What Are Some Assistance Programs That Give You a Free Cell Phone?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, the Lifeline assistance program is the only government program that gives eligible persons the opportunity to receive a free cell phone. Individuals must apply and be accepted into the program to receive discounted phone services. Once participants are approved, they can receive free cell phones by signing up with service providers that offer free phones to people in the program. Lifeline cell phone service providers include Assurance and Safelink.

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Full Answer

To be accepted into the Lifeline free cell phone program, consumers must meet guidelines set by the U.S. government. Proof of income is required, and applicants must include an address and partial Social Security number when submitting the application. Federal rules state that only one Lifeline application is granted per household, and this rule is strictly enforced. If two members of a household are accepted into Lifeline, one person must drop out of the program. Eligible consumers can subscribe to one type of Lifeline service per household, opting for either wired or wireless discount phone service.

Consumers can enroll in the Lifeline program at participating phone service providers, and enrollment may be subject to geographical area. Lifeline subscribers are required to re-enroll in the program each year and opt out of the program once eligibility expires. Re-enrolling in the program also requires renewed proof of eligibility. Lifeline subscribers who receive free phone service must use the service at least once every 60 days to keep this benefit.

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