Cell phones are currently more than just calling devices. It makes it simple to connect with friends, family, and remain attached to the rest of the globe. Mobile phones have become a regular part of human life that staying without it is hardly possible. This is perhaps what prompted the government to organize channels through which those with financial difficulties can apply for a free government phone.
In order to qualify for a cell phone for free from the government, you should satisfy certain requirements. Free government phones are provided by lifeline assistance services, which is a federally funded program. This makes qualification requirements quite uniform from one organization to another. However, different states are free to adjust specific restrictions, such as income guidelines.
That said, you could be wondering the steps to apply for a free government phone. Worry not, however, as the guide below outlines the necessities and procedural steps to follow to get a free phone. The process is very simple and will require that you fill some essential forms that won’t take much of your time.
3 Simple Steps Apply For Free Phone
Before even thinking of being eligible for a free phone, there are four essential requirements that you should meet. They are:
● State of residence
To apply for free government phone supported by the Lifeline Assistance program, you should reside in one of the states that participate in a free government cell phone or smartphone programs. Otherwise, it would be impossible for the government-designated companies offering free phones to provide their services.
● Income and assistance program requirements
As an applicant, two schemes determine your eligibility to Lifeline Assistance Programs. Interested persons can qualify for a free cell phone by satisfactory meeting one of these two determinants. The first involves being a participant in the federal assistance program. Different states have varying lists of eligibility criteria for individuals to qualify for state assistance programs. Therefore, make sure that you check the list of assistance programs in your state.
You will likely be eligible for a free government cell phone if you participate in either of the following federal assistance programs:
- Food stamps
- Section 8 housing
- Social security income
- Public housing assistance
If you are not in either of the federal programs above, worry not as there is the second loop that can get you access to free government phone. Besides, you should check with your state specific’s requirements, as there is a chance you are participating in an assistance program not listed above.
The second method used to critic individuals who qualify for a free government phone is based on the income guidelines. The income guides are established by the state or government and can be changed by the authorities any time. Therefore, you should always double-check to note your state’s income requirements before applying for a free phone.
To qualify for a free phone, the total household income should be below the federal poverty guidelines by 135% and 150% in some states. States using the 150% federal poverty guideline include Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island, and Michigan.
Apart from the state of residence and income requirements, you should also provide the exact number of members in your household currently using the lifeline assistance program. Lastly, submit a valid US mailing address. Note that no post office address is allowed since the cell phone should be mailed to a usable street address.
2. Applying For the Free Phone
If you meet either of the above two conditions, you are free to proceed to this next step. Applying for the free government phone, as mentioned, is easy and straightforward. The process is short, which involves filling a 2-page maximum application with attached proofs of either of the two requirements.
3. Selecting the Companies
Several local companies provide free cell phones to state locals, and three national companies can source the free government phone for you. The companies that operate in multiple states include ReachOut Wireless, SafeLink Wireless, and Assurance Wireless. If none of the multinational government-supported companies provides the services in your state, check with some small state providers.
You should conduct a thorough search on the various companies, checking for their eligibility criteria, their cell phone plans, internet network services, and much more before settling on one. Find out more information from the company’s websites and don’t hesitate to contact them if you need some details ironed out.
This company provides free government cell phone services to 29 states and Columbia District. Whereas it might not be the largest and oldest Lifeline Assistance Company, it is well reputed and expanding rapidly. If you find that Assurance Wireless doesn’t serve your state, find another option, and check back later.
This is the third-largest provider of free government phones and operates in 18 states. Like other multinational companies, ReachOut Wireless is expanding aggressively into other states.
SafeLink is undoubtedly the oldest and largest free government cell phone provider. It extends its services to several states within the United States.
Once you have settled on one free cell phone providing company, fill out their application form and submit it through their mailing address. Those who apply under the income requirement should include supporting income verification documents. If you have the options of filling the forms under the income requirements and assistance programs, fill using the assistance programs because it is easier.
Once you have submitted the application for a free phone to your company of choice, the company will process your application, verify the documents, and notify you of approval. You should then expect your phone within ten business days. Note that you can only get one lifeline assistance phone per household. Violating this policy may result in being removed from the program completely.
A Concluding Note
The process of applying for free government phone is quite simple. However, it can be lengthy and complicated if you fail to meet the essential requirements. Make sure that you comply with the state prerequisites before submitting an application. In the event your phone provider fails to approve your application, the company will contact you on the necessary steps to follow when making a re-application.