A welfare cellphone program exists, and is commonly referred to as Obama phones. The program helps low-income individuals receive cellphones with calling and texting service, provided they meet certain income thresholds and qualify for one of several government assistance programs.
Although requirements may vary from state to state, qualifying for a cellphone generally requires proving eligibility by participation in one of several government programs used by low-income individuals, such as food stamps or Medicaid. Once the applicant has applied online for the phone and selected a local service provider, he must wait for it to arrive by mail. The cellphone program was instituted in response to a mandate by the Federal Communications Commission to help financially disadvantaged individuals who are otherwise unable to afford cellphones.