How You Can Qualify for a Free Phone

by Calyn Ehid

The cost of cell phone bills and related cellular service features is increasing every year. Saving money is more important than ever especially in such unprecedented times. Do you know how you can qualify for a free phone and save money each month?

Free cell phones and landline services are available for qualified U.S. consumers. Some U.S. residents qualify for free physical phones and discounted monthly services. Others qualify for one or the other or both. How does one qualify for a free phone in 2021? What companies and organizations provide them? Read ahead to learn tips and information on how you can qualify for a free phone today.

On The iPhone

What Organizations Provide Free Phones?

Free phones are provided to qualified consumers by U.S. state and federal government agencies. Certain cell phone manufacturers and cellular services providers also offer free phones when specific financial hardship-based conditions are met. Programs for discounted cell phone and landline services are also available for those who do not qualify for totally free phones and phone services. Many cellular service providers also offer promotional deals to attract new business. For example, as part of your contract or sign-up bonus, any major service provider such as Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T might offer a free phone when you enroll in two years post-paid service.

How to Qualify for a Free Phone

Qualifying for a free phone or discounted phone service generally requires proof of financial hardship or a qualifying disability. Most free phone providers check to see if you are already enrolled in any federal or state-specific benefits programs. Generally speaking, if you or a qualified member of your household is enrolled in Medicaid and/or Medi-Cal, you might also qualify for a free/discounted phone or phone services.

Participation in other federal or state-specific benefits programs also helps you qualify for a free phone. For example, enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)/CalFresh, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance and/or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) programs might qualify you for a free phone. Additional federal or state-specific benefits programs where enrollment helps you qualify for a free phone include the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit and programs designed for Native Americans such as:

  • Tribal Head Start.
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Certain qualified senior citizens are also eligible for free phones under specified conditions. Your individual and/or household income (when applicable) might also qualify you for a free phone if it is at or a certain limited percentage above the national poverty level. Are you unemployed? Presenting your Unemployment Benefit Letter is a hot tip capable of possibly helping you get a free phone through certain U.S. government and/or charitable organizations.

Benefits of Free Phones & Service

The top benefit of receiving a free phone is in not spending valuable money on expensive phone products. Free phone service also saves much-needed money every month. Benefits of free phones & service go beyond financial, however. Senior citizens on low monthly fixed incomes might not be able to afford cellular or landline phones services. The same is true for people with serious disabilities who are unable to work and also maintain certain levels of independence.

Having a free phone helps prevent U.S. seniors and disabled residents from feeling isolated and without help. Free phones also allow people to stay in touch with friends and family. The ability to stay connected improves the quality of life for countless low-income Americans every day. It allows parents to reach their children as needed. Free phones also provide the benefit of preventing medical emergencies from becoming worse. Seniors and people with disabilities left alone without phone services might not survive falls or other accidents/emergencies without the free phone service they possess.

Top Companies & Organizations Offering Free Phones

Access Wireless offers free monthly plans to qualified consumers. Free Access Wireless plans are provided to income-eligible applicants in conjunction with the federally facilitated Lifeline Assistance program. The Lifeline program helps connect U.S. seniors and other qualified U.S. residents with discounts on monthly phone or internet bills. Many top nationwide cellular service providers participate in the Lifeline program as do smaller companies.

Assurance Wireless is another top company offering help with applying for the Lifeline program in addition to free Assurance Wireless physical cell phones. Assurance Wireless plans provide free monthly talking minutes, free monthly data and unlimited texting to qualified customers. QLink Wireless also provides free talk, text and data to qualified customers. QLink is a government-funded program, which also offers smart-technology enabled tablets and tablet services. QLink allows customers to bring their own phone numbers and phones as well.

SafeLink Wireless is another top company offering free phones and phone service to qualified individuals. TruConnect offers free wireless internet and free device services as well as participation in the Lifeline program. Additional companies offering free phones, services or discounts include