Free Government Phone Guide


Free Government Phone Guide.  The Lifeline Assistance Program offers free cell phones from the government.   Many free cell phone providers for the poor now offer Smartphones with Lifeline Service.  Low-income consumers who qualify financially can sign up with any provider that covers their state. There are dozens of regional and national phone companies in every state and territory in the US.

What is A Free Government Phone Guide?

This free government phone guide is just that.  A guide!  We can help you navigate the sign-up process and hopefully give you the information you need to choose a phone and service you love.  With all the Lifeline phones on the market, there is a lot to consider.  Which ones have the best phones?  What phones offer the most minutes?  Who companies allow you to upgrade your phone?  How do you add minutes? These are just some of the many questions people have about the Lifeline Assistance program and their providers.


What is The Lifeline Assistance Program?

The Lifeline is a federal government-mandate program that helps low-income consumers with free phone service.  Therefore, Lifeline sponsors phone service for low-income families.  See how easy it is to apply and qualify for a cell phone, or Smartphone.

How Is it Funded

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is funded by taxes charged on all telephone bills (Universal Service Fund).  The program began to assist the impoverished rural communities with affordable phone service.  Forty-eight percent of Americans make under $25,000 a year and don’t have the Internet. The Internet is a necessary, not a luxury.

How Do I Apply for the Free Government Phone?

There are dozens of government providers in the Lifeline program. All providers don’t cover every state.   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.


  1.  Go to their website to apply online
  2.  Apply by fax or
  3.  Regular mail
  4.  Sign up with a representative at an outside sales tent

Submit proof of eligibility when you apply.  Your application will be reviewed.  They will contact you by email, robocall or letter to notify you that you have been approved, denied, or that they need further documentation.

What Is the Best  Free Government Cell Phone?

It is difficult to say what is the best free government phone.  Most Lifeline providers offer free phones and minutes.  However, some providers offer  Smartphone and some Androids and some offer basic phones. It is important to choose a phone that is right for you.

Major Government Providers

Some of the tops cell phone companies are,

  • Safelink Wireless – 1000 free minutes, unlimited texting Wifi, Smartphones, I GB Data
  • QLink –  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 and US  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 is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines


You can find  providers in  Alabama,  Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, DC,  Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, WashingtonWest Virginia and Wisconsin.  

Is There a List Of Free Government Phone Providers?

You’re in luck.  Free Government Phone Guide covers this below! 

Lifeline Cell Phone Providers

 Are There Any Restrictions for Lifeline Assistance?

  • 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 your service
  • You must also inform you provider within 30 days of any change in income or address

How Can I Get A Free Government Phone?

There are free providers in every state, but every provider is not in every state.  Check out our providers listing to find a  cell phone provider near you.  Find a phone company in your city, that offers free cell phone plans.  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 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 Smartphone with unlimited talk and text and free Data.


You qualify if you receive

  • Medicaid
  • 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.

You qualify if you receive help from,

  • Head Start
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Food Distribution Program located on Indian Reservations

What Proof Do I need To Qualify for a Free Government Phone?

At one time you did not have to provide any proof of income, at all.  What could go wrong with that, right?  Because of issues with fraud, waste and abuse on both the side of the providers as well and consumers applicants are required to provide proof of income or enrollment in an assistance program.

To prove eligibility, present one  of the following documents when applying,

  • Recent Federal Tax Return (W-2 Forms)
  • A letter from Unemployment
  • Workman’s Compensation letter
  • Payroll statements or current check stubs from your job
  • Documents from the following: Department of Social Services or SNAPS, Veteran’s Administration, Social
  • Security Benefits.

Are There Any Restrictions in The Lifeline Program?

  • Must provide proof of financial eligibility
  • One household at a time can participate in the program.
  • Participants must live in areas where phone providers operate
  • Enrollees must recertify eligibility every year or lose your service
  • You must inform your provider within 30 days of any change in income or address

Qualification varies slightly from state to state.  However, but financial eligibility is pretty standard throughout the U.S.  You must receive assistance from federal programs.  You also qualify if your income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

12 thoughts on “Free Government Phone Guide

  1. Sandra Spaulding

    My phone has been stolen how do I get my service stopped, and how do I get a new phone, I can’t believe this is happening.

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