You may be eligible for a free government phone Oregon if you reside in the state. Oregon is a state in the northwestern United States. It borders the states of Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and California and the Pacific Ocean. Oregon is the 9th largest state in the United States, with a land area of 98,381 square miles (254,810 km2). The state’s capital is Salem, and its largest city is Portland.
Within Oregon state, we have thousands of people who cannot afford a smartphone. According to the Pew Research Center survey done in 2019, 11% of Oregonians do not have a smartphone. This number is higher than the national average of 8%. There are many reasons why people in Oregon may need help to afford a smartphone. One of the significant reasons is low income. The poverty rate in Oregon is higher than the national average. In 2019, 13.6% of Oregonians lived below the poverty line.
Another reason some Oregon residents have challenges acquiring phones is the unemployment rate in Oregon, which is higher than the national average. In 2019, the unemployment rate in Oregon was 3.4%. That means that more people in Oregon are out of work and may be unable to afford a smartphone. The other reason is due to the high cost of living. The good thing is we have Oregon-free government phones for such people, as you will learn shortly.
How to get a free government phone for Oregon inhabitants
There are several ways to get a free government phone in Oregon. The most common way is to apply for the Lifeline program via Oregon Lifeline providers. Lifeline is a federal program that provides free or discounted phone service to low-income households. To qualify for Lifeline, you must meet specific income requirements.
Once approved for Lifeline, you can choose a participating carrier. Several carriers offer Lifeline service in Oregon. You will be given a free or discounted phone when you sign up for Lifeline service. The type of phone you receive will vary depending on the carrier you choose. Some carriers offer basic phones, while others offer smartphones.
How to qualify for Lifeline in Oregon
You must meet specific income demands to qualify for an Oregon Lifeline cell phone. You can qualify for Lifeline if you are:
- Part of a household with an income of 135% of the federal poverty guidelines
- A member of a household that receives one of the following benefits:
- SNAP (food stamps)
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
- Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Tribal Head Start
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
Application of Lifeline in Oregon
There are several ways to apply for free government cell phones in Oregon. They include the following.
- Online: You can apply online through the Lifeline National Verifier website.
- By mail: You can download then print a Lifeline application form from the Oregon Public Utility Commission website and mail it to:
Oregon Public Utility Commission
150 N.W. 5th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
- By phone: You can call the Oregon Public Utility Commission at 1-800-647-3163 to apply for Lifeline over the phone.
When applying for Lifeline, you should provide the following information.
- Your name
- Your address
- Date of birth
- Your Social Security number
- Your income information
- Proof of eligibility (examples are SNAP benefits card, Medicaid card, or SSI benefits letter)
Once you have provided your application, it will be reviewed by a Lifeline administrator. If you are approved, you will be issued a Lifeline-eligible phone number. You can then choose a participating carrier offering free government phones in Oregon and sign up for Lifeline service.
Documents for Lifeline application
The documents required for a Lifeline application vary depending on the state. In Oregon, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Proof of Income: It can be a copy of your most recent pay stub, tax return, or letter from a government agency stating your benefits.
- Proof of Residency: This may be a copy of your lease agreement, utility bill, or government-issued ID.
- Proof of Eligibility: This can be a copy of your SNAP benefits card, Medicaid card, or SSI benefits letter.
Suppose you do not have any of these documents. In that case, you may be able to provide other documentation that proves your eligibility. For example, you could provide a copy of your bank statement showing that you receive government benefits or a letter from a social worker stating that you are homeless.
Lifeline service providers in Oregon
There are many Lifeline service providers in Oregon. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Assurance Wireless
- Boost Mobile
- Cricket Wireless
These carriers offer a variety of plans and features, so you can choose the one that best meets your needs. You can also visit the Lifeline National Verifier website to find a list of participating carriers in Oregon.
Below are some of the benefits of Lifeline service.
- Free or discounted phone service
- Unlimited talk and text
- Access to important information and resources
Lifeline can help you stay connected with your loved ones and access important information and resources if you struggle to make ends meet. You can contact the Oregon Public Utility Commission to learn more about Lifeline service providers in Oregon.
Other ways to get a free phone in Oregon
In addition to Lifeline, several other programs offer low-income households free or discounted phone services. These programs include:
- The Oregon Public Utility Commission’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) General Assistance program
- The Oregon Housing and Community Services Department’s (HCSD) Housing Choice Voucher program
You may contact the Oregon Department of Human Services to learn more about these programs.
Oregon inhabitants who qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) can get a free government phone with unlimited talk, text, and data. To qualify, you should meet specific income requirements or be enrolled in a qualifying government program, such as Medicaid, SNAP, or WIC. You can apply for a free government phone through a participating carrier, such as Assurance Wireless, Tracfone, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless.