Being without a mobile phone is unthinkable in today’s world where this gadget became a big necessity. A cell phone is the most effective way to contact your family and friends. Also, it’s a vital way to contact a doctor or any healthcare service provider in times medical assistance is necessary.
For the financially challenged senior citizens who just want to have a mobile phone for emergencies and occasional calls, certain service providers offer senior citizen cell phone plans free. You can also turn to those companies offering the cheapest cell phone plans for seniors. If your monthly budget can’t afford it, then you should find out now if you’re qualified for a free cell phone and monthly call and text plans.
The government authorized cell phone companies to offer free cell phones for people who can’t afford to have one. Even the financially disadvantaged person will now be able to own and use a mobile phone. If you want a cell phone for seniors but worried about the monthly charges, a government-backed program is the best solution to your problem.
Free Cell Phones from Lifeline Assistance
If you fall within or even under the poverty line, then you will truly benefit from Lifeline Assistance. It is an FCC-mandated program supported by the government. It offers free cell phones and plans for financially disadvantaged people regardless of age. Hence, even seniors can take advantage of this program. Lifeline Assistance offers a wide array of plans ranging from 250 minutes to unlimited airtime and free texts that the beneficiaries will enjoy every month.
The Best Thing About Lifeline
About 12-15 million people in the United States are now using and enjoying free government cell phones. With the recent condition of the economy, it seems that more and more people will become eligible for this government-supported program.
There are more than 50 cellular phone companies that are working together with Lifetime Assistance to offer not just free mobile phones for everyone but free cell phone plans, too. These companies do vary in both services and availability. The two biggest free mobile phone providers are the Assurance Wireless and SafeLink Wireless. These two companies have bigger coverages compared to other companies included in this list.
To take advantage of the privilege, you have to find out which company exists in your location and if it offers plans suitable for your needs.
What is Lifeline?
This federal program is here mainly to provide mobile phones or free home phone service for anybody in case of emergencies. That will be truly beneficial especially for senior citizens. The beneficiaries enjoy free cellphones and free minutes each month.
The nationally funded Lifeline program is giving the participants a free capable device with monthly service that is free. It often includes free minutes for calls, unlimited texts, and even data allowance for social media, internet browsing, email, and so on. Most people know that Lifeline Program offers free government phones.
Lifeline subsidizes wireless and even landline companies to provide free mobile phones and roughly 250 minutes of free calls and texts every month. Most plans available are 100% free, but some offer more airtime minutes and texts for a small monthly charge.
As of now, there are roughly 15 million Americans who have free mobile phones through this federal program. Millions seem to be eligible though. The companies working through Lifeline operate in two or more states. Young and senior citizens who qualify for the program will receive a free basic phone which they can use for sending text messages, voice mail, caller ID registration, and call waiting.
How to Qualify?
Anybody who met the criteria for qualifications can send an application for this program. If you got assistance from the government, or if your monthly income falls under the 135% of the national poverty guidelines, you will be eligible for this program. Your age does not matter. Both young and old who meet the qualifications will be accepted as beneficiaries.
Lifeline comes with several carriers that offer different mobile phone models and monthly call and text plans for senior citizens. While this service is not primarily for senior citizens, many of them can qualify.
A senior citizen qualifies on this program based on his or her monthly income, or if he or she is already a beneficiary of one of these government programs:
- Food Stamps (EBT or SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income or SSI
- Veterans Pension Benefits
The list of government assistance programs which make senior citizens qualified may differ from state to state. Lifeline is also good for people who reside in the tribal regions recognized by the national government and even to those people who join in tribal assistance programs.
If you are not a beneficiary of a government program, your income should fall within or even under the poverty guidelines, ranging from 135 to 150 percent. However, this may vary from one state to another.
The 135% poverty level is $15,754 for single individuals and $21,235 for married persons. For the 150% poverty level, it will be $17,505 for singles and $23,595 for couples.
Lifeline has been around since the 1980s with a mission: to make the telecommunication services accessible to everyone regardless of the social and financial statuses to improve access to jobs, education, and other crucial opportunities.
