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Who qualifies for a free cell phone?
Low-income? Medicaid? Food Stamps? Section 8 Housing?
School Lunch Program? Energy Assistance? SSI? SSDI?
If you just landed on this page from a search, you should first read, Free Government Cell Phones?, and at the end of that article there is a link that will bring you back to this page.
There are a few rules and restrictions to the Lifeline phone service and not everyone qualifies for this free phone from the government, but many people do. Sadly, with the economy as it is, millions more qualify each year.
How do you qualify for your own free cell phone and up to 250 minutes each and every month? It’s really quick and we’ll show you how. And like we said, if you do quality, there’s absolutely no cost to you for the phone or the service.
Although cell phone companies verify your information, send out the phone, and manage your account, this is a federal government-sponsored and regulated program, so the eligibility requirements are very similar from company to company. Please be aware that there may be small differences depending on the state in which you live, but those differences are pretty minor.
With that in mind, there are two ways to qualify for a free cell phone from the government:
(1) You already participate in another state or federal assistance program. This is the part that varies from state to state, but you most likely qualify if you are participating in programs such as food stamps (SNAP), public housing assistance, Medicaid, Section 8 housing, Supplemental Security Income, various Home Energy Assistance Programs, National School Lunch and other programs.
(2) Your household income is at or below 135% to 150% (according to your state) of the Federal Poverty Guidelines:
The default is 135%, but it is 150% for Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island andTexas.
2011 Federal Poverty Guidelines X 135%
Poverty levels multiplied by the 135% that the Lifeline program uses in most states.
States and D.C.
For each additional
(3) Only one Lifeline account allowed per household.
(4) You must have a valid United States mailing address. (Sorry, post office boxes are not acceptable because your cell phone must be mailed to a valid street address.)
If you do not qualify for a free government cell phone, what do you do? Your next best option is a cheap prepaid cell phone.
NEXT STEP: How do I get my government phone?