Cell phones have become a necessity for everyday life. However, while the first cell phones arrived in the 1970s, they didn’t become widely used until the 1990s, when they became more affordable.
Fast forward to today, and your cell phone is now a minicomputer capable of connecting you to almost every web service, media, and any company you desire, all in the palm of your hand.
A consumer can qualify for Lifeline Program benefits if their income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines or participate in SNAP, Medicaid, or certain other federal programs.
Assurance Wireless is a service provider subsidized by the Lifeline Program and provides services to those who qualify for Lifeline. Assurance provides a free smartphone, free unlimited data, unlimited text and minutes, and 10GB worth of hotspot data.
When applying, eligible customers can choose to receive Lifeline-only benefits (free text, data, and minutes) or take advantage of the Assurance Wireless Unlimited program that combines Lifeline with the new Emergency Broadband Benefit.
Free Phones for New Lines
If you don’t meet the requirements for Lifeline or other low-income household programs, you may still be able to get free phones for opening new lines with various service providers. Most major service providers will give you free phones when you switch to their service.
Lifeline Program partners and service providers offer free phones and services because they receive government subsidies. That means that the government has given them grants to promote activities that are in the best interest of the public, in this case, access to communication and internet services.
Phones offered through Lifeline Program partners are likely going to be completely free to you if you qualify. However, you may need to pay out-of-pocket costs for services depending on your eligibility and offered plans.
However, free phones received as part of signing up for a service plan are not free because you need to pay for a qualifying service plan to get one.
Suppose you qualify as a low-income household and for other government services. In that case, the chances are good that you’ll be eligible for some Lifeline Program assistance or free phones through one of its partner programs.
If you are not a low-income household, you can check the options available through all major service providers. Most offer free phones in exchange for signing up for a qualifying service plan.