If you are a senior citizen and looking for a way to get free cell phone services, then you’re in the right spot. The FCC-funded Lifeline service is available for seniors and low-income households or unemployed individuals. You may ask, “how to get lifeline-free cell phones for seniors?”
Lifeline provides free cell phones to a particular group of people who fulfills the eligibility requirements of the Federal Government Lifeline program. Among all the benefits for individuals with low income or unemployment problems, they also offer lifeline-free cell phones for seniors.
You need to apply for the free cell phones under the Lifeline program by following specific criteria. We will discuss the process in the following sections of the corresponding article. So, let’s proceed without delay!
What is the Federal Lifeline Program for seniors?
The US government began the lifeline program in late 1985, which was launched with the motto of providing cellular services to all sorts of citizens.
You provided prominent coverage and discounts to low-income or unemployed people and seniors. The Universal Service Fund mainly runs the Lifeline services, and it is operated under the Federal government of the US.
Regardless of the states, territories, tribal lands, and Commonwealths, everyone can benefit from the lifeline assistance program free phone if they are eligible with the set terms & conditions. Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is the institution that runs and maintains the overall factors of the Lifeline aid program.
In late 2016, they included broadband services under the Lifeline program. Under the lifeline program, several carriers and providers offer cellular services, and these providers are also FCC & the US government approved.
In the recent Covid 19 crisis, The FCC has also added the EBB program to offer broadband services to needy citizens. Lifeline is the government’s successful initiative, which has made revolutionary changes in the overall cell phone owners of the US.
During the establishment in 1985, the US had cell phone access to 80% of citizens, but now it raised to 92% in 2020 because they have also added a free smartphone program with cell phone plans for qualified households/individuals.
Qualifying Requirements Of Lifeline Free Cell Phones For Seniors
As we have mentioned earlier, there are specific qualifying requirements before applying for the Lifeline phones for seniors. There are multiple ways, but we will mention two criteria- by FCC programs and through your annual income status.
Qualifying By Programs: You can apply for the Lifeline aid program either by your annual income or by participating in any of the FCC programs.
Here are the Federally approved programs you can use as proof to qualify in the Lifeline program.
- Medicaid or Federal Medical Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income or SSI
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP)
- Only the Free Programs of the School Lunch Program
- LIHEAP or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- TANF or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Section eight or known as Federal Public Housing Assistance Program
Qualifying By Income Status: If you cannot show any programs to qualify for the Lifeline program, there are alternative options regarding your annual income status.
Therefore, you need to prove to have a yearly household earning underneath the Federal Poverty Guideline. More specifically saying, your yearly earning needs to be at or underneath 135 to 150 percent of the FPG.
Miscellaneous Qualifying Requirements: Except for these qualifications requirements, you may need to follow other necessary steps before proceeding with the Lifeline free cell phones for seniors. They are-
- You can also apply if you are a qualifying participant in the Emergency Broadband benefit program.
- You can also apply if you have received the Federal Pell Grant Award in the running award season.
- Since February of 2020, during the Covid pandemic, you can also qualify if you have a substantial fall down in your business.
- If you are unemployed or jobless for an extended period, you can participate in this Lifeline program.
- You can participate in the Lifeline program if you are under Social Security while aging 55 or more.
The qualification criteria of the Senior’s Lifeline offer program are pretty similar to the EBB or the Lifeline program requirements. Lifeline-free cell phones for seniors are not the only way to get free phones. Other federal programs like EBB or Broadband Benefit Program can also offer free cell phones and grand plans.
How To Get Lifeline Free Cell Phones For Seniors
The application process of the Lifeline Free cell phones for seniors is pretty much straightforward to follow. However, if you are a senior citizen aged 55 or more, you may have difficulty applying for the Lifeline Program. That’s why we will undergo the detailed steps of applying to Lifeline Cell phones for seniors.
- First, you need to be a senior citizen aged 55 or more with the qualifying requirements.
- You should contact the ETC or the Eligible telecommunications carrier you will use for the benefits program.
- After the selection, you must follow the ETC’s procedures and become an ETC member.
- Select the area you are residing and find out the service providing carriers or the state lifeline partner
- You can apply through their site or go with the Lifeline application through email.
- Enter the location or ZIP code or your state, and you can find out the compatible services based on your area.
- You need to keep the income status paper, which will prove your eligibility.
- If you are applying through a qualified FCC-approved program, you should also keep the proof of participation in that program.
- You should file all the necessary information like name, location, Social Security Number, and additional data.
- The rest of the task is up to the company or carrier to contact the Universal Service Funds Administration to proceed with your application.
Lifeline offers up to 9.25 dollars for the eligible participants living in all states. But they offer cellular & broadband services for up to 34.25 dollars for the residents of the Tribal lands. The minimum offers to the average lifeline participants can get up to 1000 minutes per month.
Mobile broadband provides up to 4.5 GB of High-speed data at 3G network standard. They offer up to 1024 GB or 1 TB monthly usage allowance to eligible Lifeline participants at 25/3 Mbps speed. You can also get a chance to win free Lifeline cell phones as a senior citizen.
Top 3 Providers With Lifeline Free Cell Phones For Seniors
Below, we will describe the top three providers, mainly Lifeline service providers, and they offer excellent plans and devices free of cost.
All these carriers/providers offer unlimited features with free government cell phones. So, head on to the discussion of the Lifeline cell phone providers!
1. SafeLink Wireless
SafeLink Wireless is a Lifeline service providing partner of the USAC in the United States, which offers coverage to 42+ states. It is operated under the network wings of TracFone, which is also an MVNO. They offer cellular services and Lifeline Free cell phones to seniors if you are a qualified participant.
