Free Government Phones By State- Complete List

It is hard to imagine a day without a smartphone. Despite being so important for daily activities, its price still remains out of reach for many families. And, the number has only increased after the pandemic. That’s why the FCC introduced a free government phone program. The goal is to bring everyone under a digital network.

That being said, finding the right provider can be a little confusing for many eligible individuals. That’s why we have listed all the providers that offer free government phones by state. So that, you can just take a look and know all the companies working currently in your local area.

Sounds interesting? Then, without further ado, let’s get into it. Shall we?

Which Government Program Offers Free Phones? 

Free Government Phones By State

Currently, you can receive a free phone from the government through the Lifeline program or ACP. Lifeline has been a pretty well-known assistance program throughout the country since 1985. 

Its main purpose is to support low-income households. The Affordable connectivity program is somewhat newer. It was introduced post-pandemic. It only focuses on making digital services more accessible to the citizens. 

Both programs cover a portion of your monthly internet bills. The allowance ranges from $9 to $34 through Lifeline. Apart from that, you get a one-time 100% discount on a brand-new phone. Other benefits include monthly minutes, texts, data, etc depending on the provider you use.

Eligibility Criteria For Free Phone

Who doesn’t want a free phone? But, there’s a catch. Not every citizen is eligible to receive this phone. You have to pass a specific eligibility test for approval. So, let’s take a look at the eligibility criteria.

1. Below Poverty Line

 The most important criterion is the low-income level. If your annual income is above the poverty line, you will be disqualified immediately. The guidelines say that your annual earnings should be at least 135% below the poverty limit. 

For example, if you are a single person, your annual earnings have to be within $17,226. But what if you have a family? Well, here’s a small chart to help you figure it out.

Number of personsIncome level (annually)
Single Family of 3 people$29,322
Single Family of 4 people$35,370
Single Family of 5 people$41,418

If your family is bigger than that, just keep adding $6000 per person. It should give you a close estimation.

2. Child Dependency

If you have to support children who are yet to become adults, you will be eligible. During the application process, the authority will ask you whether you become eligible through your low income or because of your children. 

If your income doesn’t fall below 135% of the poverty limit, click on “through my children.” Moreover, if your kids participate in the free lunch or free breakfast program at school, you can use that card to be eligible. 

Or, if you are divorced and entitled to pay child support regularly, your disposable income would be lower. That can also make you eligible for the program. For that, you have to show the court’s order.

3. Verified Identity

You have to be a citizen of the United States to be eligible. That means your identity proof is necessary. For example, your social security number, national ID card, driver’s license, TIN, etc. This is the very first step when you fill out the application.

4. Location

If you reside in any of the federally recognized tribal states, you would be eligible. Both Lifeline and ACP offer special features to tribal areas. For example, Alaska has the majority percentage of tribes in the whole U.S.A. If you belong to any of those tribes, you can apply to this program based on that. 

5. Other Government Programs

Apart from all of that, you will be asked whether you participate in any other government assistance program or not. Your chances of getting a free phone will increase if you take part in some of these programs. it is to ensure that you are indeed needy.

Here are some Government Programs that will help you get accepted into a Lifeline or ACP: 

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • WIC- for women and children who need additional nutrition support from the Government.
  • SSI- for currently unemployed citizens who need government support for survival.

6. One Phone Per Household

Last but not the least, there is a condition that states “one house one phone.” That means, if any other person in your family already receives benefits through lifeline or ACP, you will be disqualified. Because the government aims to cover as many households as possible. 

Free Government Phones By State 

If you think you are eligible for the free phone program, what’s next? Well, the next step is to select a provider within your area. Because not all providers work to offer lifeline assistance. 

To make your search easier, we have listed out the most common free phone providers along with their serving areas. Please, have a look.

1. Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless has an association with the T-mobiles telecommunication company. It is the most easily available local provider throughout the USA. The only states it excludes are North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota & Vermont.

ProviderCompanyBenefitsStates
Assurance WirelessT-Mobilea) Unlimited data
b) 250 texts & 250 minutes
c) Brand new phone
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin,

2. Access Wireless

Access wireless comes second when it comes to nationwide coverage. It is operating in more than 30 states currently.

ProviderCompanyBenefitsStates
Access Wireless
Sprinta) Unlimited texts, calls
b) Free phone
c) 5GB Data
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

3. SafeLink Wireless

SafeLink offers free services to eligible customers. It is a proud supporter of the Lifeline & ACP assistance program.

ProviderCompanyBenefitsStates
SafeLink Wireless
TracFone Wirelessa) 350 minutes for calls

b) Free Phone

c) Free SIM Card
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

4. Cintex Wireless

One thing you might have noticed is that Cintex wireless is not available in most states. Well, it’s actually available. It only offers free phones in the below-mentioned states. As you can see, the states are mostly tribal.

