Apple iPads are trendy tablet computers, and many people are eager to get their hands on one. However, iPads can be expensive, so some people may be unable to afford one. Fortunately, there are government programs that offer free iPads to qualifying low-income individuals.
In this article, we will discuss how and where you can get a free iPad from the government. We will also provide information on the eligibility requirements for these programs.
Government Free Government iPads Program
During the pandemic, the government recognized the importance of internet access and connected devices. These services and products were not previously considered essential, but they became everyone’s top priority when the pandemic hit. The government realized that people need these services and devices for work, school, healthcare, entertainment, and staying in touch with loved ones.
As a result, the government launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. This temporary program was so popular and successful that the government decided to modify and extend it, creating the new long-term Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
The ACP offers a discount of up to $30 per month on broadband services for eligible non-tribal households and up to $75 per month for eligible Tribal households. It also offers a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a connected device, such as a PC, laptop, or tablet. However, wireless companies that participate in the ACP get to choose which benefits to offer.
All ACP companies offer discounts on internet services, but only a few offer discounts on devices. The ones that do tend to offer tablets, but only entry-level to mid-range Android devices, because the program has limited funds.
Luckily, there are a few extra generous ACP companies that also offer free government iPads. However, these iPads are not entirely free of charge. The government requires customers to pay a co-pay of at least $10 and no more than $50 to receive the device.
If you want a free government iPad through the ACP, contact your internet provider to see if they offer this benefit. You can also visit the ACP website to find a list of participating providers.
Process of Receiving a Free Government iPad Through ACP (SNAP, Food Stamps, Medicaid, EBT Card)
To get a free government iPad, you must first qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Once you are approved for the ACP, you can then apply for a free iPad from one of the participating wireless companies.
To qualify for the ACP, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- You participate in specific government assistance programs, such as SNAP(EBT Card), Medicaid, or SSI.
- Your household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.
- You are a student receiving Pell Grants.
- You are a veteran or a member of a veteran’s household.
To apply for the ACP, you can visit the ACP website or contact your internet service provider.
Once you are approved for the ACP, you can then apply for a free iPad from one of the participating wireless companies. You can find a list of participating companies on the ACP website.
To apply for a free iPad from a wireless company, you will need to provide proof of your ACP eligibility. This may include a copy of your ACP approval letter
Qualifying Guideline for Getting a Free Government iPad Under ACP
To get a free government iPad, you must be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). To qualify for the ACP, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.
- Be the only applicant in your household.
- Live in a state where your selected provider offers service.
- Meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:
- Have an annual household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Participate in a qualifying federal assistance program, such as:
- SNAP (EBT Card)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch or School Breakfast Program
- Participate in a qualifying Tribal assistance program, such as:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Received the Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
If you meet all the eligibility requirements, you can contact your selected provider to apply for the ACP and receive a free government iPad.
How to Prove ACP Eligibility to Receive a Free Government iPad?
To prove your eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), you will need to provide copies of certain official documents. These documents will help to verify your income, program participation, identity, age, address, and emancipation (if applicable).
Here is a list of the documents that you may be asked to provide:
- Retirement/pension statement of benefits
- Social Security statement of benefits
- Current income statement from your employer or a paycheck stub
- Divorce decree, child support award, or a similar official document showing your income
- Prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return
- Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
Program participation-based eligibility:
- Approval letter
- Benefit award letter
- Benefit verification letter
- School documentation
- Statement of benefits
- Government-issued ID (such as a driver’s license or passport)
- Birth certificate
- Lease agreement or utility bill (to prove your address)
- Emancipation papers (if you are an emancipated minor)
It is important to note that you may not be asked to provide all of these documents. The specific documents that you will need to provide will depend on your individual circumstances.
You can prepare for the application process by gathering the necessary documents. This will help to ensure that your application is processed quickly and efficiently.
Applying Guideline for ACP Program to Get a Free Government iPad
To get a free government iPad through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), you need to apply for the benefit. You can apply online through the National Verifier or a participating company. Some companies allow you to skip the National Verifier step, so check with your preferred company before you start the application process.
Apply Through the National Verifier Online
To apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and receive a free government iPad, go to nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?amp;awsl=link-from-how-to-apply&ebbp=true&id=nv_flow&ln=RW5nbGlzaA%3D%3D and fill out the online application form. Click “Next” at the end of each page and submit the form at the end. You may receive immediate approval in minutes.
