The existence of phone service has made our lives easier. It helps us to connect with our loved ones. But many of us are unable to afford the phone services. Besides connecting people, it also helps to connect with vital services, including doctors and other emergency services. Knowing this problem, the government started the Lifeline Program. This program is expected to help eligible people to have free phone service. Besides the low-income people, the Lifeline program is also applied to the seniors. With more than 3.2 million senior residents, Texas is one of the states that provide a Lifeline program. However, not all free phones are suitable for seniors. Here you’ll find our recommendation of the 5 best free phones for seniors in Texas.
Seniors in Texas
There are more than 3.2 million people of Texas citizens who are 60 years and older. It means almost 12% of Texans are senior residents. Seniors generally refer to someone who is at least 60 years or 65 years of age. Usually, it is also defined as a retired person. Although not all of them are retired, still they are more likely to be dependent on others. But most of them live alone or lives far from their families. This may be a problem if they need help or are in an emergency and no one around. It’s even worse if they don’t have access to the phone.
The job growth in Texas is excellent. But it is different when you are a senior. According to data, many seniors in Texas are economically insecure. They spend 30% of their income mostly on housing costs. It may cause them being not able to afford their other needs such as a phone. Seniors need to have easy access to the phone to ensure them to stay connected with many vital services. It also helps them to stay connected with others especially in today’s situation. However, seniors in Texas can have a free phone by applying for a Lifeline program.
Getting Free Phones in Texas
Stop wondering about how to get free phones for seniors in Texas because we have the answers. You can have a free phone from the government by joining the Lifeline program. This program is for eligible seniors who live in Texas and other states. There are 2 main criteria for you if you want to join the program:
You are receiving benefits from any of these programs in Texas:
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)
- Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
- Tribal Administered Temporary Assistance (Tribal TANF)
- Tribal Head Start (only those households that meet its income standards)
Your total household income is below the Federal Poverty level
You are eligible if your total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. You can take a look at Federal Poverty Guidelines in Texas here.
3 Easy Steps to Apply for Free Phone in Texas
If you meet the criteria for the Lifeline Program, you can continue to apply for the free phone program. There are 3 easy steps to apply:
Choose a free phone providers
The first step is to choose a free phone provider. You have to know and ensure that the providers got all your needs. 11 telephone companies provide a free phone in Texas. Below is the list:
- Access Wireless, provides 250 minutes of talk, unlimited texts, and data (3GB)
- Assurance Wireless, provides unlimited free talk and texts, plus data (3GB)
- enTouch Wireless, provides unlimited texts, 1000 minutes talk, and various data plans
- Life Wireless, provides 750 minutes of talk, unlimited texts, and data (1GB)each month
- Q Link Wireless, provides 100 minutes of talk, unlimited texts, and data (3GB)
- Safelink Wireless, provides unlimited talk and texts, plus data (3GB)
- StandUp Wireless, provides 1000 minutes of talk, unlimited texts, and data (500MB)
- Tag Mobile, provides 1000 minutes of talk, and unlimited texts [Read what phones are compatible with TAG Mobile here]
- Terracom, provides unlimited texts, and up to 2000 minutes of talk
- TruConnect, provides various service plan, plus a free call to select countries
- True Wireless, provides 1000+ free minutes of talk, 1000+ of free texts, and data (3GB)
Complete the Application
After choosing the best providers for you, next is to fill out the application form. You can get the application form from the websites of your chosen provider. You can also call the customer service of the Lifeline program in Texas and ask for the form. The form will be sent by mail or fax. Once you complete the form, you can send it back via mail or upload it to their website.
Enroll in the program
Once you are approved, you can enroll in the program. This program is applied for as long as you need. In other words, you can re-apply for this program annually until it is no longer beneficial for you.
What Free Phone Features that Seniors Need?
