Where to get free cell phones for seniors

Low-income seniors can obtain a free cell phone through the Lifeline program. Seniors should check for service and eligibility requirements in their area by locating the services available in their zip code area on the website of the program.

Free cellphones for seniors and discounted phones for low-income families are made available on a monthly basis to help make ends meet via this program. For seniors and most Americans, a telephone in today’s age is a basic necessity. A telephone serves as a link to the outside world and can be invaluable when applying for a job, in the case of an emergency, or simply to stay connected with the outside world. An affordable phone that does not cost too much to maintain is, therefore, a necessity for everyone. Free cellular phones are available through various wireless companies that also offer wireless phones for free in most of the states in the country. These cell phones for free also sometimes come with free minutes, along with text messages of a limited amount. To get a free phone, one needs to only fulfill the criteria of eligibility to get a phone that has basic features such as caller ID, voice mail, text messaging and call waiting. The user needs to prove that he or she is receiving some government benefits to qualify for these free cell phones. Some of these benefits include:

  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
  • Head Start (if income eligibility criteria is met)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • People who have a household income at or below 135 or 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (that may vary from state to state) are eligible for wireless phones for free.

No contract phones or pay-as-you-go phones also help save money and the no-contract phones further work very well for infrequent cell phone users. National carriers like AT&T, Verizon and independent networks like Virgin Mobile, Cricket, and Net10, Tracfone and T-Mobile also offer some free cellphones for seniors with plans. The lack of a contract means that to get free cellphones for seniors, there is no need to undergo the pressure of monthly fixed bills, hidden costs, credit checks and other features that come along with traditional phone plans. These no-contract phones also work as special pre-paid phones that come with a certain amount of available minutes. These minutes can be used for talking or sending text messages in the form of talk time. These have to be used within the stipulated period.

The different Lifeline Program providers in a given area can be located by visiting the website and checking in the zip code. The information of the application process is also available online. In case, a senior or any customer want any assistance with a given telephone service, they can apply for the Lifeline program via the local telephone company. If eligible, the phone company asks the Universal Service Fund’s Low Income Program to reimburse for the difference of the normal charge for service and the discounted rate that is offered to the consumer.

The telecommunications carrier needs to provide the Universal Service Fund’s Low Income Program with Form 497 for every family that applies for the Link Up program or the Lifeline program.