ProviderCompanyBenefitsStates
Cintex WirelessHTH Communicationa) 1000 minutes
b) 1GB data monthly
c) New Smart phone
Arkansas, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, West Virginia,

5. EnTouch Wireless 

EnTouch Wireless is the only lifeline provider available for people living in Wyoming and South Dakota. It also operates in most other states.

ProviderCompanyBenefitsStates
EnTouch WirelessVerizona) 1000 minutes

b) 500+ texts

c) ACP+ Lifeline allowance if eligible
Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, South Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia,

6. Life Wireless

Life wireless operates on At & T’s nationwide fast network. California and Oklahoma residents are entitled to a premium lifeline assistance package.

ProviderCompanyBenefitsStates
Life WirelessAT & T Networka) Free Smartphone
b) 750 Monthly calls.
c) 1 GB data
Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Texas, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia,

7. Q-Link Wireless

The unique thing about Q-Link is that it operates in Vermont. Unfortunately, no other provider offers lifeline assistance in this area. So, if you live in Vermont, you have no other option but Q-Link wireless.

ProviderCompanyBenefitsStates
Q-Link WirelessT-Mobilea) Free monthly data
b) New Phone
c) Unlimited texts & calls
Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia,

8. American Assistance

American Assistance has premium lifeline assistance. But, that’s applicable if you live in California only. Otherwise, you have to accept the regular lifeline benefits.

ProviderNetwork ProviderBenefitsStates
American AssistanceVerizona) 4.5 GB Of Internet
b) 6 GB internet package (California only)
c) Unlimited talk time
Alabama, Colorado, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Rhode Island, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia

9. Stand Up Wireless

Stand UP Wireless offers a free phone along with a free SIM card in their lifeline assistance program. All you have to do is enroll and make sure you are eligible.

ProviderCompanyBenefitsStates
Stand Up WirelessT-Mobilea) Free monthly texts, minutes
b) 3GB of Data
c) New Phone
Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia,

10. Tag Mobile

As you can see, Tag mobile wireless is connected with T-Mobile, Verizon, and sprint. So, that you get the best coverage anywhere. The free phones will also come with a free monthly package for you.

ProviderCompanyBenefitsStates
Tag MobileT-Mobile, Verizon, Sprinta) 1000 minutes
b) 4.5 GB Data
c) No limit on texts
Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin,

What Is The Application Process For Getting A Free Phone From The Government?

Now, let’s take a quick scan of the whole application process. Remember that the steps might be a little different for each provider.

Step 1: Select Your Carrier

If you have multiple lifeline providers in your area, pick one. You can use our chart above to find the best deal. Once you have done that, go to their official website, for example, www.lifewireless.com. Here, you can find all the terms and conditions of that particular provider. If that suits you, then go ahead.  

Step 2: Apply Online

Next, you have to find the “lifeline assistance” option on the official website of your provider. There should be a clear “apply here” button. If you find that, just click on it. 

It will simply ask you for your zip code and email address at this stage. 

Apply Online

It makes sure that you live in their operating zone. Once you pass this round, they will redirect you to another form.

Step 3: Fill In Your General Information

This is easy. The form will ask for your birth date, full name, and social security number. In the “contact number” box, you can either give your personal or a family member’s number. 

Fill In Your General Information

Remember that, if you click “submit” it will authorize the provider to use this information during your background check. 

Step 4: Proof Of Identity

In this step, you have to verify your identity. Your national ID card along with the eligibility proof is needed. By eligibility proof, we mean any cards that you use while receiving other government assistance like food stamps. 

Just click a clear picture of these cards and save it on a phone. Then, simply attach those photos in the desired section by clicking on “upload” or the arrow button. 

Proof Of Identity
Proof Of Identity

Make sure that the cards still have validity. Expired cards are not accepted by the FCC. 

Step 5: Eligibility Verification

Next, you have to specify whether you have taken part in other government grants or not. Just put a tick beside the programs that you have participated in. Then, select “submit” and move on.

 Eligibility Verification

Step 6: Give Your Initials

The final step is to give your initial. You will come across some statements like “one of my house members already received a free phone.” All you have to do is put a tick beside it if you think it’s true or matches your condition. If not, then just leave it blank.

Give Your Initials

After you submit everything, the website will show you whether you have been approved or not. It can take a while. So, be patient. 

Conclusion

Did you know that approximately 35 million households are reaping the benefits of the Lifeline assistance program? It is a great initiative to promote inclusivity in society. In this era, limited income should limit citizens to have access to digital platforms like everybody else.

In this article, we have listed every state where the top 10 wireless service providers operate. So that, you don’t have to waste more time finding your local lifeline providers. 

Hopefully, you can now get yourself enrolled and enjoy a brand-new phone.

Deboxe M

I am Deboxe M. I founded this site on 2019-02-25. Advicefortech is dedicated to serving the latest tech news, tips, tech tools, Android, iOS, and computer software, as well as solving tech-related problems.

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