The Lifeline Program is a federal-run program that helps to provide free mobile phones to needy American citizens across the nation. Certain states contribute to the Lifeline Program through their own state-funded discount programs, and some states that are unable to provide their own funding. The latter states are known as the Federal Default States.
The Federal Default States are as follows:
- American Samoa
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- Northern Mariana Islands
If you are a resident of one of the Federal Default States, your eligibility for the Lifeline free government mobile phone is dependent on Federal criteria. You must be a participant of or be qualified for one of the following government assistance programs before you can be eligible for a Lifeline phone:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8
- Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) aka Food Stamps
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- National School Lunch Free Lunches Program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Or have an income of 135% or below of the poverty line
Those who live in Non-Default States or states that have their own contributions towards the Lifeline Program will have slightly different criteria, as there will be certain state-run assistance programs that qualify.
Please check with your local authorities to see what the eligibility criteria are for the state you currently reside in.