An older man laying on a couch holding a cell phone.

Free and Subsidized Cell Phone Programs

How to Get a Free Government Phone

In today's digital world, staying connected is crucial. To meet this essential need, the government has introduced programs to ensure everyone can access communication services, regardless of their financial situation. Discover the best options available to help you get a free government.

The United States government now offers a variety of government funded programs such as the Lifeline Assistance Program where you can get a free cell phone and cell phone internet services if you qualify.

There are other programs with similar services, such as SafeLink Wireless, and Californians can apply with Q Link Wireless.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

There are two main things to consider when applying to qualify for this service:

If you are part of any the below programs, then you could apply for this service:

  • Medicaid.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Food Distribution Program or Indian Reservations (FDPIR) or Head Start.
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance.
  • Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit.
  • Programs such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally Administered Temporary.

Another way to be eligible for this service is if your income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

How to Apply

It’s as simple as going to one of the program websites mentioned above and doing the easy, step-by-step application.

  1. You will be required to enter your area of residence and then the qualifying process will begin.
  2. Once you qualify you will then select a phone and cell phone service provider from the list of options.
  3. Finally, you will sign up and get your free phone with internet service.

Something to note is that this service offers only one free cell phone per household and not per person. The Lifeline Assistance Program also offers either a free cell phone or a free internet service, but not both. Some of the other programs may offer both so it might be worth your while to shop around before applying.

Should the online qualifying process not deem you eligible for the service, you can also upload documents which may prove that you do qualify.

What Type of Phones Can You Get?

You’re unlikely to get any of the newest iPhone devices on the market or choose one of the major cell phone providers.
The good news is that the phones that are on offer are only slightly older. They may not be one of the devices that are the latest on the market, but they will still give you excellent functionality and usage.

Each service program will have a range of mostly Android devices for you to choose from and from time to time you may strike a luck with one or two older generation Apple iPhones.

What Type of Coverage is Available?

There is an endless amount of cell phone service providers to choose from, but they are all State-specific so when you do the application, you will be required to enter your location and then the relevant list of providers will be listed.
Each provider offers various plans and coverage so you can select the plan that suits your needs according to their options. Most providers offer 4G and 5G coverage, ensuring that you can be connected with the best service at all times.

Many of these providers also have the option that you can bring your own phone and keep your old phone number when joining their program which is a great benefit.

Q Link offers the following:

  • Unlimited data, talk time and texts.
  • Unlimited picture messages.
  • Free SIM card and free activation.
  • Access to 10 million free wi-fi locations.

Safe Link offers:

  • Unlimited talk and text and calls to Canada and Mexico.
  • 25 Gb high speed data.
  • 5 GB Hotspot data.
  • A free phone.

TAG Mobile offers:

  • Free cell phones.
  • Free high-speed data.
  • Unlimited texts.
  • Unlimited international calling to over 80 countries.