The original program aimed to provide free home phone services for the poorest of the poor families. However, the program changed in 2005. Today, it now includes a mobile phone and monthly mobile phone plans. The program got improvements and upgrades in 2012. With Lifeline, access to cell phone service quickly increased from 80% to 92% in 1985.
10 Best Senior Citizen Cell Phone Plans Free
The senior locals of the United States are lucky to find a variety of choices for a free cell phone plan. If you are searching for a free cell phone plan for seniors, here are your top choices:
1. Assurance Wireless
This is one of the best Lifeline Assistance free mobile phone and plan services. Assurance Wireless offers you a free smartphone, 350 minutes calls, and unlimited text with 500MB data.
For the residents of California, Assurance Wireless is giving all qualified subscribers unlimited talk and texts together with 500MB of internet access for free. Assurance comes from Spring/Nextel and serves 40 American states like Alabama and California. In short, Assurance Wireless is one of the network companies with wider coverages, making their services more accessible to more Americans.
Assurance Wireless is planning to add more states, so those who are from the states excluded in this list should stay tuned for more updates. This company stands out from other Lifeline service providers because it offers a free smartphone and never an old basic phone. If you are not okay with the given 350 minutes for calls, then you can ask for more using the Virgin Mobile Top-Up Cards.
2. SafeLink Wireless
With this Lifeline service provider, you will have a free cell phone, 350 minutes for calls, unlimited texts, and 500MB data every month. SafeLink is the pioneer Lifeline service provider serving 40 states in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
For other states except for California, SafeLink offers two programs. One of these will require you to bring a SafeLink compatible phone to obtain a free SIM card. That comes with unlimited tests and 350 minutes calls every month and free data for 3 months and 500MB of mobile data for the next months. the other plan is a free phone plan that gives you a free device with 350 minutes calls, unlimited texts, and 500MB of free data each month.
3. Access Wireless
This company will give you an Access Wireless compatible phone for free with up to 750 minutes for calls, unlimited texts, and a maximum of 200MB data every month. The Access Wireless provides free mobile phones and cell phone services in more than 30 American states, such as Florida, California, and Georgia.
If you’re from one of these states and you’re eligible for the program, you will get a free cell phone and free minutes for local calls. You can also get unlimited texts to domestic numbers. If you live in California, then you’re lucky. You will get free 1,000 minutes for calls, free texts, and free mobile data of as much as 200MB. Feel free to visit the official website of Access Wireless for more details.
4. American Assistance
With American Assistance, you will get as much as 500 voice calls and 500 free texts every month. Also known as the American Broadband & Telecommunications, American Assistance offers just half of the call minute allowance and texts offered by its competitors. However, the company makes up by providing free features. These include a free caller ID, 3-way calling, voice mail, and call waiting.
Unfortunately, the subscribers of American Assistance will get free call waiting, caller ID, 3-way calling, and voice mail. All these perks are available to all subscribers in more than 10 states including Colorado and Hawaii.
However, American Assistance doesn’t offer free data which can be disappointing for seniors who need surfing the internet.
5. Assist Wireless
This company is operating in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Assist Wireless offers special deals for the non-tribal and tribal locals of Oklahoma. It carries different senior citizen cell phone plans free.
On top of that, Assist Wireless accepts applications for those who want free phones. In fact, the company allows the customers to bring an old device. This deal is giving customers $15 credit to their account and free data of up to 1GB. Aside from that, this company provides prepaid plans intended for senior citizens who are on a tight budget.
6. Blue Jay Wireless
Blue Jay Wireless will give you free mobile phones with 250-500 minutes for calls and unlimited texts. The locals of California will get unlimited calls and texts. Sadly, the company does not offer free data plans. If you need access to the internet, then you should pay $26/month for extra 5GB data. On the other hand, if you’re from California while you will be paying $3.60/month and get another 500MB data if you are from another state.
This Lifeline Assistance service provider offers its services to 17 American states, such as North Dakota and Oklahoma. It serves Puerto Rico as well, which is not common in most providers. For more details, kindly visit the official website of Blue Jay Wireless.
7. enTouch Wireless
With this company, you will have a free Boomerang or enTouch cell phone with free 100 texts and 500 minutes for calls every month. This service is now available in 20 states including Hawaii and Arizona. The company is even expanding so that it can offer more states.
When it comes to free data, the non-tribal locals of California will receive 500MB data every month aside from the unlimited calls and text. In other states, the subscribers will receive 500 minutes, 100 texts, and 10MB data every month.
The 500MB plan will get 100 talk and text units plus 500MB data every month. For tribal residents who are not originally from California, enTouch Wireless will give them 750MB data and unlimited texts.
8. Feelsafe Wireless
The Feelsafe Wireless serves the eligible low income families with free mobile phones and free monthly phone service. The locals of the 9 American states like Michigan and Ohio enjoy the services and benefits Feelsafe Wireless.
9. Infiniti Mobile
If you choose the senior citizen cell phone plans free from Infiniti Mobile, you may be able to get free mobile phones, unlimited texts and talk plus 2.5GB data for just $1/month. On the other hand, you must be in Oklahoma so that you can use and enjoy the services of this Lifeline service provider.
Infiniti Mobile offers two types of plans. One of these is the Oklahoma Lifeline 1000 Plus Plan. This plan offers you 1500 minutes for calls, 1700 texts, and 500MB data every month. You’ll get all of them for just $1 plus taxes and other fees. The other option is the Oklahoma Lifeline Unlimited Plan that comes with unlimited calls and text plus 2.5GB data per month. You can avail this plan for only $1 plus taxes and fees.
10. Q Link Wireless
In this Lifeline service provider, you will receive a free Qlink wireless upgrade mobile phone with unlimited texts and 500 minutes for calls. You can also get a plan that gives you the privilege to roll over the unconsumed minutes every month.
The availability of the deal may depend on the area. You will find out if you are eligible for this service once you check the zip code in your location through the company’s official website.
Q Link Wireless is currently providing quality services to senior citizens living in more than 20 states. These include Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Nevada.
Q Link Wireless will also give you extra perks by recommending its services. The company runs a Q Link Bonus Program wherein you can gain benefits when you refer the company to your relatives or friends.
You can earn 100 free extra minutes for each friend you refer. At the same time, you will get a phone from the Q Link Wireless. Just visit the company’s official website to know more about its services.
How Do Seniors Get These Cell Phone Plans and Phones for Free?
Since Lifeline is a federally-mandated program, each of the companies listed above will offer just the basics. With that, the plans may vary considerably from one company to another. Some of them may offer 500 to 1,000 minutes for voice calls while others offer unlimited minutes. However, you need to find which plan is available in your state.
The qualifications for free cellphones and plans are almost the same for all states, but every state can add specific guidelines to qualify. You may qualify depending on your income, even when it’s a bit higher than the poverty line. Every senior citizen should find it easy to qualify for a free cell phone and plan.
Super-Cheap Mobile Phone Plans for Senior Citizens
Don’t fret in case you can’t avail any of the free mobile phone plans listed above. You have other options. Perhaps, you can avail the pay-as-you-go plans from AT&T and T-Mobile. These plans are super affordable and perfect for senior citizens who don’t use a cell phone every day but want to have one for emergencies. For T-Mobile, you may pay only $3 every month or $2/day for AT&T.
You can also go for the flexible cell phone plans from US Mobile and Ting. For Ting, the base cost is $6/ month with data, texts, and minutes billed separately. For US Mobile, the base cost is $4/ month with text, minutes, and data billed separately.
If you love internet surfing, then you can avail the plans from T-mobile and Boost. The Boost Mobile Unlimited costs $50, which includes unlimited talk and text and high-speed data. The T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ also comes with the same offer that you can avail for $80 (good for 2 lines) every month.
If you want to have a cell phone just for emergencies, then your best choice will be the GreatCall We talk 200 that costs $14.99/month and comes with only 200 minutes call.