Customers of True Wireless can qualify for free a free lifeline phone and free cellphone service if they meet the established income guidelines or already participate in a qualifying assistance program for low-income households. Users are only allowed to have one lifeline phone per household as long as they maintain compliance, and the service is not transferable. True Wireless offers free cellphones and service in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Maryland and Rhode Island as of 2015.
Households that qualify for free lifeline cellphones based on income guidelines must have income that does not exceed 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines in most states; however, some states allow 150 percent. The poverty guidelines are updated annually, adjusted for the number of dependents in the household, and are typically the same for all 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. Alaska and Hawaii have separate guidelines due to variables in the cost of living.
Some of the programs that automatically qualify applicants if they are participants include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the National School Lunch Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. Participants in the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program and the Federal Public Housing Assistance program qualify as well.
Native Americans living on tribal lands automatically qualify for participation in the Bureau of Indian Affairs Assistance program, Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.