Free Government Cell Phones for Low Income Families and Senior Citizens
Free Cell Phones for Low Income Families and Seniors
Is there really such a thing as a free cell phone for low income families and seniors?
After doing research on the best cell phones for seniors I decided to share some helpful information that I came across during the process.
Did you know that the government supports discounted free cell phone service and plans to individuals below the poverty line through it's "Lifeline" program? (Safelink wireless offers a "completely free version" of this plan which you can read more about below.)
Where did "Lifeline" originate?
During the Reagan administration (1984) the "Lifeline" program was created to provide "low cost" plans to low income families and seniors. Under the Telecommunications act of 1996 this program was enhanced.
Free Government Cell Phones -
Who can Qualify for free government cell phones?
Per the Lifeline page you can qualify for this program if your household income is not above the 135% Federal Poverty Guideline or if you already participate in:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or
The National School Lunch Programs Free Lunch Program
Here's a chart for determining whether you are at or below the 135% of Federal Poverty Guidelines:
This featured cell phone is available through Amazon for under $100. If you qualify for the Lifeline program program and use Safelink, then they will give you a cell phone completely free.
Cell Phones for Low Income Families and Seniors
Free Cell Phones through Safelink Wireless
One carrier that supports a free government cell phone version of this program is Safelink Wireless. (AT&T also offers this program, so be sure to make the necessary comparisons to right the find fit for you.)
From what I've read, I like Safelink wireless (safelinkwireless.com) because it provides a version that is completely free to low income individuals.
Here's a quote from their page
“SafeLink Wireless is proud to offer Lifeline Service, which is a program that enables qualifying customers to receive discounts on monthly telephone service. In our version of the program, you will receive free cellular service, a free SafeLink Wireless cell phone and the assurance that you will get no bills and no contracts EVER!”
Is it available in your state?
While there are discounts for the "Lifeline" program in every state Safelink does have some limitations for their completely free cell phone plans. They are available in the following states right now:
Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
As of 2009, safelink was servicing over 2 Million individuals.
Free Government Cell Phones for Low Income Families and Seniors
I hope you've enjoyed this hub. If you have, then please leave a comment below. If you have additional information that you would like me to feature, then let me know. I constantly update this and other hubs in order to keep my readers updated.
Additional information is available at the Lifeline government website.