Unlike most people, seniors have their own special needs. You have to pay attention to the features that seniors need before making a decision. Senior needs a phone that simple and easy to use. Below are some of the features that seniors need on their free phones:
- Large Screen and Adjustable Text Size: To help seniors with low-vision.
- Loud Sound and Speaker: Helpful for hard hearing senior.
- Clear and Simple Display: To minimalize the confusion in using a phone
- Long Battery Life: Ensure that senior’s phones are on most of the time.
- Phone Tracking Features: To keep the track of a senior’s location. Because seniors are easily wandered or get lost.
- Good Durability
5 Best Free Phones for seniors in Texas
Here are some recommendations of our 5 best free phones for senior residents of Texas.
Motorola Moto G7
Motorola Moto G7 is equipped with a 5.7-inch screen, making it a perfect size for seniors to use. Besides the large screen, it comes with an adjustable text size that makes the text easier to read. This phone has a loud speakerphone which can turn up to 78dB. Even its streaming video sound peaks at 88dB. It produces a clear voice on the call, so it should be easy for hard of hearing seniors to understand the caller’s voice. This phone can stay up to 15 hours while video streaming, which is considered as a phone with a long-life battery.
Jitterbug Smart2 by Greatcall
This phone has a clear, bright, and easy-to-read display, making it a great choice for seniors who don’t use a modern phone screen. The display is not only focusing on large icons but also on big words. So it is more straightforward and easier for seniors to navigate the menu. This phone has a long-life battery that can stay on for up to 17 days if is not used. One of the best features of Jitterbug Smart2 is the 5Star Emergency Button. This button can directly contact an emergency service when it is pressed. It also features a health and safety menu such as daily health tips, check-in calls, and more.
Unnecto Air Senior Phone
As you can tell by its name, this phone is designed specifically for seniors. It provides a very large format of icons to minimalize seniors pressing the wrong menu. You can set this phone to contact a designated family or friend by pressing a particular button. It’s called Family Member SOS that can be very useful in an emergency. Another great feature is the GEO Fencing feature. This feature will notify the designated loved one when the phone leaves or enter a certain area. This can prevent the seniors from straying too far.
LG G8 ThinQ
This phone is one of the best phone options for seniors. Equipped with a vibrating screen, it makes a clear gesture for seniors while they are using the phone. It comes with a loudspeaker that reaches up to 92dB while ringing. Seniors will never miss a call or notification on their phones. This phone is provided by a fast charging feature which is very nice on saving a lot of time. It is compatible with a hearing aid so it is comfortable for those with hearing difficulties.
Nokia is a well-known brand for its durability. By choosing this phone means that you won’t have to replace it anytime soon. Nokia 4.2 comes with many great features. It provides a google assistant so seniors don’t have to type to reply to a message. It can be a life-changing experience for seniors. It can also be helpful for seniors with low-vision that have a hard time typing a message. For seniors who like to capture moments in their lives, this phone is a great choice. Built with a 13 MP camera and 32 GB storage, there is enough memory space to save those important photos.
The existence of phone service has made our lives easier. But not all Americans can have access to the phone service. So the government creates a Lifeline Programs. This program helps people in need including seniors in Texas to have free access to the phone. It also applies to free phones for seniors in Florida. However, not all phones are suitable for senior’s special needs. Pick one of our recommendations for free phones for seniors in Texas. The first is Motorola Moto G7 that has many great features. It is equipped with a large screen, a very loudspeaker, and a long-lasting battery. The second is Jitterbug Smart2 that already well-known for its specific need phone. It comes with a straightforward and simple display with a 5Star emergency button.
Next is Unnecto Air Senior Phone with its Family Member SOS and Geo-Fencing features. These features will notify and send a location to a senior’s family if there is an emergency. Then there is LG G8 ThinQ with its 98 dB speaker. This phone is quite loud and features hearing aid compatibility. The last of our choice is a well-known brand with its durability, Nokia 4.2. It has a google command feature that helps seniors to reply to a message without typing. So it’s very helpful for seniors with low-vision.