Safelink Wireless, Budget Mobile and Assurance Wireless offer free phones to qualified residents of the Untied States through the government-run Lifeline program. A full list of states that offer such programs and the eligibility requirements for each can be found at FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net. WhitleOut.com lists programs that offer free cellphone coverage comparable to Lifeline-funded coverage for users who already have cellphones but want to find a service to use it with.
FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net features information on all of the Lifeline-funded programs that are available in the United States as well as the Lifeline eligibility rules for each state.
Applicants for the Lifeline program are eligible if they already participate in federal assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program, the Federal Public Housing Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Residents receiving assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs may also be eligible.
Applicants to the Lifeline program may also qualify depending on annual earnings. The amount varies by state, but applicants generally need to show that they are at or below between 135 percent to 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for each respective state. FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net offers links to informational pages for each state's Federal Poverty Guidelines levels.