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Why Does the Government Offers Lifeline Free Phone Program


During times of economic instability, your phone and internet bills can become overwhelming.

When you’re facing problems paying your monthly phone bills or have had to sell your phone due to economic distress, you can get free government phones to help you re-connect to the world.

To Make Communication Accessible for All

The Lifeline program was introduced as a benefit program by the government to make wireline and wireless services accessible to eligible individuals for an affordable cost.

With this program, many individuals have received access to regular phone plans and a free phone provided by the government to have better educational and job opportunities. It also lets you contact emergency services, which can be crucial, especially when living in remote areas.

Eligibility for Free Government Phones

Not everyone is eligible to get a free phone and discounted phone or internet packages by the government. The Lifeline program is available for low-income groups in all states, territories, and tribal lands.

If you do not have a phone, you can get one from your Lifeline program service provider upon request. The phone will be either a GSM or smartphone, suitable for making calls and much more.

Since the program is administered and overseen by the Universal Service Administrative Company, applicants who have issues filling out their applications can seek help from them directly.

The Lifeline program has certain criteria that applicants have to meet, including:

  • Income lower than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines OR
  • Already under other government programs like the Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, and other specific programs.
  • Nobody else in your household is registered for the Lifeline program.

Subscribers residing in rural Tribal lands can avail of a higher discount or more free minutes and data compared to regular eligible applicants under the Lifeline program.

The application process for the program is simple if you are already registered on the National Verifier application system. It approves your eligibility for the program and your renewal as well.

If you need assistance at any point, you can find Lifetime program service providers in your area to help you out with your application process. 

Affordable Plans Catered for You

Lifeline program works by giving your free minutes, data, or airtime through one of their service providers. You can also receive a discount on your monthly plan, ranging from $9 to $34 depending on your subscriber type.

You can also get internet plans for more affordable rates under the Lifeline program. However, you should know that you can only get discounted prices for either your phone or broadband monthly plan and not both.

Lifeline Benefits and Emergency Broadband Benefits

The basic benefits you get with any Lifeline phone plan include Caller ID, Voicemail, Call Waiting, and Conference Call options.

If you are looking to get a discount on your monthly internet plan, you can get them through a temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The eligibility requirements are the same as the Lifeline program.

When you sign up for EBB, you can get a free smartphone from your service provider, unlimited calling and texting benefits, and free data. Since this is a temporary plan, you have to sign up for it before it expires.

Find Your Ideal Provider

Depending on your location, you may have the option to choose between multiple Lifeline program service providers. Choose a service provider based on the benefits they can offer you and the level of customer service they provide.

You need to have a good service provider who will inform you of new programs and benefits that you can sign up for along with your Lifeline benefits.

Begin Using Your Government Provided Phone

You can get free government phones when you enroll yourself for the EBB program or have a Lifeline service provider willing to provide one upon request. Depending on your service provider, you may or may not get an option of choosing the model of your phone or tablet too.

Check whether you qualify for the Lifeline and EBB program to apply and get your benefits as soon as possible. You’ll be able to enjoy free data, calling, and texting privileges in no time once your application has been approved and you’ve enrolled with a service provider.

Most Lifeline service providers do not require you to have a contract with them for phone or broadband services, and you can pay monthly at ease. Ensure that you renew your Lifeline program enrollment when you are contacted by USAC so that you can enjoy these benefits for a long time.

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