Guide to Free Government Phones



Do you know the government is paying for free government phones?  Let us help you find phone providers in your state and how to apply.   You may qualify for a free phone and monthly service if you receive government assistance such as SNAP, TANF, LIHEAP, WIC, etc.   

Find out how to apply for free cellular service, which offers Smartphones, how to replace a lost or stolen phone, and more.  Many companies also offer free and affordable services to low-income consumers.   

Free Government Phone Program 

Lifeline assistance is a government program that assists low-income consumers in obtaining free and discounted phone services.  See how easy it is to apply and qualify for a cell phone or Smartphone. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is funded by taxes on all telephone bills (Universal Service Fund).

The program began to assist disadvantaged rural communities with affordable phone service.  Today Lifeline offers free cell phone service and discounts on Internet plans that help millions of families, students, and seniors.   Having Internet access is not a luxury but a necessity!  Find out how to get Broadband Internet for under $10 a month. Find out more about discount internet.

How Can I Find the Best Free Government Phones?

You can access the best free government phones by comparing each company’s plan and benefits.  Next, apply on a provider’s website with the required verification.  It will help if you qualify financially.

There are free providers in every state, but every provider is not in every state. This guide features a list of phone providers showing cell phone companies near you.  You can register online or download an application and fax or email it to the company with proof you are eligible.



Policy rules vary depending on the government phone provider and your state.  However, all providers give a cell phone, free minutes, texting, and other benefits.  Some free cell phones are a newer model provider list (here). Every provider gives a free phone.  Many companies now provide free Smartphones with unlimited talk, text, and free Data.

These Companies Offer Free Smartphones from the Government

How Do I Apply for a Free Government Cell Phone?

Qualification varies slightly from state to state.  However, financial eligibility is pretty standard throughout the U.S.  You must receive assistance from some federal programs, or your gross family income must be at or below the US Federal Poverty Guidelines.  Find a cell phone company with a good reputation and the features you desire.  Applying for a phone is relatively simple.  There are three ways to apply for a free phone and service.

  • Go to the provider website.
  • Apply by fax or mail
  • Sign up with a representative at an outside sales tent
  • Submit proof of eligibility when you apply.


The agency will review your application.  They will contact you by email, robocall, or letter to notify you that you have been approved or denied or that they need further documentation.

What are the Lifeline Program Restrictions?

  • There Are Restrictions with the Lifeline Assistance Program
  • Must provide proof of financial eligibility.
  • Only one household at a time can participate in the program.
  • Participants must live in areas where government companies operate.
  • Enrollees must recertify eligibility every year or lose their service.
  • You must also inform your provider within 30 days of any change in income or address.

Do I Qualify for a Government Phone?

You qualify for a phone when you receive help from these government programs.

  • Medicaid
  • Head Start
  • Food Stamps (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families  (TANF)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • The National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program.
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Food Distribution Program located on Indian Reservations

What Are the Best Free Government Cell Phones?

It is difficult to say what is the best free government phone.  It will depend on what you want in a free phone provider.  Most Lifeline providers offer free phones and minutes, some offer smartphones and Androids, and some offer basic phones. It is important to choose a phone that is right for you.  We can, however, tell you who the top free government providers are.

What Are The Top Free Government Phone Providers

Some of the tops cell phone companies are,

  • Safelink Wireless – 1000 free minutes, unlimited texting Wifi, Smartphones, 1 GB Data
  • QLinkwireless –  1000 free minutes, Wifi, unlimited texting, Smartphones, I GB Data
  • Assurance Wireless – 350 minutes, 2GB, unlimited texting, free Android Smartphone
  • Access – 1000 Minutes Talk, Unlimited Text, and 50 MB Data

What States Offer Free Government Phones?

You can find free government phones and providers in every state, US, Indian Land, and Territory.  Qualification varies slightly from state to state.   Financial eligibility is pretty standard throughout the U.S.  You must receive assistance from federal programs.  You can join this program if you receive WIC (Food Stamps), Medicaid, Section 8, or SSI.  You also qualify if your income exceeds 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Are there Any Lifeline Program Restrictions?

There Are Restrictions with the Lifeline Assistance Program

  • Must provide proof of financial eligibilityOpens in a new tab..
  • Only one household at a time can participate in the program.
  • Participants must live in areas where government companies operate
  • Enrollees must recertify eligibility every year or lose their service
  • You must also inform your provider within 30 days of any change in income or address

What Documents Are Needed to Prove Eligibility

 Applicants are required to provide one or more of the documents below.

  • Recent Federal Tax Return (W-2 Forms)
  • A letter from Unemployment
  • Child Support letter
  • Workman’s Compensation letter
  • Payroll statements or current check stubs from your job
  • Department of Social Services letter
  • SNAPS, Veteran’s Administration,
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