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Free Government Cell Phones for Low Income Families and Senior Citizens

Updated on June 27, 2011

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.

In my recent hub on Senior Cell Phones, I reviewed the "Snapfon EZ One, which is my choice for the best senior cell phone.
In my recent hub on Senior Cell Phones, I reviewed the "Snapfon EZ One, which is my choice for the best senior cell phone.

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:

  • Medicaid

  • Food Stamps

  • 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:

If your overall income is less than the number above, then you probably will qualify for the government "Lifeline" program.
If your overall income is less than the number above, then you probably will qualify for the government "Lifeline" program.
Snapfon "ez ONE" Cell phone for Seniors w/ big buttons, Loud speaking keypad, so easy to see and use
Snapfon "ez ONE" Cell phone for Seniors w/ big buttons, Loud speaking keypad, so easy to see and use

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.

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    • profile image

      mary bentley 6 years ago

      i am sending my brother as a referd friend to sing up for your phone and to get my extur 100 mines

    • profile image

      whitted 6 years ago

      I need a phone so I can keep up with my appointments to the docter for my treatment. My wife stop work to take care of me and we just can't get the help we need. I just report back to work, not able to but we have to eat. I had try for this phone over five month so is this real or not.

    • profile image

      sharon jordan 6 years ago

      that would be real nice so i can tlk to my family

    • profile image

      BETH WAUGH 6 years ago

      I HAVE TWO KIDS AND LIVE WITH MY PARENTS. I CANT FIND A JOB AT THE MOMENT, BUT I WONT GIVE UP. I DESPERATELY NEED A PHONE,AND ANY HELP I CAN GET. I HOPE THIS IS NOT A HOAX. I NEED help!

    • profile image

      ed sumner 6 years ago

      i need a phone for about 10.00 because we travel many to get our mediene with tires of being bad we live a senor citzen village very small income

    • profile image

      maria 6 years ago

      hey i like that kind of phone

    • profile image

      Charlie Hall,Jr. 6 years ago

      I have a tracfone that has stopped working

      and we have called safelink 3 calls and they say they are sending a replace phone and still have not received anything.Could anybody please help us?Thank you and have a blessed day.

    • profile image

      Trisha 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for the information. I have a friend who is 76, and lives alone. I worry about him when he takes a trip now and then, and would feel so much better if he had a phone with him. He resists anything that he perceives as charity. Is there a way that I can get this for him, if I provide his information? (NO, I don't need a phone. I have a smart phone.)

    • profile image

      constance bennett 6 years ago

      yes I could use a cell phone how do i get it.

    • profile image

      Aimee Florence 6 years ago

      How many phones are allowed in the home can we each have one?

    • profile image

      felisa ratcliff 6 years ago

      love it

    • profile image

      TERRY HAWTHORNE 6 years ago

      HOW CAN YOU SING UP FOR THIS

    • amybradley77 profile image

      amybradley77 6 years ago

      Voted up!! Always nice to see are great Gov. at work to help the so called "little guy". Usually the hardest working, and therefore most deserving of such perks as the cell phones anyway. Great page, thanks again!! A.B.