Are you Eligible for a Free Government Cell Phone?

By | August 8, 2018

Are you Eligible for a free cell phone?   Lifeline assistance works to help low-income working families and the poor have an equal opportunity to phone services.   These phones make the difference between being isolated and being able to connect with friends and loved ones.  Disadvantaged families are qualified to receive help with free phone service.   With the phone plan, you receive a cell phone and monthly minutes or landline service.   You must produce certain documents to be eligible for a free cell phone.   There have been problems in the program with fraud and abuse.

Today if you want a free government phone, you will have to prove eligibility.  Lifeline eligibility can be proved, by providing documentation of your financial status, or your involvement in a government assistance program.   This helps to make sure only those who eligible receive a phone.   Part of this is because the phone company received a credit for each person they phone providers used the lack of documentation as an opportunity to receive more money from the government.

 Who is Eligible for a Free Cell Phone?

 You may be eligible for a free cell phone when you receive help from:

  • 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 may also qualify for a government phone if you work and your gross monthly or yearly income is at or below 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

How to Find a Phone Company

Once you have all your paperwork in order,  locate a no-cost phone provider in your state.  Do a little research, because all states do not implement the program in the exact same way.  Some companies charge a small fee, some partially pay for your some service, but most offer totally free phone benefits.  You also what to check online for reviews of the phone provider you are considering getting your phone from.  

There have been some providers that receive many complaints and long waiting times to get help.  Because the phone is free, doesn’t mean you do not deserve great customer service. Many providers use an automated system, that can be very frustrating, when you want to talk to a living, breathing person.  If you are comfortable with the benefits they offer and the minutes they provide, sign up on their website or call to request an application be sent to you. 

What Documents You Need

  • A Statement from the following: Department of Social Services or SNAPS, Veteran’s Administration, Social Security Benefits.
  • A current Federal Tax Return
  • A letter from Unemployment/Workman’s Compensation
  • A payroll statement or current check stubs from your job

If you do not have the proof needed to apply, contact the agency the government assistance agency for the necessary documentation the same day if you go in person.  Contact the phone provider you are applying with, to find out exactly what documentation you need.   In some cases, you can submit online, or go into a provider store.   When you are approved, you will receive an email, or letter that you are eligible to receive a free government cell phone.  If all your documentation is in order, you should receive a phone in 7 – 10 business days.

NEXT:  How to Find Cell Phone Provider

19 thoughts on “Are you Eligible for a Free Government Cell Phone?


    deseo comunicarme con alguien que able español


    por favor he perdido mi celular deseo renplasarlo por otro

  3. kayla reynolds

    hi my name is kayla and my phone will not stay charge and the battery is going bad is there a way that i can get a new one.

  4. Kelly

    Phone Safelink they will send a re[lacement.

  5. cindy cherpes

    i need to replace a safelink phone how do i do it

  6. Free Government Phones Post author

    Hello, Virginia. You can get a free phone and service when you qualify financially. Assurance Wireless offers Android Smartphones and has pretty current phone models. Go to their website to apply.

  7. Virginia Ramsey

    I would like to know if you are offering a Free Phone to seniorcitizens that are retired and are on a fixed income.
    I received social security and pension once a month. My husband passed away last August 2016 suddenly and left me strapped for money. I am with consumer cellular and I am paying for a flip phone and it is setting me back a few dollars which I certaInly do not have to put out. Please respond as soon as possible. Thank you

  8. dyreese reeder

    I have lost my phone and I was trying to see how to get another one? My name is Dyreese Reeder 502 wildwood drive park forest, Ill 60466.. I received the link card

  9. pauline L seAy

    I have a lifeline phone but I don’t know how to get my mins

  10. Pamela Wilson-Lipscomb Post author

    Hello, Dorotea. If you don’t like the phone you have now, most tracfones work with SafeLink service. You can buy them at Wal-Mart, drugstores, supermarkets etc.

  11. dorotea herrera

    I have safe link but get liile line the same?if not I like to switch I do qualified

  12. Linda Mhoon

    I like to get a flip phone replacement because, I don’t have the lasat phone . can u please send me a replacement phone ..enrollment number 15702637 series number 013294000776256 please help me

  13. Pamela Wilson-Lipscomb Post author

    Kenneth, you are eligible if you receive food stamps. Call the company to find out the status of your order.

  14. kenneth patrick

    i put in for a reach out wireless government cell phone and haven’t had it shipped out . i sent in proof of my eligibility of food stamps and i haven’t had a reply concerning if i am eligible to receive the assistance or not

  15. Pamela Lipscomb Post author

    Call the company you have your cell phone service with to get your number.

Comments are closed.