free government cell phones


In order to qualify for a free government cell phone you must meet certain requirements.  Since the Lifeline Assistance program is a Federally funded program, qualification requirements are fairly uniform from one program to another.  States are free to change certain restrictions, like income guidelines and which federally funded program participants are eligibly for free government cell phones.  So it is always best to check the requirements in the state that you will be applying from.

So you must be wondering how you can qualify for one of these free cell phones and free cell phone service.  Don’t worry!  We are going to take you through the whole process step by step.  The application process is very simple and in most cases you will be able to complete the necessary forms in less than ten minutes.  And as we mentioned before, if you are eligible for a free government cell phone it won’t cost you a single dime.

In order to qualify for a free government cell phone you must meet four requirements: (1) State of residence Requirement; (1) Income/Assistance Program Requirements; (3) No member of your household can be currently participating in the Lifeline Assistance Program; and (4) You must have a valid United States mailing address.  Unfortunately, no post office boxes are allowed, because the cell phone must be mailed to a valid street address.

State of residence Requirement

At the time that you apply for a Lifeline Assistance program free government cell phone, you must reside in a state that currently participates in a free government cell phone program.

Income/Assistance Program Requirements

There are two schemes that determine applicant eligibility for Lifeline Assistance programs.  You can qualify for a free cell phone by meeting either of these requirements, you do not have to satisfy both.

The first way to qualify for a free government cell phone is to be a participant in a state or federal assistance program.  The list of eligible state assistance programs will be specific to each state the program is in.  So make sure you check your state’s specific list of state eligible assistance programs.  If you participate in any of the following federal assistance programs, you most likely qualify for a free government cell phone: Food Stamps/SNAP, Social Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Section 8 Housing, Public Housing Assistance, or other government assistance programs.

If you do not participate in any of the above mentioned federal or state assistance programs, don’t worry!  There is still a chance that you participate in a state assistance program not mentioned above.  Please check with you state’s specific qualification requirements.

The second method that can be used to qualify for a free government cell phone is to meet income guidelines established by the federal government and/or the state.  States are free to change the income requirements.  So please make sure to double check your state’s exact income requirements.

In order to qualify for a free government cell phone, your household income must be below or up to 135% of federal poverty guidelines (some states allow up to 150% of the federal poverty guidelines).  Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas all use the 150% federal poverty level guideline.

Below You will find federal poverty guidelines for 2011.  Each figure below, must be multiplied by 1.35 (1.5 if your states uses 150% of the federal poverty guidelines).

Size of
Family Unit
48 Contiguous
States and D.C.
Alaska Hawaii
1 $14,702 $18.360 $16,929
2 19.859 24,813 22,856
3 25,016 31,266 28,782
4 30,173 37,719 34,709
5 35,330 44,172 40,635
6 40,487 50,625 46,562
7 45,644 57,078 52,488
8 50,801 63,531 58,415
For each additional
person, add
5,157 6,453 5,927

These requirements change from time to time.  So it is best to check with your state’s specific eligibility requirements before applying.

The next step is to learn how to get a free government cell phone.

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