The best way to get phone service for a low-income household is by contacting local phone providers and asking about the Lifeline program, a federal program that provides discounted phone services. Some states have expanded the Lifeline program to provide free phone service to qualified households.
Any qualifying U.S. resident can get a discount on monthly bills and fees through the Lifeline program because it is a federal program funded by the Federal Communications Commission. This may be enough to help you get service. If not, check to see if you live in one of the states that has a discounted program. As of 2012, 38 states had programs to provide free phones. In many cases the free services are for mobile phones, though general Lifeline discounts can apply to landlines or mobile phones.
Lifeline is administered through private companies, so you can contact them directly. You can also visit LifelineSupport.org, a website that provides more guidance on the application process. When you apply for Lifeline, you usually have to show documentation to prove that your household qualifies. This may be proof that you are currently on another federal benefits program such as Medicaid or SNAP, or it may be proof that your income is within 135 percent of federal poverty guidelines. If you are seeking free phone service through a state program, you may be held to different requirements.