SafeLink offers the best California lifeline cell phone under the Lifeline program in two segments. They offer dedicated plans for the residents of California and less overflowing plans for the citizens of other states.
Benefits of SafeLink Wireless Lifeline: If you are a LifeLine qualified senior citizen aged 55 or more, you can avail privileges from Lifeline and EBB assistance programs.
Emergency Broadcasting Benefit Program or the EBB is launched to offer low-income senior citizens internet or broadband access. The offerings of SafeLink Wireless are-
- Offers unlimited domestic 4G LTE data access across the nation
- Get unlimited minutes and messages with international calling convenience
- It gives a free government smartphone from the most modern brands
- Grants up to 10 GB of mobile hotspot tethering access
- Provides special features with calling like voicemail facility and Caller ID visibility
- Delivers free calling access to emergency numbers like 411 and 911
Like all Lifeline service providers under the FCC, all get funded by the Universal Service Administrative Company. As a senior, you can also access free air times for the first 12 months after the membership enrollment. Since the Lifeline cellular plans last up to 1 year, you may need to renew them by recertification.
2. enTouch wireless
Boomerang Wireless has previously operated the cellular services of enTouch wireless. But now, they are under the coverage wings of Verizon Wireless.
It is a dominating one in delivering Lifeline free cell phones for seniors with impressive 4G LTE coverage. For eligible low-income elders and households, they give free Lifeline phone plans.
Before applying for their complimentary senior cell phones, you are required to be competent first for the Lifeline protocol. Identical to other Lifeline assistance providers, you need to possess a low-income profile.
Which means you must stay under the Federal Poverty Line prerequisites. You can also apply if you have participation proof for FCC schemes like Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, etc.
Benefits Of enTouch Wireless Lifeline: With enTouch wireless, you can get excellent features with free government cell phones.
However, enTouch wireless has outstanding plans and features for the residents of California. The primary advantages for tribal and non-tribal states are as follows-
- Includes unlimited talk and text to eligible users
- Produces solid 4G LTE data coverage in more than 34 states around the United States
- You can get up to 1.5 GB of data every month (4 GB for the residents of California)
- It offers excellent modern smartphones from the top-level brands
- Qualified participants can get EBB advantages as well
- Brand-new users can get unlimited data access for a limited period only
If you move for the non-tribal plan, you can also obtain the possibility to win a Free cell phone. You can relish unlimited data permits under the EBB program advantages if you are approved. You can be qualified in two aspects: FCC projects and your annual income profile.
3. FeelSafe WIreless
AirVoice Wireless operates the FeelSafe Wireless, which is mainly based in Mississippi. FeelSafe Wireless offers Lifeline Free cell phones for seniors, and they also have comprehensive coverage with a potent and stable GSM network.
FeelSafe Wireless cell phone services are offered in California, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, and other states of the United States.
FeelSafe Wireless is a label name of the AirVoice Wireless Lifeline relief services. AirVoice Wireless operates under the net range of AT&T, which is one of the most substantial cellular carriers of the United States.
Stay in touch safely with your friends & family in the ending period of your life with FeelSafe Lifeline free cell phones for seniors. Descending is the LifeLine assistance for eligible US senior citizens.
Benefits Of FeelSafe Wireless Lifeline: The GSM net standard is considerable for those who don’t possess cellular access, particularly for seniors aged more than 55.
You can get free government cell phones and cellular services every month through FeelSafe Wireless if you are a low-income-aged citizen. The LifelIne benefits of FeelSafe Wireless are-
- Get unlimited national vocal minutes
- You can send unlimited texts to your special ones
- Get up to 2 GB of convenient 4G LTE data bundle(based on location & compatible devices)
- You can add supplementary minutes, messages, and internet access through top-ups beginning at only 5 dollars per month.
- Offers 911 emergency calling services for the residents of California.
Even if you have finished free perks before the end of the month, you can expand more perks with your values. They cost only 10 cents per vocal minute, text message, and MegaByte data.
FAQs About the Lifeline Free Cell Phones For Seniors
Q. What is the difference between Lifeline and EBB?
Both Lifeline and EBB are FCC launched programs, which offer cellular/broadband services to eligible individuals or households. But Lifeline is a permanent benefit program, whereas EBB is a similar program with temporary benefits.
Q. Does Medicare provide free phones to the seniors?
Yes, if you are an eligible Medicaid participant, you can get a free government cell phone with cellular services, including minutes, texts, data every month.
Q. Is there any Lifeline Free cell phones for seniors service available at AT&T?
AT&T doesn’t offer free cell phones to seniors. However, AT&T Mobility is a plan which offers cell phones to qualified individuals at a discounted rate.
Q. Can I get free cell phone services as a non-citizen senior?
Non-citizen US residents can get free cellular services from the aid program of Medicare/Medicaid. However, you need to hold a permanent or temporary residentship address in the United States in these circumstances.
Q. What are the restrictions of Lifeline free cell phones for seniors?
If you qualify with income status, you need to have a minimum annual income of 17226 dollars(1 person) for all states. However, the minimum income is 28700 dollars(1 person). Moreover, a qualifying participant or household is restricted to only one monthly service offering and one device discount.
You can get Lifeline free cell phones for seniors if you are eligible with the set requirements. However, several carriers offer Lifeline services to qualified individuals.
Before you pick any provider’s services, you should check if the offerings, requirements, and network coverages are suitable for you or not.