when you watch films, listen to music, play games, and read books. They can also access social media, news, and other information.
Despite having so many advantages, most phones are expensive. One of the main reasons phones are costly is that the cost of components used in phones, such as processors, displays, and cameras, has risen in recent years. That is due to numerous factors, including the increasing complexity of these components and the rising cost of raw materials. Again, phone manufacturers spend a lot of money on marketing their products. That includes advertising, sponsoring events, and giving away free phones.
How to obtain a free government phone in Utah
There are two options to get a free government phone in Utah:
1. Lifeline Program
To get a free phone via the Lifeline program in Utah, you must first meet the eligibility requirements. These requirements include:
- Having an income that is at 135% of the federal poverty level
- Receiving certain government benefits, such as Medicaid, food stamps, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Being a member of a household that has been declared homeless by a state or local government agency
Once you have determined your eligibility for Lifeline, you can apply for the program. You can apply online, via mail, or at a participating Lifeline provider.
2. Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), formerly known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, is a government aid program that offers a monthly discount on broadband and/or cell phone service to low-income households. ACP service providers also give eligible consumers free phones, tablets, and computers.
The ACP offers a monthly discount of not more than $30 on broadband or internet service and up to $75 on broadband or internet service for households on Tribal lands. You can use your ACP benefit to pay for any participating broadband or internet service provider. You can also obtain a discount of up to $100 to cater to your phone, tablet, or computer.
Your household income should be at 200% of the federal poverty guidelines to fit for the ACP. You can also fit into the program by participating in specific assistance programs. They include the following.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program
- School Breakfast Program
- Head Start
Steps to get a free government phone utah
Whether applying for a free phone through Lifeline or ACP, there are steps you must follow. Here are the guidelines to get a free government phone in Utah.
- Choose a participating provider: Several participating providers in Utah offer free or discounted phone service through Lifeline and the ACP. You can find participating providers on the Lifeline or ACP websites.
- Complete an application: You must complete an application to apply for Lifeline or the ACP. Each provider’s application process differs, so you must contact the provider you want to apply with for more information.
- Provide proof of eligibility: To qualify for Lifeline or the ACP, you must provide proof of eligibility. This proof can include things like your income, your Social Security number, or your Medicaid card.
- Wait for approval: Once you have finished the application process and provided proof of eligibility, you will need approval. The approval process can take several weeks.
- Receive your free phone: Once approved for Lifeline or the ACP, you will receive a free phone from your provider. You will also receive a monthly bill that will be discounted or waived, depending on the program you are enrolled in.
Benefits of a free government cell phone
Below are the positive things about having a free government phone:
- Stay connected: A free government phone can help you stay linked with your family and friends, even if you cannot afford a traditional cell phone plan.
- Access critical services: A free government phone can also access essential services, such as job search websites, healthcare information, and educational resources.
- Save money: A free government phone can help you save money on your monthly bill.
Rules of ACP and Lifeline programs
Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program overseers have set various rules to ensure the programs run smoothly. Below are some of the additional rules of the ACP and Lifeline programs:
- You can only receive one ACP or Lifeline benefit per household.
- If you are already enrolled in the ACP or Lifeline and your income increases, you may be needed to pay a portion of your monthly bill.
- If you lose your ACP or Lifeline-provided phone, you must contact your provider to request a replacement.
- Providers cannot charge you an activation fee, late fee, or other fee related to the ACP or Lifeline benefit.
- You must certify your service every year.
- The benefits are non-transferable.
- Providers cannot require you to sign a contract or stick to a certain number of months of service to receive the ACP or Lifeline benefit.
In Utah, two government programs provide free or discounted phone service to low-income households. They include Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Your household income must be 135% of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for Lifeline. Again, your household income must be 200% of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for the ACP. You can apply for Lifeline or the ACP program online or by mail.