What was life like without our cell phones? Phones have greatly aided in connecting people all over the world. Although cell phones have become more of a necessity than a luxury in today’s world, many people still cannot afford them or their costs. So, what if we told you that certain carriers offer people a phone for free? Before anyone calls this a scam, let’s discuss how people can use this opportunity!
The Way People Can Obtain a Phone for Free
It’s great news that people have the option of obtaining a free phone through a number of carriers! Essentially, the Lifeline Program is to be credited for this opportunity. Additionally, people can get extra assistance as a result of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). However, before discussing the available options, we need to explain why some people need a free phone. Yes. It seems like everyone has a phone now. This is not entirely false, but it doesn’t change the fact that lower-income Americans may find phones and phone packages unaffordable. Having said that, let’s discuss both programs!
Explaining the Lifeline Program
All support programs target different groups of people. When it comes to the Lifeline program, its objective is to help eligible low-income individuals manage the expense of communication services. The Lifeline program was made possible by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but it is overseen by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Essentially, the USAC is tasked with guiding customers through the certification process, eligibility requirements, and other steps. That also includes helping applicants during the application and recertification phases. However, just like any program, people first need to meet the requirements to be able to benefit. One thing that makes a person eligible is if they’re actively receiving aid from specific programs. These programs include Medicaid, certain tribal programs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and more. Additionally, applicants of this program must fall within 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or less.
Generally, the Lifeline program offers a discount every month on services that qualify. The price reduction is up to $9.25 with the discount offer. For individuals who reside on tribal lands, the maximum amount is $34.25. The discounts will be on voice-over-broadband bundles, broadband internet services, or telephone services.
Understanding the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
ACP aims to help families manage the expense of broadband services. That said, a maximum monthly discount of $30 is available to eligible households under ACP. Nevertheless, for homes located on tribal lands, the discount limit is $75. For this opportunity, households must fall at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines in order to be eligible. Having said that, there are other criteria that may also make a household eligible. However, eligibility is only possible if at least one member of the household meets at least one of these criteria. The criteria include a member of the household participating in a federal aid program. Among the programs are Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, and Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), etc. Another qualifying condition is if the family member has received a Pell Grant for the current award year. Additionally, if the family member meets the requirements established by a participating provider for a low-income internet program that is already in place, this too is a qualifying condition. Actually, the monthly discount is not the only offer: households that meet the requirements can receive up to a $100 one-time discount. With this discount, they will be able to buy an electronic gadget that’s eligible. That could be a tablet, laptop, or desktop PC.
The Carriers Offering Free Phones
People should also look for providers that serve their area because some carriers may not be accessible everywhere. Anyone who doesn’t know where to start their search should use the tool provided by USAC. Basically, customers can use this tool to find nearby companies that provide this offer. Here are the carriers that may provide a free phone:
- Assurance Wireless
- True Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
Let’s start with this opportunity for people to get a free phone! However, before we discuss what people are able to get through TrueConnect, let’s stress that this offer is only for people who meet the requirements. Anyone wanting to check if they can join can do so by simply entering their email and zip code on TruConnect’s website. This brings us to the benefits that come through TrueConnect like:
- Free international calling to a limited number of countries
- A Free Android phone or Wi-Fi hotspot
- Unlimited messages for texting
- Unlimited minutes for phone calls
- Up to 14 GB of data per month
Eligibility for this option requires a person to satisfy either state or federal requirements. That means a customer has to satisfy income criteria or be a current participant in other federal programs such as those mentioned above. Essentially, eligible low-income clients of Assurance Wireless are able to receive benefits, and it’s all because of the Lifeline program! Customers who use this carrier may receive a beneficial plan in addition to a free phone. The plan will consist of free uncapped calls, uncapped text messages, and uncapped internet. In fact, the plan also comes with 10GB of free mobile hotspot data.
True Wireless offers a free LTE Android with unlimited service. In fact, True Wireless can even give away an Android tablet for free! This carrier is able to do so by collaborating with ACP and the Lifeline program. According to True Wireless, everyone should be able to get the advantages of low-cost communication. Connections and security are just a few of these advantages.
Customers of Safelink Wireless can receive many benefits. However, for a person to be able to receive a free phone from this carrier, they have to first meet its requirements. That said, customers can enjoy calls to Canada and Mexico, 25GB of high-speed data, unlimited voice and text, and up to 5GB of hotspot data. These are all benefits available from this carrier, plus, obviously, a free smartphone!
At the end of the day, there are so many different support opportunities in the world. One option in particular are opportunities for free phones. This is possible through the help of programs like the Lifeline and ACP. There are a variety of carriers that can provide phones at no cost as well as additional benefits. If you want to get started you can check out the carriers listed above. You can also look for additional carriers online! Take your time, but you may be able to get help with communication costs.