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How to Get a Low-Cost Smartphone and Plan

Free phones and low-cost data plans are available to qualifying recipients of government assistance programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as to certain low-income users who meet financial restrictions.

Known as Lifeline, this program provides qualifying users with free or discounted communications services to help them connect with the modern world more easily, even if they cannot afford to pay for a wireless plan.

While specific eligibility requirements vary by state, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oversees this nationwide program.

One trustworthy provider of free touch screen government phones includes SafeLink Wireless, a Lifeline-supported communications service. To receive a free or discounted mobile phone through SafeLink Wireless, you must be able to present proof of your household income or evidence of your participation in a government assistance program.

Additionally, this offer is only available to one qualifying mobile device user per household. To learn more about how you can qualify for free smartphones through SafeLink Wireless, review the sections below.

How to Qualify for Free Cell Phones and Data Plans

To get free SafeLink minuets, nationwide cell phone coverage and data for internet usage, you must meet income restrictions or receive financial assistance through a government program such as Medicaid.

To qualify for a free smartphone, your income must not exceed 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or you must receive government assistance through at least one of the following programs:

  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • SSI
  • Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Pension benefit programs for veterans and qualifying survivors
  • Tribal-specific programs, such as the following:
    • General Assistance under the Bureau of Indian Affairs
    • Head Start
    • Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

To get a free phone through SafeLink Wireless, it is important to keep in mind that you can only receive assistance through one Lifeline phone service at a time. You cannot obtain free phones through SafeLink Wireless if you or another household member already receive benefits through a Lifeline program.

If you qualify for Lifeline program benefits, however, you may choose to switch from another cell phone provider to SafeLink Wireless at any time.

How to Get Free Touch Screen Government Phones

You can apply for a free mobile device through SafeLink Wireless in one of two ways, depending on your preferred application method. As one option, you may apply for free phones online by entering your zip code to search for available SafeLink Wireless services in your area.

Alternatively, you may download an application to your computer if you prefer to submit the form by mail.

Regardless of how you apply, you must be ready to provide the following information when applying for services through SafeLink Wireless:

  • Your full legal name, phone number (if available) and date of birth
  • The last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Your email address (if available)
  • Your mailing and residential addresses (if different)
  • Personal information about your children or other household members, if applicable

In addition to providing the above information, you must specify whether you qualify for a free mobile device through your income or participation in a government assistance program.

As proof of eligibility for a free phone through SafeLink Wireless, you must also provide proof of your income and/or evidence of your participation in a government assistance program.

If submitting your free smartphone application by mail, send it to the address below along with proof of your eligibility for these program benefits.

SafeLink Wireless, Inc.

PO Box 220009

Milwaukie, OR 97269-0009

After applying for free government phones, how can you check your enrollment status?

After submitting your application to SafeLink Wireless, you may choose to check your enrollment status online. To do so, you must be able to provide your Enrollment ID Number and the last four digits of your SSN.

If you do not know your Enrollment ID Number, you may provide your SSN, birthday and zip code. If you do not have access to the internet, however, you may contact the SafeLink Customer Support Center at 1-800-723-3546 to check your enrollment status by telephone.

How long can you use your free smartphone through SafeLink Wireless?

Once you qualify for a free- or- low-cost smartphone plan through SafeLink Wireless, your mobile device will remain active for one year. After one year of usage, you must re-qualify for participation in the program if you wish to continue your smartphone coverage through SafeLink Wireless.

As a reminder, SafeLink Wireless will notify you before it is time to re-certify your program eligibility.

Can you get a ZTE z3001 S device or an iPhone 5?

If you qualify for free phones and data plans through SafeLink Wireless, you will receive a mobile device at no charge. If you wish to use your existing phone as part of the SafeLink Keep Your Own Smartphone Plan, however, you will receive a SIM card in lieu of a new mobile device.

After receiving the SIM card, you must install it on your unlocked mobile device.

If you are looking to get a free government iPhone 5 or another specific type of smartphone device, keep in mind that SafeLink Wireless will not provide you with the opportunity to choose your mobile device as part of your free plan.

If you wish to obtain a specific type of mobile device, you must pay a fee to do so. For a fee, you can purchase phones from brands such as Apple, Alcatel, Google, Samsung and ZTE.

Moreover, the specific features you receive as part of your free SafeLink Wireless plan will vary depending on the offer you choose. If you wish to receive a new phone as part of your membership, you may choose from the following options:

  • 1,000 SafeLink minutes and 1 GB of data
  • 350 minutes and 2 GB of data

If you wish to use your own mobile device in lieu of getting a new phone, you can choose from 1,000 voice minutes and 1.5 GB of data or 350 voice minutes and 2.5 GB of data. If you wish to receive additional data or features, you must pay a fee. 

Learn About the Benefits of Smartphone

In the age of declining internet dial-up and landline phones, it is more important now than ever to have smartphone technology. Because of the increasing need for mobility, landline phones are slowly becoming obsolete. Smartphones also offer innovated ways to communicate to another person.

For example, you can speak with some with the front camera and they can be in another part of the world. Messaging applications provide face filters for video chat and other features for quick messaging. Taking advantage of the Lifeline program with SafeLink will give you access to all these features.

The Benefits of Smartphone
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