How To Get Free Cell Phones for Seniors (How It Works)

Having a phone these days is a necessity especially when you need to make emergency calls. This is especially true for seniors, some of whom might be financially challenged and not able to afford the cost of a phone or its upkeep. The good news is that obtaining free cell phones for seniors is available for those who qualify. Or, in case you want to cut your phone bill in half — Tello Mobile has no-contract plans that start at $5 per month.

However, there are many ways a senior can get a free smartphone but the most reliable is through the Lifeline program, a government federal program that provides mobile phones to low earning citizens with a view of availing telecommunication services to all Americans so as to improve access to education, jobs, and other opportunities.

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Even though this program is not specifically targeted at providing seniors with free phones, many senior citizens can qualify for it and get free smartphones.

The best part? You can speed up the lifeline program process and check if you’re eligible in minutes just by visiting here.

Government Lifeline program offers free cell phones for seniors


The lifeline free or subsidized phone service is available in federal default states which include Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

In addition to residing in one of the above states, you must also be enrolled in one of the following federal programs, that is, Food Stamps (SNAP or EBT), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Plan, Veterans Pension Benefits, Medicaid, Supplementary Rental Assistance (section 8), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), National School Lunch Free Lunch Program.

However, you should note that the criteria may differ from state to state.

Furthermore, if you are on a fixed household income that is at or below 135% of the federal poverty line, then you can qualify for the Lifeline Assistance program.

This program can also be accessed for citizens who live on recognized tribal lands or participate in a tribal assistance program.

Looking for an easier way? You can speed up the lifeline program process and check if you’re eligible in minutes just by visiting here.

Application Process

In order to be eligible to get free smartphones for seniors, the Application to the Lifeline Program is done through your participating local telephone company. The company will be reimbursed for the difference between the normal charge for the service and the discounted rate offered to the senior. The telephone company will need to file Form 497 either monthly or quarterly to claim the reimbursement.

There are many telephone operators that provide services under the Lifeline Program but the most reliable are Assurance Wireless, SafeLink Wireless, Budget Wireless, and enTouch Wireless.

These companies follow the criteria set by the Lifeline Program to gauge your eligibility for a free phone. The whole process takes around five days. Once you are deemed eligible for a free phone from the government, you will receive, from these operators, a free phone which has free monthly 250 voice minutes, with the option of purchasing more minutes at a cheaper rate if needed.

The telephone operators offer similar benefits since they belong to the same federal program and the only difference that can be seen is in regards to the variety of phones on offer and customer care services.

However, Budget Wireless further provides an option of upgrading your phone to a Google Android smartphone on payment of a certain fee. In addition, enTouch Wireless has phones that cater for seniors with hearing problems and those using hearing aids.

Looking for an easier way? You can speed up the lifeline program process and check if you’re eligible in minutes just by visiting here.

Obtaining a budget phone

If you wanted to get a budget android phone, here are some of the cheap options on Amazon:

Lifeline alternatives

Don’t qualify for the Lifeline support program? Don’t worry just yet.

You should know that there other options out there for you.

If you are tired of overpaying every month, check out this mobile phone startup called FreedomPop that is disrupting the smartphone game by providing free cell phone service. Seniors can start saving hundreds of dollars a year on phone service if they are not covered under the Lifeline program.

In fact, data has shown people who ditch their expensive smartphone giants save about $1,400 annually. So what is FreedomPop?

What is FreedomPop?

FreedomPop is a new player in the mobile phone space and relies on towers from big players like Sprint to ensure reliable nationwide coverage.

With Sprint service, people are paying $60 per month for unlimited service. With the same nationwide coverage as Sprint, people are saving big when switching over to FreedomPop’s $19.99 per month, unlimited talk, text, and 1GB data plan.

Disrupting the mobile phone space means more than cutting the cost of service. There are also no lengthy contracts, generous 90-day warranties, and a completely free monthly service for people who prefer smaller plans.

You can also bring your old phone over with their “Bring Your Own Device” program.

How Does Freedompop Work?

This is one of the most generous plans for people who are looking to access the internet legally for free.

How does it work?

FreedomPop sends you a wireless router which can be used as an access point. When you are looking to use the internet, you turn on the device, and you are able to access the internet, wherever you are.

To get the device, FreedomPop will take a small deposit for it, which is returned to you, if you return the device back in a year. If you decide to keep using their services, however, for longer than a year, they will retain the deposit money, and consider it payment for their wireless router.

They give you 500 megabytes of free data every month, which is pretty generous if you are looking to do some light internet browsing.

If you need more data though, you can subscribe to one of their paid plans, which are still pretty cheap, for the amount of data they give, when compared to other internet service providers.

Click here to learn more about FreedomPop.

In case you wanted to check to see if you are eligible for the Lifeline Assistance Support’s free phone program, you can revisit the steps below.

Lifeline free phone program summary

To summarize the Lifeline process, you can qualify for Lifeline through a government assistance program or your income. You may need to show proof that you qualify for a Lifeline benefit using the following:

Next, you’ll have to choose a company that offers it. Use this tool to find a company in your area that offers Lifeline. Ask if your company for a Lifeline application. You will need the following information to apply:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Last 4 digits of your Social Security number (or Tribal identification number)
  • Address

You should also show at least one of these items:

Your company will process your application and may ask you to fill out additional forms.

Lastly, you’ll just sign up. If approved, you will receive your Lifeline discount toward your bill. Your company can also apply your discount to an existing service.

Looking for an easier way? You can speed up the lifeline program process and check if you’re eligible in minutes just by visiting here.

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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.

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