In the history of human civilization, we’re living in an era where we’re most connected to one another. Real-time communication was only developed about a decade ago. Yet we’re already seeing massive advancement in the industry. Cell phones have become essential items to us which are as important as house keys and wallets. In fact, the technology is very well-developed that your phone can also serve as your keys and wallet. Pretty awesome, huh?
With tech giants releasing new models every year some with a ridiculously high price tag people are racing to get the latest releases. That said, not every one of us has the resource to buy a phone, let alone a brand new phone every year. Through the Lifeline Assistance program, the government makes sure nobody gets left behind.
Yes, if you ever wonder where can I go get a free government phone? You can find all the information you need in this article. From the requirements, how to apply for and get your free government phone, to some alternatives. You can also get free cell phone service for life with unlimited everything!
What is the Lifeline Assistance program?
Having equal access to mobile phone service is considered to be important by the government. This started as early as 1985 where the Lifeline program was first created. The program provided cheap or free mobile service to those who are qualified. To find out more about whether you’re eligible for the program, you can read this FCC’s Lifeline Information.
Lifeline provides up to a $9.25 discount on phone service for its eligible subscribers. Participants are permitted a discount on either a landline or wireless phone service. But you can’t have both at the same time.
In response to the Covid-19, the FCC made some adjustments for the application as of March 17, 2020. Here are some of the most important changes:
Recertification and re-verification requirements of the program were waived for 60 days. The waiver was then extended to August 31, 2020
Lifeline administrators are not allowed to perform involuntary de-enrollment under the same waiver
The FCC renounced the requirement (on 29th of April, 2929) for consumers to provide three consecutive months of income proof when applying for Lifeline based on their income.
Where can I go get a free government phone?
The general rule to be eligible for a free government phone is that you have to have an income below or at 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. You’re also eligible for Lifeline Assistance if you’re enrolled in one of these government programs. (Read more about how to get a free smartphone from the government here.)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- SSI or Supplemental Security Income
- TTANF or Assistance for Needy Families, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), Head Start
- Tribal specific programs such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally-Administered Temporary
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Programs
How to apply for the Lifeline Assistance program
With three steps, it’s very easy to apply for the Lifeline Assistance program. If you’ve been asking where can I go get a free government phone, you can apply online through the Lifeline website by entering your territory. You may need to prepare your proof of income or participation in one of the programs mentioned above. Unfortunately, the program only allows for one landline or wireless phone account per household. Note that consumers in California, Oregon, and Texas can’t apply online.
If separate households are sharing the same address, each household is eligible. This includes residents of nursing homes or homeless shelters. You may also have eligibility with a temporary address.
Mail-in applications are acceptable both in English and Spanish. Complete the application form and send it to Lifeline Support Center P.O. BOX 7081 London, KY 40742 along with your proof of eligibility. Or you may also use the USAC tool to find the nearest providers that participate in the Lifeline program. The provider can help you apply for the program.
Once you’re finished with the steps, Lifeline will inform you of your approval. You may receive automatic approval if you’re applying online. Note that you may also need to input additional information before the program approves or denies your application.
Providers eligible with the Lifeline Assistance program
There are so many providers to choose from if you’re planning to apply for the Lifeline Assistance program. In fact, Verizon, one of the major US carriers is also a part of the Lifeline program. Although note that they’re only serving residents in some parts of Iowa, North Dakota, New York, and Wisconsin to this date. If you’re qualified for the program, you can at least save $9.25 a month on your wireless bill with Verizon. See here for more information about the Verizon Lifeline program.
Take a look at our best free government phone providers for a list of carriers compatible with the Lifeline Assistance program. Most of these carriers offer a much cheaper (or even free) phone service for eligible subscribers. Each carrier serves specific states; for more information on which states it’s available, enter your ZIP code here to find which one works in your area.
Which government cell phones do I get?
Besides, “where can I go get a free government phone?” this question is also important. There’s a big chance that you’re not getting the latest iPhone models with the Lifeline Assitance program. But it’s safe to say that the carriers participating in this program have done a good job in giving their customers great options for their cheap, free phones. Assurance Wireless offers a variety of smartphones such as the Alcatel Dawn, the waterproof Kyocera Hydro Reach, and ZTE Prestige 2. TruConnect also sells NUU A3 and ZTE Warp Elite N9518.
If you’re not eligible for a free government cell phone, there’s always another option to get the latest (and cheapest) phones or even smartphones. The best way to do it is by sticking to your budget and looking for the best options in that budget. So, what are your best low-cost alternatives to a free government phone? Here are our best picks for 2021:
Nokia 5.3 ($200)
Supported by Android OS, Nokia 5.3 swoops to impress. Starting at $200, you get an NFC feature from the phone so you can pay at select stores with the phone. The phone is capable to handle tasks people usually do on phones four times its price. From using Twitter to sending emails, this phone is the best offer for anyone wanting a decent smartphone without breaking their bank.
