Free Government Phones for Laid-Off Workers

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Are you unemployed, have been laid off, or working part-time?  You may qualify for a free government phone. A lot has been going on in the county since this new pandemic. There is no one it has not affected. People have received stimulus checks and unemployment; however, they still can not afford to pay high cell phone bills. Find out how you can get a government phone for free!

I’ve Been Laid Off – Can I get a Government Phone for Free? 


If you have been laid off and need a cell phone, you can apply online at any cell phone company signed up with Lifeline Assistance. There are cellular companies in every city that provide free government phones. Let’s look at where to start.  It is pretty simple to get a government phone and free monthly service.

Usually, you will qualify if you receive help from a government program, such as SNAP, WIC, SSI, or Medicaid.  However, if you have been laid off from your job and your household income is at or below the US Government Poverty Guidelines, you can apply for a phone today.

9 Totally Free Government Touch Screen Phone Providers

Find a Government Phone Provider when Laid Off

There are many cell phone providers to choose from, such as Safelink, Qlink, True Connect, Budget Mobile, and Assurance Wireless, to name a few. Also, you will be glad to know that many phone providers now offer Smartphones and Androids!

Companies that Offer Government Smartphones 

I think a few people still use flip phones, but if given the opportunity, people want the convenience of a Smartphone or Android. They have several apps that will be helpful. You can find apps to help your look for a new job, take notes, send and receive money, and even play games for stress relief.

Here are some of the companies you may want to consider. Access Wireless, Budget Mobile, FeelSafe, Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless, QLink Wireless, Wireless for Hope (previously Easy Wireless). For a complete list, see free government providers.

How to Apply for a Free Phone

  1. Pick a provider that offers free phones in your city.
  2. Go to their website and fill out an application.
  3. Submit proof of identity, and income (payroll check, unemployment letter)  
  4. Wait for an approval letter from your company
  5. Wait to receive your phone in 7 – 10 days.

What if My New Phone is Broken

Occasionally, you will receive a free phone that does not work properly or is broken. Contact providers, and they will replace the phone for free. If you lose your phone or it breaks in the future, you can receive a replacement for a small charge. However, you are not guaranteed to receive the same phone. So if you get a phone and love it, be careful.

How do I Add Minutes to my Phone

Adding minutes will vary from company to company. Go to that company’s website and research “How to add Minutes.” You can usually purchase additional minutes directly from your provider via the internet. You can also purchase phone cards from supermarkets and drug stores, etc.

How do I file a Complaint about my Provider?

Some providers offer excellent customer service, while some need to make improvements. Remember that you are receiving a free phone and service, so providers do not hire thousands of customer care reps to resolve issues. You can often find the information you need, but when you can not resolve an issue, contact the USAC.

The Universal Service Administrative Company is the agency that facilitates the federal universal service fund for the Lifeline Program.  Here you can get questions answered and file a complaint.


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