SafeLink Wireless is one of the most popular government phone providers, offering excellent nationwide service on the nation’s best networks.
Eligible consumers in the United States can receive free smartphones and phone service by enrolling in the SafeLink program through the Lifeline program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
This guide will help you understand important details about the free government phone SafeLink, its service and benefits, as well as how to qualify for the program.
A Quick Overview of the SafeLink Program
SafeLink is a free phone and service program for eligible low-income households. Besides helping subscribers stay connected to family and friends, the program is designed to give access to school, work, potential employers, health care providers, and other opportunities.
SafeLink Wireless is provided by TracFone Wireless Inc. and is a participating phone service provider in the federal government’s Lifeline program. Households can get free phones in addition to free minutes, text, and data every month to surf the internet.
Receiving a free phone from SafeLink is not automatic, though. You must meet certain eligibility guidelines to qualify for a free government phone from SafeLink.
If you are eligible and your request for a free phone is approved, you can enjoy monthly benefits for twelve months. After this period, you must recertify your eligibility to keep receiving the benefits.
However, you do not need to recertify if your income status has changed or you are no longer eligible for Lifeline benefits.
You don’t have to return your free phone to SafeLink if you don’t recertify after twelve months. You can continue to use the free phone like any regular TracFone. This means you will not be billed once you lose eligibility because the SafeLink program is a pay-as-you-go service.
Available Phone Models
While free government phones often feature basic models, SafeLink Wireless offers comparably good-quality Android smartphones from reputable manufacturers like Motorola, LG, Samsung, and Alcatel, among others. You can even get Apple iPhones from SafeLink.
The exact phone model you receive will depend on availability and where you live. A few great options include:
- Blue View Mega
- Blu View 2
- Samsung A51
- Samsung Galaxy AO1
- Apple iPhone 7 Plus
- Apple iPhone SE (2016)
- LG K330L
- LG ReflectTM
- Coolpad 3320A
- Huawei Pronto LTE
Visit the SafeLink Wireless website to see a full list of available SafeLink phone models.
SafeLink Wireless Service and Features
In addition to a free government phone, SafeLink eligible consumers can get access to free unlimited monthly texts and talk minutes to stay in touch with friends and families.
You can receive up to 5GB of hotspot data and 25GB of high-speed data every month if you enroll in ACP. Also, you can make up to 15 free calls to Mexico and Canada each month, provided the calls originate from the US or Puerto Rico.
Other features included in the SafeLink Wireless plan include:
- 911 access
- 3-way calling
- Free 411 directory assistance
- Caller ID
Additional Benefits (SafeLink Rewards Program)
Eligible SafeLink subscribers get to enjoy additional benefits, such as a free prescription savings card. With the free card, you can save up to 85% when paying for prescribed medication in over 35,000 pharmacies across the United States.
If you are a SafeLink subscriber with a valid Medicaid or EBT card, you can get 50% off on Amazon Prime and enjoy free shipping and unlimited music, videos, and movies.
How to Qualify for a Free Government SafeLink Phone
If you like the SafeLink offerings we’ve discussed so far, the next logical thing is understanding how to qualify for the program.
Like other Lifeline phone providers, SafeLink is available for income-eligible consumers in selected states and territories. Although specific eligibility requirements vary between states, you can qualify for a free government phone from SafeLink if your gross household income is 135% below the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
You may also be eligible for a free phone if you participate in an assistance program, such as:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
Depending on where you live, you might also qualify for SafeLink Wireless under a Tribal program, such as:
- Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Tribal Head Start (only those households meeting its income qualifying standard)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
How to Sign Up With SafeLink Wireless
Enrolling in the SafeLink program is straightforward as long as you meet the Lifeline eligibility requirement. You can check the National Verifier webpage to know if you qualify.
If eligible, visit the SafeLink Wireless website, enter your zip code, and complete the enrollment process. If your application goes through, you will receive a free SafeLink phone with free minutes for the first month.
When signing up, remember to provide a physical address, not a PO Box. This way, SafeLink can send the free phone to your home. Keep in mind that the provider does not send phones to live-in healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, or other similar temporary residences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I browse the internet with a free SafeLink Wireless phone?
All free government phone SafeLink models are designed for surfing the internet. Also, the phones come pre-activated with free data and minutes for the first month, so you can start browsing immediately.
I don’t like the free government phone models. Can I still receive service and benefits from SafeLink with my current phone?
Of course, you can!
With SafeLink, you don’t have to be stuck with a phone you don’t like. The provider allows you to keep your current smartphone and still enjoy the same benefits as members who get free government phones.
All you need to do is select the “Keep Your Own Smartphone” option when filling out the application, and once approved, the provider will send you a free SIM card to use in your current phone.
However, your current phone must be unlocked and GSM-compatible to receive SafeLink service and benefits.
I currently have Lifeline phone service. Can I still use SafeLink?
Each household can only enroll in one Lifeline program under FCC rules. However, you can switch providers if you want.
If you prefer to use SafeLink Wireless, simply complete the enrollment process, and the provider will handle the service transfer request.
Can I upgrade my SafeLink phone?
You can upgrade your free government SafeLink phone, but you will have to pay a fee. The exact amount will depend on the phone model you choose.
What happens if SafeLink sends me a defective phone?
You can call the SafeLink customer service line at 1-800-378-1684 if there is an issue with your free phone. The provider will replace any defective phone provided it is within the manufacturer’s warranty period of one year.
If the warranty period has elapsed, you will have to buy another phone and transfer your free SafeLink phone service to the new device.