Your Free Government Cell Phones Authority!
The economy is still shaky and times are uncertain for many Americans. Struggling families will be relived to hear that the US government will give you a free cell phone and up to 250 free cell phone minutes a month thanks to the Lifeline Assistance and Linked Up government mandated programs.
Here at Fast Facts, we have one goal: providing the most detailed information on the free government cell phone program. Want to learn how to qualify for the program, if service is provided in your state, or what companies you can get a free cell phone from?
We answer all of these questions and give you the information you need to make an informed decision on which cell phone company to apply to.
On this website you will find comprehensive information on the four largest free cell phone carriers. We also provide details on the best regional free cell phone providers. If you want to find out if free cell phone service is available in your state, we have a list of states where free cell phone service is available.
Before applying for service, we strongly recommend exploring our site to find out which free cell phone service will be the best for you. We are also going to give you some background information about the program. We will also talk a little about how to qualify for service and the requirements you must meet in order to be eligible for a free government cell phone. You may be surprised to find out YOU are eligible – even if you do not receive government assistance.
History of the Free Government Cell Phone Program
You may think it’s too good to be true when you hear that the government will pay for you to get a FREE cell phone and FREE monthly service, but it is true. Depending on where you live (we go into requirements state by state on this page), you can get a free phone and free minutes if you meet the eligibility requirements. For most people, this is not difficult at all.
In fact, if you are already receiving benefits from the government in one form or another (including food stamps or Medicare) you MAY be eligible for a free phone and free minutes every month. The program behind this miracle is called the Lifeline Assistance Program.
In January of 2012, the FCC Reformed and modernized the Lifeline Program for Low-Income Americans. While it first included only land line phones, the program now includes access to a free cell phone and free monthly minutes for those who qualify. This makes it easier than ever before for every American to have a chance to communicate.
At the current time, the Lifeline Assistance program is administered by the USAC – Universal Service Administrative Company. Previously, the Lifeline program was only available for landline phones. The effect of free phones has been dramatic. For example. the percentage of low-income households with phone service in 1985 was 80% when the Lifeline program first started. Since that time, the number has risen to 92%.
Leading Free Cell Phone Providers
Next, we have the four major cell phone service providers that participate in the Lifeline Assistance program. Depending on which state you live in, you may have one or more choices available. Please note, however, that you cannot yet get a free government cell phone in all 50 states. To see the complete list of states where you can get one, click here for our listing of free cell phones by state.
Assurance Wireless is a division of Virgin Mobile that was set-up to specifically deal with the Lifeline Assistance Program to give out free cell phones and monthly service to those who need it. Learn about Assurance Wireless
Run by Nexus Communications, Inc as Reachout Wireless, this is a cell phone service that was created especially for low-income people who qualify for the Lifeline Assistance Program. Learn more about Reachout Wireless.
Budget Mobile Wireless
Budget Mobile is a wireless service that is specifically for the federal Lifeline program. Qualifying households can get a free phone and 250 FREE minutes per month. Learn more about Budget Mobile.
A division of TracFone Wireless, Inc., Safelink Wireless offers a FREE cell phone and free monthly minutes to low-income households that meet the requirements. Learn more about Safelink Wireless.
Access Wireless offers free government cell phones in over 25 states. Eligible applicants receive a free cell phone and up to 250 cell phone minutes a month. Learn about Access Wireless.
Free Government Cell Phones FAQ
We have collected a few of the commonly asked questions about free cell phones and have the answers listed below.
Why Free Cell Phones?
If you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering why any company would want to give away a free cell phone and monthly minutes. There is something in it for the companies that provide the phones and service. For each low-income person they have signed up, they receive $10 from the government per month. This basically covers the free minutes each month, with the companies paying for the actual cell phones and any advertising to get people signed up.
As you can see, it’s really a win-win situation for everyone involved, especially those who are struggling to make ends meet as the recession drags on and on. And if you find the 250 free minutes are not enough, you can usually add minutes at your own expense. This is something else the cell phone service providers are counting on to make money over the long run while still being able to help people who need it the most.
Is This the So Called Obama Phone?
No! There is a rumor or urban legend going around that Obama is giving away free cell phones in order to get votes. However, if you look, you will find that free government cell phones actually started with the Bush administration, not Obama’s!
What is the Free Phone Like?
This will depend on which service provider or company you go with, but in most cases these are not cheap or old phones. You may be able to get a new phone that is reliable, dependable and has great battery life.
What Happens if I Use all the Free Minutes?
If you use the free minutes you are allotted each month, you can simply wait until the next month for more free minutes, or you can use your own money to purchase additional minutes – usually at a special rate. This will depend, however, on which specific company you sign-up with for the Lifeline program.