Best Government Phone Providers – Our Top 5 List

Best Government Phone Providers – Our Top 5 List

Government phones are accessible through phone companies participating in the Lifeline Assistance program. Lifeline is a federal government program that helps low-income households to access the many opportunities available with phone service.

Besides staying in touch with family and friends, you can easily find work opportunities, complete school work, and access emergency services if you have affordable phone service.

Through the Lifeline program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), eligible consumers can get discounted or free tablets, laptops, phones, and internet service from participating providers.

However, choosing the best government phone providers is important, as not all companies offer the same services, and some are ending their Lifeline participation.

For example, T-Mobile has announced that it will no longer participate in the Lifeline program and will stop offering lifeline discounts by the end of 2022.

Scroll down to see some of the most reliable government phone providers.

5 Best Government Phone Providers

In no particular order, here are our top five picks of phone companies participating in the Lifeline and ACP programs.

Keep in mind that some phone providers may not be available nationwide. Check their official websites to know if your preferred phone company covers your area.

1. Life Wireless

Life Wireless offers cell phones and smartphones with nationwide 4G LTE coverage and reliable 5G coverage where the service is available.

Eligible consumers can apply for a free government cell phone through Lifeline and also get free unlimited talk, text, and data through the ACP.

Life Wireless phone services include the following features:

  • Voicemail
  • 3-way calling
  • Free 911 Service
  • Call Waiting
  • Caller ID Service
  • Zero roaming charges
  • Zero charges for domestic long-distance calls
  • Affordable recharge plans

This government cell phone provider is available in 36 states, including Arkansas, California, Ohio, and West Virginia. Depending on where you live, you may be able to access Lifeline and ACP plans or ACP only.

Users can switch from any Lifeline provider to Life Wireless and still keep their current phone number. And if your phone is defective, malfunctioning, or stolen, this provider will replace it promptly at a fee.

2. Assurance Wireless

As one of the most popular and best government phone providers, Assurance Wireless offers free smartphones with generous cell phone plans to eligible consumers in over 40 states.

Interestingly, you don’t have to pay any activation fee, bills, or long-term contracts with this cell phone provider. Its low-cost broadband services include free unlimited minutes and texts, as well as free monthly 10GB mobile hotspot data (4G LTE speed).

You can purchase additional services at very low rates if you run out of free minutes or data. Additionally, users can get $20 gift cards through the company’s referral program.

Assurance Wireless offers a wide range of free cell phones as well as Android smartphones models, a few of which include:

  • Alcatel Onetouch CinchTM
  • ANS ArtiaTM
  • Coolpad Avail
  • Kyocera JAX S1360
  • L51
  • Moto G Pure
  • MoxeeTM m2160
  • Unimax U673c
  • REVVL®4 Plus
  • ZTE QuestTM Plus

3. StandUp Wireless

StandUp Wireless is a government-authorized phone provider participating in Lifeline and the ACP programs. With carriers on the Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon networks, the company covers nearly every state in the nation.

In addition to offering free phones to eligible households in the United States, the provider’s plan includes the following:

  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Unlimited additional data
  • Free monthly 10GB high-speed data 5G/4G LTE

The good news is that you don’t have to qualify for Lifeline to enjoy free phone services with StandUp Wireless. While you won’t get a free government cell phone if you are not eligible for Lifeline services, you can get a free month of phone service ― no credit card required! This includes unlimited talk, text, data, and 5GB of high-speed data.

4. Easy Wireless

Easy Wireless offers wireless services in nearly all parts of the US, with its Lifeline and ACP programs available in several states.

Like other providers on this list, Easy Wireless gives qualifying customers free smartphones in addition to unlimited talk, text, and data.

Regardless of the plan you choose, Easy Wireless includes the following services as standard features:

  • Free 911 emergency services
  • Voicemail
  • Call forwarding
  • Caller ID
  • Call waiting
  • 3-way calling
  • Free 611 customer care support
  • Free 411 directory assistance
  • Picture and text messaging

The company’s easy rewards program is one of the reasons Easy Wireless made our list of the best government phone providers. Besides offering free phones and broadband services, loyal users can get up to $50 if they stay active for 12 months.

All rewards are automatically added to your account, and you can use them to add a second line or upgrade your phone.

5. SafeLink Wireless

Last on our list is SafeLink Wireless, a major government phone provider with excellent nationwide service on America’s best networks.

Eligible households can get free smartphones through the Lifeline and ACP programs. Also, you have the option to bring your current phone and choose a free service plan that suits you best.

Customers get 25GB of high-speed data, unlimited talk and texts, as well as up to 5GB of hotspot data every month. Additionally, users can make up to 15 international calls to landlines and mobile numbers each 30-day cycle.

Other features of SafeLink Wireless include:

  • Voicemail
  • 911 access
  • Free 411 directory assistance
  • 3-way calling
  • Caller ID

You can get an Android phone or iPhone with this provider, depending on what’s available. A few of the phone models customers can get are:

  • Samsung Galaxy A23 5G
  • Blu View 2
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
  • Alcatel TCL 30 XL
  • Reliance Orbic Maui+

Qualifying for Government Phones

Having any of the best government phone providers near you doesn’t necessarily make you eligible for free or discounted phone service.

Your household income must be below or at 135% of the federal poverty guideline to qualify for a government phone.

Another way you may qualify for a free or discounted government phone is by participating in any of these assistance programs:

  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribal Head Start
  • Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit

If you think you qualify, check out this detailed guide to learn how to get free government phone and services, including free monthly talk minutes, text, and high-speed data.