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Free Phone Service

As amazing as it sounds, the government provides free phone service to millions of Americans every month.  Obviously, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile don’t want you learning about this, because it would take a serious chunk out of their profits and we all know what these companies love most- your money!  But we here at Free Government Cell Phones 4 U are here to give you the low down on these government programs and layout, step by step, how you can get your free phone and free phone service.

What’s great about these free phone service programs is that they help the people who need free phone service the most: low income families.  The United States’ economy has been in bad shape for years now and a lot of people are unemployed or under employed.  Families have had to cut back their spending and make every penny count.  Any program that helps put food on the table and get people jobs is a god send in this economy.  And that is what these free phone service programs are: A God Send.

Free Phone Service Program Background

In 1997, the United States Federal Communications Commission created the Universal Service Fund (USF) as mandated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  The goals of the USF are to promote availability of quality phone service at reasonable and affordable rates, increase access to advanced telecommunication services across the country, and increase access to telecommunication services to all consumers, including low income consumers.

The 1996 Act requires all telecommunications providers to contribute to the USF.  These fees, typically refereed to as Universal Service Fees, are usually passed on to telecom service providers’ customers. These fees are usually very low.

The USF uses these fees to support the Lifeline and Linkup government programs.  The Linkup program gives subsidies to needy households when they start or setup phone service.  The Lifeline program provides free or heavily discounted phone service to to qualifying applicants.  So not only does the USF provide free phone service, but you can also get a free phone and phone installation under the Linkup program!

These free phone service program subsidies can be applied to either your landline at home or to a cell phone and allow wireless phone carriers to offer heavily discounted and/or free phone service to eligible applicants.

In order to apply for the Lifeline program for a home phone, you should contact your local telecom provider and ask them for an application.  Free phone service for your landline is available in every state.  If you want to get a free government cell phone and free phone service, you have to do a little more leg work, but don’t worry about that!  We are here to show you exactly what you need to do.

Free Phone Service|What Exactly Do You Get?

All of the free government cell phone providers give each successful applicant a free modern cell phone and up to 250 free cell phone minutes a month.  The number of free cell phone minutes that are given depends on which free government cell phone operator you subscribe with and in which state you reside.  Users are free to increase the number of free cell phone minutes they receive every month by paying for additional minutes.

There are no fees what so ever that you need to pay (except in California where Reachout Wireless charges $2.50 USD for monthly cell phone service), no service contract, no deposit, and no credit check.  All that is required from users is that they complete annual recertification to prove that you still qualify for subsidized phone service.  This decreases the likelihood of fraudulent applicants taking advantage of the free phone service programs after eligibility for the program changes.

Free Phone Service Availability:Where Can you Get Free Cell Phones?

There are close to one dozen wireless phone operators that offer free cell phones and free cell phone service.  Most of these companies offer free cell phone service in just a handful of states, but there are three large national carriers that provide free cell phones and free phone service in dozens of states.  Assurance Wireless, Reachout Wireless, and Safelink Wireless currently provide free phone service in close to 40 states and are constantly expanding into new states.

Free cell phones and free phone service are presently offered in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,  Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Free Phone Service|Eligibility

In most states, eligibility for free phone service is determined using one of two methods: government program based eligibility and income based eligibility.  Eligibility need only be determined using one method.

Under government program based based eligibility, an applicant is eligible for free phone service if he or she participates in one or more government assistance programs, such as  ood Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), National Free School Lunch, Federal Housing/Section 8 Assistance, or certain state public assistance programs.

In most states, you can establish government program based eligibility by certifying under penalty of perjury that you participate in the indicated government assistance program.  In these states, no supporting documentation is required to file for free phone service.  All in, your government program based application should only take 5-10 minutes!

In some states, you can qualify for free phone service under income based guidelines.  States are free to determine their own income guidelines for free phone service, but all states determine their income criteria based on Federal Poverty Guidelines.  You can qualify for income based eligibility if your total household income is at or below 135% to 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Below You will find Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2011.  Each figure below, must be multiplied by 1.35 (1.5 if your states uses 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines).

Size of
Family Unit
48 Contiguous
States and D.C.
Alaska Hawaii
1 $10,890 $13,600 $12,540
2 14,710 18,380 16,930
3 18,530 23,160 21,320
4 22,350 27,940 25,710
5 26,170 32,720 30,100
6 29,990 37,500 34,490
7 33,810 42,280 38,880
8 37,630 47,060 43,270
For each additional
person, add
3,820 4,780 4,390

These requirements change from time to time.  So it is best to check your state’s specific eligibility requirements before applying.

If you are apply for free phone service under income based eligibility you must include supporting documentation with your application (don’t submit original supporting documents, because they won’t return them).  Most free phone service companies will accept any one of the following documents as proof of total household income:

  • Prior year’s State or Federal income tax return
  • Most recent type of of current statement from the income source(s) noted below:
  • Three consecutive months’ worth of your most recent pay stubs
  • Social security benefits statement
  • Retirement/Pension benefits statement
  • Divorce decree or child support document
  • Unemployment/Workers Compensation benefits statement

Only one type of supporting documentation mentioned above need be submitted with your application for free phone service.

Ready to Apply for Free Phone Service?

If you are ready to apply for free phone service, please click the link below to learn if you qualify for free phone service in your state:

Free Phone Service|Do you Qualify?


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