Apply Through the National Verifier Via Mail
To apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and receive a free government iPad by mail, print out the application form at affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf and the Household Worksheet (optional but recommended) at affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf. Fill out both forms and attach copies of your proof documentation. Then, mail the package to:
ACP Support CenterPO Box 7081London, KY 40742
Please note that processing paper applications may take longer than processing online applications.
Apply Through a Selected ACP Provider
Some ACP companies may let you apply directly to them for a free government iPad without going through the National Verifier first. To do this, you need to find a participating company in your area. You can search for all ACP providers in your state at affordableconnectivity.gov/companies-near-me, but keep in mind that not all of them offer device discounts, let alone free iPads. You can see a list of all the ACP companies that currently offer free iPads in the next section.
Companies That Offer Free Government iPads
Several organizations partner with the government to provide complimentary iPads to those who qualify under the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Here’s a rundown of the key players in this initiative:
AirTalk Wireless is transparent about their offerings, which include not just free service plans with ample talk, text, and data but also smartphones and tablets. On their website, interested parties can view a selection of discounted tablets sanctioned by the government. To apply, potential recipients can initiate the process online by entering their ZIP code and following the step-by-step instructions to fill out the application. This opportunity is available in various states, from Alaska to Wyoming.
Cintex Wireless mirrors AirTalk’s provisions, extending free monthly services and a range of devices including flip phones, Android smartphones, iPhones, and iPads. Their free tablets are showcased online with starting prices just over ten dollars. Applications are welcomed online, where ZIP code entry begins a straightforward process. Notifications of approval are sent via email. This option is available to residents of selected states, as well as Puerto Rico.
NewPhone Wireless steps up with offers of unlimited service plans and a variety of cellular phones and ACP tablets from renowned brands like Samsung and Apple. Their selection is visible online, and applications for their government assistance program are conducted on their website. By entering a ZIP code and following prompts, applicants are guided through the plan selection and form completion process. This service is currently exclusive to residents of Louisiana and Wyoming.
In the realm of ACP providers, others such as Q Link Wireless, StandUp Wireless, and Easy Wireless also offer free tablets. While the exact models of the tablets are not specified upfront, eligible customers may receive either an iPad or an Android tablet upon application approval.
Which Government-Issued iPad Models Are Available for Free?
Many Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) providers keep their tablet selection a secret. However, the following government-issued iPad models are currently available for free through ACP providers that are open about their selection:
- Apple iPad Air
- Apple iPad Air 2
- Apple iPad Mini
- Apple iPad Mini 2
- Apple iPad Mini 3
- Apple iPad 3
Customers can also choose from various Android tablets, including high-quality models from Samsung, Alcatel, and KonnectOne.
Can I Replace My Free Government iPad?
Whether or not you can replace your free government iPad in case of loss, theft, damage, or breakage depends on the company that provided you with the device and its policies.
Some companies, such as AirTalk, Cintex, and NewPhone Wireless, offer a 15-day limited device warranty and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. However, you can only receive a replacement device during this time if the original item started malfunctioning on its own, without you having misused it. These warranties also don’t cover loss or theft.
If your device gets physically damaged, lost, or stolen, you can still contact the company’s customer support service and ask for a replacement device for a small fee.
If you have received a free government iPad from any other provider, you must check its terms and conditions or simply contact its support team.
Can I Upgrade My Free Government iPad?
Whether or not you can upgrade your free government iPad depends on your provider. Most Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) providers do not offer upgrade tablets. However, you can contact your company’s customer support service to inquire. Remember that if you are eligible for an upgrade, the new device will likely be more expensive than the original discounted one.
Is it possible to get a government-sponsored iPad without any cost?
There is a minimal co-payment required, ranging from $10 to $50, in compliance with the stipulations set by the government.
What additional advantages do companies provide alongside the government iPad?
A select number of ACP-affiliated companies not only provide iPads and other tablets but may also include laptops or desktop computers. All of them, however, offer discounted rates on monthly broadband services. Those also part of the Lifeline program typically include free phones as part of their offerings.
Is there an option to get a government iPhone for free?
Indeed, free phones are available, but only through providers involved with the Lifeline assistance program. Although most companies under ACP and Lifeline offer complimentary mid-tier Android phones, a limited selection, such as AirTalk, Cintex, and NewPhone Wireless, also provide free iPhones.