Government Cell Phone Plans

By | September 5, 2017

The government cell phone program has been a great help to many disadvantaged individuals and families since the 80s.  Cell phones make the world go around and keeps us connected to everything from families to our Facebook friends.

Most of us would not know what to do without them.  There are many people would not have a phone without free government cell phone service.   The economy has improved, however, not for everyone.

The recession is still affecting many families in the United States today.    There are so many expenses to consider, being able to communicate is a necessity, not an option!   If you have been hit hard by the economy, and your finances have not recovered,  you may qualify for a subsidized phone, and service.

Government Cell Phone Assistance

This federally funded program provides affordable and discount cellular service to low-income families.   The Universal Service Fund fee on all mobile services and land lines,  facilitate the program. You can choose from a few programs with 150 carry over minutes and 250 minutes and more depending on the carrier.  When your 250 minutes are gone, you can purchase more time for a nominal fee.

The government cell phone program works with FCC, and  phone providers, to provide  mobile cellular services  to low-income families.  Each qualified applicant receives a phone and monthly minutes, at no cost to the recipient.

However, you no longer have to worry about checking on your children when you are out.  Reaching your boss when you are running late or having a working contact number when looking for a job.

How to Apply and Qualify

There are a few ways to apply for the program.  You can apply in person,  on-line or by telephone.  Of course, it is much easier to apply online.  If you have the internet, visit the website that is associated with the program. (see providers list).   Fill out the application, verify eligibility by checking requirements and submit proof of eligibility.

You qualify for Lifeline assistance, if you receive, Food Stamps, LHEAP, Section 8, Medicaid, WIC, etc., or work and are low-income.  The top companies are Safelink Wireless, Assurance  Wireless, and ReachOut Wireless.   To find out more about them click on the links here, or go their website for direct information.

Some  providers vary, but all provide either discount or free services.   Next to each company name, is the state where the program is active.  They all offer similar benefits, and re-certification is necessary each year to assure you are still eligible for help.

**Find out how to get high- speed internet at a discount – $9.99 a month!

Things you need to know:

If your total family income is 135% of the  Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2012 for the 48 states is as follows:   Please check the current qualifications for the year.  Source Calculations are always subject to changes depending on the economy.

 House –
 For each additional person, add


6 thoughts on “Government Cell Phone Plans

  1. Pamela Lipscomb Post author

    Bree, I’m glad you were able to get the help you need. I know it can be difficult caring for you family. Good luck!

  2. bree

    I am on WIC and I qualified right away. It was probably the easiest thing I have had to do.
    P.S. I really like your site. 🙂

  3. Catrena

    6 billion dollars + in fraud for free phones program. Cell phones are a luxury and tax payers money can be spent better ways.

  4. Pamela Wilson-Lipscomb

    dknightco, Have you ever read John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath? As in the past there are always working poor as well as poor that have great self-respect, pride and dignity! Don’t you think it a bit condescending to assume they do not? The phones are free, and there is no requirement to return them, but only to notify the company they no longer need the service. Anyone who is receiving government assistance is eligible to receive a phone.

  5. dknightco

    If you are actively seeking a job and need a govt subsidized cell phone for that purpose then get the free phone and I wish you all the success in the world in getting a job real soon. But please, the moment you get a job, do the right thing and return the phone so another person currently out of work but seeking employment can have the use of a free cell phone until they get a job. You deserve the pride, dignity and self-respect that comes with becoming 100% financially self-reliant! God bless!

  6. Bill

    Why are not all states covered under this plan? I live in Idaho where the distances are great between towns. I am elderly,and on disability which makes a phone a blessing. I can not afford one however.

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