Nov 232013

Free Government Cell Phones

It’s true, you could be eligible for a free government cell phone from the good people in Washington D. C. They probably don’t want to call you from our nation’s capital; they won’t be waking you during the night to ask if your refrigerator is running (that’s a joke, but not all that funny.) They do understand your need to communicate and they want to help you a lot. Here are some fun facts and amazing details of this program.

  • The US Government is paying for free wireless phones for people living in the United States. The George Bush administration started the program and the Obama administration keep it going for all of us. It’s true. Through the programs offered by public institutions, people can get free service, free phones and other hardware, and free monthly minutes.
  • Free government cell phones usually include rollover minutes, free voice mail, free called ID and free call waiting. Other add-ons often pop up as well. They have the features you need. The precise number of free monthly minutes varies by state.  Check with the providers for details about minutes.
  • The program is administered by zip code. it is currently available in Alabama, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Other states will be added soon.
  • Participants will never receive a bill and are not required to sign a contract. It’s the law.
  • You’re not going to get a state-of-the-art smart phone or an iPhone but you will be able to communicate and improve your life.
  • Requirements vary somewhat by state. Ohio residents, for example, are eligible if they receive benefits from any of these programs:
    • Section 8/Federal Public Housing Assistance
    • Medicaid
    • Food Stamps
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Free National School Lunch Program (NSL)
    • General Assistance/Disability Assistance
    • Home Energy Assistance (HEAP)
    • Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI)
    • Ohio Works First or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Eligibility may also be determined by income level. Families who earn up to 150% of the US Poverty level may also qualify:
Persons in Family or Household
                                       Annual Income     Monthly Income
1                                      $16,245           $1,354
2                                      $21,855           $1,822
3                                      $27,465           $2,289
4                                      $33,075           $2,757
5                                      $38,685           $3,224
6                                      $44,295           $3,692
7                                      $49,905           $4,159
8                                      $55,515           $4,627
For each additional person, add...     $5,610            $468
Free Government Phones
Free Government Phones
  • Free government phones, some from SafeLink and other reputable companies, will never expire, but some participants will be randomly selected on an annual basis to provide proof of eligibility. Don’t panic. An online form is available to provide proof of eligibility. The online proof of eligibility form requires information such as name, date of birth, phone number, state, and two check boxes. The first check box confirms that the phone recipient is a head of household and is not claimed as a dependent on some else’s tax return. The second check box confirms that the free government phone recipient is indeed a free government phone recipient and no one else at the same address is a free government phone recipient. President Obama will not be checking up on you, nor will the AARP, so don’t worry.
  • Participants who become ineligible are required by the FCC to voluntarily remove themselves from the program. They are eligible to continue using the free government phone and purchase air time from wireless phone providers.
  • An online application is available for potential free government phone recipients.