With a 4,000 mAh battery, this phone should last with you for a whole day with average use. Its 13MP camera is sufficient to take pictures as you casually enjoy an afternoon walk. Its 6.55 display is stunning considering its price point.
Teracube 2E ($200)
This one caters more to anyone who prioritizes sustainability. Teracube 2E is made of 25% recycled plastic and it comes with a four-year warranty. With a battery that lasts for two days and a decent screen, this phone is doing regular tasks effortlessly. The phone is already equipped with a fingerprint sensor and a MicroSD slot.
TCL 10L ($250)
Aside from selling affordable TVs, we can now afford affordable phones from TLC. The plastic-backed 10L is equipped with Snapdragon 665 and costs less than $200. The phone can go past a full day without recharging. Taking pretty pictures during daylight is no longer an issue with TCL 10L. Unfortunately, the drawback is that it’s only promising one Android version update for these phones for now. This means the phone doesn’t bode well for longevity.
Moto G Power ($250)
If you need a phone with the longest battery life, go for Motorola’s Moto G Power (2021). With 5,000 mAh, it keeps running for almost three full days! It’s equipped with decent processors and it can handle most apps (and games) just fine. Notched those features up with sufficient camera and wrap it for about $250—Moto G Power is a great deal.
OnePlus Nord 5G ($300)
This phone is possibly one of the best budget phones in 2021 and we’re not the only one who claims so. Adding an affordable option to the OnePlus’ lineup, people (and by people we mean tech reviewers with big channels) love its features. For $300 you’re getting a large 6.5-inch LCD screen with a sharp and bright performance.
It’s also equipped with 4 rear cameras: main, ultrawide, a macro, and a monochrome camera. The 4,300 mAh battery should last with you for a whole day without recharge. This is your best choice if you’re looking for a smartphone for around $300.
Google Pixel 4A ($350)
There are so many reasons why Google Pixel 4A is considered a great budget smartphone. It takes all the improvements people want in 3A and makes it cheaper at only $350. The phone is perfect for anyone who needs a great camera. At less than $400, you’re getting a phone with praised camera quality thanks to its performance in both bright and low-light conditions.
It’s able to compete with flagship smartphones three times its price. It’s speedy, equipped with a battery that lasts a day, and the second-best part of it is probably the size. With a 5.8-inch OLED screen and weighing 143g, this phone fits in your pocket and in one hand.
iPhone SE 2 2020 ($399)
Bagging the title “The Best Smartphone under $500” across the reviewer’s board, iPhone SE is no doubt unbeatable for this price. Some prefer to tie it with the Google Pixel 4A since these two are the best options for each budget Android and iOS phone. With the 4.7-inch screen, it’s very small compared to other previous contenders.
The SE 2020 is special since you can find the same processor on iPhone 11 Pro in this phone. You can enjoy all your favorite apps and games without dealing with any strutter. The good news is, you can update the OS for the next 4 – 5 years as Apple promised. Making it the most durable option.
Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Perhaps one of these touch screen phones from the government suits your preferences better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who has the best government phone?
Assurance Wireless seems to offer the best government phones. Not only you get a nice phone, but you’ll also get good plans without breaking the bank. Other best options include SafeLink and Q Link as they provide both free phones with service.
Are there still free government phones?
How can I get free phone service for free?
Here’s how to get a free government phone:
Find a government phone provider in your state
Prepare your proof of identity and income, or;
Provide a letter from a government agency or;
Fill out an application online or via mail
Wait for approval
You can receive your free cell phone
Now that you know where can I go get a free government phone, you can stay connected with your loved ones at all times. Thanks to the Lifeline Assistance program, low-income households can get access to wireless phones and services for free or with a discounted amount. To support the program, there are so many providers participating in the Lifeline program. Some of the best are Assurance Wireless, Q Link, and SafeLink.
To be eligible for this program, you need to prepare your proof of income. If you’re already enrolled in some of the government’s aid programs, there’s a big chance that your application will be approved. These programs are SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assitance, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally-
Administered Temporary, TTANF, FDPIR, Head Start, as well as Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Program.
If you’re not eligible for the program, you can try going to providers that offer free phones without a contract. Or even better, try to save while buying a new phone. A good phone doesn’t have to cost you so much. Stick to your budget and try to find phones in that range. With so many options available in the market today, there’s always something for everyone!