What is a government cellphone?

The government provides cellphone service and devices through the Federal Communication Commission. Lifeline is available in every state including tribal areas. This service is available at an immensely reduced rate, and for some residents, it may be free of charge. This vital service is provided to ensure that everyone has access to communication services. Cellphones can be used to apply for jobs, communicate with employers and alert family members in the event of an emergency, making them crucial today.

Do I qualify for a cellphone from the government?

Requirements to receive a government-issued cellphone are based on income. If you are considered low-income, as designated by the government, you are eligible to obtain a cellphone free of charge. Participation in many different government-sponsored programs can also qualify you to receive a government phone. A few of the qualifying programs include:

  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Public Housing Assistance.
  • Veteran Pension and Survivor’s Benefits.

If you are currently receiving benefits under any other these programs, you could qualify for a government cellphone. However, there are many other programs that will allow you to qualify. In any case, if your income is 135 percent below the federal poverty level, you can qualify for Lifeline service.

How do I apply for my government cellphone?

Lifeline discounts are provided through many cellphone carriers. You must confirm with your carrier to see if it provides Lifeline assistance. Once you identify a qualifying company near you, you can apply through the company for service. You will need to provide verification of your eligibility and complete an application to enroll. The application process will require you to have a Social Security Number or other documents that verify identity, and at least three months’ worth of payment verification. You may also be required to submit your tax return from last year.