Getting a free government phone is easy if you meet the income guidelines. Because of the economic downturn in the country as a whole, many Americans have been hit hard financially. The nation has been suffering as a result of the recession, leading to higher rates of poverty in every state. As a result of the economic crisis, many people feel that cell phones are luxury items that are not affordable.
Thankfully, the Lifeline Assistance program exists to assist qualified Americans in obtaining a free government phone. These phones have become known as Obama Phones and have swept the nation in an attempt to offer free service to people who earn lower than average levels of income.
How You Can Get an Obama Phone
If you qualify based on your income, you can get a free government phone for yourself. Along with a free cell phone, you will be able to receive 250 free minutes per month. Needy Americans can get approved through many different retailers in 49 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. To get an Obama Phone, you must simply qualify based on your income level per year.
Find a Free Government Phone Provider
To get a free phone, you must check with one of the companies that offer phones through the Lifeline Assistance program. There are many providers out there, but the most popular ones are Safelink Wireless and Assurance Wireless.
Many programs exist all over the country that provide cell phones to needy people in most states. Providers include Budget Mobile, Life Wireless, Assist Wireless, I-Wireless, Terracom Wireless, YourTel Wireless, Tag Mobile, Cintex Wireless, Care Wireless, Alaska Communications, and Wireless for Hope. Because of the expansion of these programs nationwide, this list is subject to change.
Steps to Getting a Free Government Phone
In order to get a free cell phone through the government program, you must first check to see if you qualify based on your income. Eligibility rules differ by state, but are similar. A good rule of thumb is that if you qualify for a state assistance program like SNAP, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Free School Lunch program, Medicaid, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Tribal programs, or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), then you may already qualify to receive telephone assistance. In addition to those state-funded programs, you can qualify for the free phone program if your income is below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. This percentage is as high as 150 percent of the poverty level in some states.
Finding a Provider
The next step in getting a free phone is to look on the internet to find a provider in your state. In each state, there are many different providers, so it is best to find one that serves the area in which you reside. Generally, there are several Lifeline phones of which to select so that you can obtain a free government phone.
Selecting the Best Offer
When you determine which companies offer phones in your area, you must next visit the websites of the companies that distribute these phones. Many of the providers that offer phones in different states vary what their programs offer each individual consumer, so you may need to shop around at each of their websites in order to determine which has the best deal.
Some providers give you the 250 minutes as part of the government program, but also offer additional minutes at a reduced rate. In addition, some of the providers may also offer texting at reduced rates.
Applying for a Free Government Phone
Once you have located a company that offers a program that is to your liking, applying for a free cell phone is simple. Using the provider’s website, you can fill out an online application to get a free phone.
While many choose to apply online for a free phone, the option exists to sign up in stores where applications are taken. In addition, some government assistance offices may also offer the option to sign up for the Lifeline Assistance program. For those of you who are not internet savvy, this is a great option to apply for the program.
Getting the Phone through the Mail
Following the online (or in person) application, you can begin watching the mail for your free phone to arrive. From there, you can turn the phone on and use it to receive 250 free minutes of airtime every month. Depending on the provider that you have chosen, you may also have opted for getting reduced costs for texting and extra minutes.
As many as 35 percent of people in the country qualify for free cell phones under the Lifeline Assistance program, so it is best to check your income level against the Poverty Level guidelines to determine if you are eligible. Estimates have shown that as many as 20 million people in the country have already taken advantage of the program.