A phone has slowly but surely become a staple device in everyone’s daily life, and it’s what keeps us up to date on the latest news, connected to our loved ones, and most of all, able to be part of the workforce.
However, as important as it is, not everyone owns a phone, as they can be incredibly expensive at times, and even the more cost-effective ones aren’t exactly affordable for low-income Americans in desperate need of one.
A simple cell phone can make your life substantially easier, and if you’re able to buy a smartphone, you should accept that you’re among the privileged bunch who can afford one in these trying times.
Thankfully, certain carriers are willing to give away a free phone so long as you’re going to apply for a plan with them, and the phones you’ll receive this way are entirely free of charge.
Apart from this, you may even gain access to many other benefits the carrier provides, such as free internet, unlimited data, international calls for lower rates and so much more.
Keep reading and find out all you can about these free phones and how you could get yours.
Even though it sounds too good to be true at first, the US government has made it possible, and you can now receive a free phone just for becoming a user of one of many of the federal government’s assistance programs.
Most of the time, this is through a program called Lifeline, which is managed by the FCC and provides low-cost communication services and devices to low-income individuals in need.
Most of the time, with Lifeline, users are able to get a discount on telephone and internet services which can go up to $9.25 or even $34.25 if the property is on tribal land.
Unfortunately, qualifying for this form of assistance comes with a fair share of requirements, one of them being that your income is below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
However, you may also qualify for Lifeline if you’re already a user of some other federal assistance program such as SSI, Federal Public Housing, Medicaid, or SNAP.
Affordable Connectivity Program
Just like Lifeline, the ACP has also been made available with the help of the FCC, and its goal is to provide support for households struggling to pay for the costs of broadband services.
This way, qualifying households can gain access to a discount that goes up to $30/month, and this amount goes up to $70/month for households situated on tribal lands.
Apart from these benefits, a household can even receive a one-time discount of $100 on a qualifying device from participating retailers that offer low-cost laptops, desktop computers, or tablets.
Unlike Lifeline, the requirements for ACP are much more strict, and qualifying for benefits requires your income to be below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Despite this, a household may qualify for support if at least one member had received a Pell Grant in the past year, has met the requirements for an existing low-income support program, or is already using some other form of assistance.
It’s important to note that you’re not likely to receive a free phone from some of the more popular carriers like Verizon or T-Mobile, but considering you’re in need of any form of connectivity, just about anything should do.
Among the carriers that provide phones, you’ll find Assurance Wireless, SafeLink Wireless, TruConnect, and True Wireless, all of which have their own terms for receiving a free phone and will require you to apply for a plan with them in order to receive it.
Regardless of their popularity, each of these carriers will provide you with a phone that you can use on a dependable network that will be useful everywhere in the continental US.
As it stands though, not all carriers are available in a single area, and you may have to research this beforehand to figure out how you can get a free phone where you live.
Thankfully, the USAC offers an online tool that’ll help you find a carrier in a flash, and you’d be surprised with how many companies near you actually offer this opportunity, and all you’ve got to do is find the one that suits you.
The costs of buying a phone aren’t for everyone, and being low-income means you can’t exactly afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a device that you’ll use for work and keeping in touch with your loved ones.
With the help of programs like Lifeline and the ACP, qualifying Americans can gain access to a free phone, and while these devices aren’t ever cutting edge and the newest ones on the market, they’re dependable enough for you to appreciate them.
If you’re interested in this program, the best way to get started is to research the carriers near you and whether they offer something similar to the programs mentioned above.