A smartphone is the most useful device in today’s interconnected virtual world. It is like a dream to thousands of people, especially low-income families, to receive a free smartphone. Keeping basic contact with family, friends, and colleagues have no alternatives to having a phone. But some people struggle to possess a phone constantly. It might be you who is also fumbling for a free phone as there is a financial struggle in your life.
The good news is that the Federal Communications Commission is providing free phones through the Food Stamps program. The program is more popularly known as the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). You can get a free phone if you are already a beneficiary of the federal government’s food stamps program or any other government assistance program.
The free phones offer comes through the Lifeline program. With Lifeline, food stamps provide specified phones completely free to eligible households and individuals. The US government started providing free phone service during the ’80s and then added the cellphone facility to this Lifeline program when low-income people needed it.
Here we will discuss how to get free phones with food stamps. You will get to know the details on the operators and organizations that offer free phones, the eligibility and application procedure, and which phones are available for the applicants.
About Lifeline Program
FCC’s Lifeline is a program that helps to provide communication services more affordable to low-income people. This program aims to offer a discount on communication services to low-income Americans so that every American can access the opportunities to stay connected. Lifeline offers monthly discounts on voice-broadband, internet, bundled services, and phone service. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers this program.
USAC is responsible for the application process, eligibility requirements, and keeping the benefit through an annual recertification process. With this discount, low-income customers can afford broadband service and so that they stay connected with their jobs, healthcare, and education services. Lifeline customers can receive a monthly discount of up to $9.25 and tribal members can receive a discount of up to $34.25 per month. There are also free government tablets and smartphones for certain eligible households.
About Food Stamps
Food Stamp is actually the old name of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) one of the government assistance programs for low-income people. The Federal Government started Food Stamp to aid low-income families with food and nutrition. This program provides billions of dollars each year to millions of Americans. The US Department of Agriculture administrates the fund through the Food and Nutrition Service.
Families who are beneficiaries of this fund can buy bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, and dairy products with the SNAP benefit. Besides food and nutrition, SNAP-qualifying families and individuals can also get free phones through the Lifeline program. If you are a SNAP member and want a free phone then you just need to qualify for the Lifeline free phone using your SNAP membership. This FCC-administered program also offers free minutes and SMS.
How To Food Stamps Members Get Free Phones ?
Food Stamps or SNAP directly allows the beneficiaries to obtain funds to buy food and nutrition for the family members. So you can use your Food Stamps to apply for the free phone from the federal government. Remember that you cannot directly apply through the Food Stamps for the free phones.
Here the FCC terms and conditions state that any applicant enjoying a government assistance program should qualify for the Lifeline program to get a free phone. That mean you still can enjoy your food subsidy along with a phone for totally free. So you can use your SNAP or Food Stamp to qualify for the Lifeline program and apply for the free phone.
In that case, you need to prepare some documents to prove your identity and your qualification. You can also qualify if you are enjoying any other government assistant program. Then you have to choose one of the Lifeline providers who offer free government phones for the subscribers. The whole process requires some online form fill-ups as well as offline paperwork to fill up. Please note that the provider will deliver you the free phone from one of the specific models. You may miss your desired brand and model due to that it’s an aid program and the restriction.
Why Food Stamps Member Can Apply For Free Phones?
There are still millions ofpeoples who are unable to ensure their needs every month. Food Stamp recipients are not able to afford smartphones as phone companies merge and the basic cost of phones rises. Having a cell phone is necessary to maintain everyday virtual connections especially for medical help, education, communication, and more.
The federal government knows the importance of cell phones and they offer free phone services through the Lifeline program. With Food Stamp, eligible subscribers are getting completely free phones. Additionally if you are a participant of Food Stamp, then you can apply for a free phone with free monthly talk, text, and Data. You will be pleased to hear that you don’t need to worry about your monthly food subsidy while getting the free phone. Because the program doesn’t contradict with each other.
Application Process To Free Phone Service With Food Stamps
Technology and telecommunication companies who are also Lifeline providers around America offer free government phones to low-income eligible households and individuals. They offer free government phones obeying the FCC guidelines. There are some basic procedures to follow to get the free cellphone from a Lifeline provider. The best, convenient, and fastest way is to follow the online fill-out procedure. Here we are going to explain how to get a free phone with Food Stamps.
First, you will have to qualify for the Lifeline
Though we are talking about getting free phones using the Food Stamps program, we need to remember that everyone has to qualify first for the Lifeline program using their Food stamps and then can apply for the free phone. So qualifying for the Lifeline program is the first and must procedure. If you are already a participant of the Food Stamps or SNAP, then will be eligible automatically for the free government phones.
There are also free monthly talk time and data with this aid program. Please note that other government assistance programs like Medicaid and SSI also lead to Lifeline eligibility. There is also income-based eligibility for the Lifeline program but since you are curious about the Food Stamps, we are going to stick to it. The next you have to do is choose a Lifeline provider who offers free phones.
Secondly, Select a Lifeline provider
There are several telecommunication companies across the US that provide eligible households with free Lifeline phones. Here you will have to do research. It depends on which state you are living in right now. Because each state has its own rules and each provider doesn’t cover all the states.
Here you will have the available options but among them, you should choose a reliable provider as you will go for a sustainable service including free monthly talk, SMS, and data. Three providers are widely known as Lifeline program providers across America. They are the Q Link Wireless, Assurance Wireless, and Safelink. There are other providers, but these three are the big names in the market.
Third, Apply for the Lifeline Program
Once you have selected your preferred service provider, you can start the application process by filling out the online form. There is also a mail-in application facility for the applicant’s household or individual. But the online application is the easiest and fastest way to get a free phone from the provider.
The Lifeline enrollment is pretty simple for anyone. Here you will just have to provide your basic information first. Such as your name, address, date of birth, and social security number. Then select the Food stamps as the method of your eligibility for the program. After submitting your application, the respective provider will ask for your proof of qualification. Here you should submit the supporting documents against your participation in Food Stamps. Once you are finished with the submission process, just wait for the free phone service to be activated.
Required Proof of Documents ForFood Stamps Free Phone Participation
Knowing the requirements of actual documents is necessary to get the free phones with Food Stamps. Here are the documents you should provide.
Documents required as Food Stamps participant
You need to submit these documents to prove your participation as a qualified applicant.
- Program award letter (Food Stamp); clearly showing your full name and program name
- Eligibility proof document (letter from State Agency Stating you receive this benefit)
- Copy of your Food Stamp Benefit Card
Proof of ID
Several types of ID prove your nationality as American. Make sure any of the IDs you provide is valid and clear enough to visualize. Here are the ID categories that the providers usually accept.
- Driver’s License
- U.S. Government, Military or State I.D. (including date of birth, social security number)
- US Passport
- Certificate of US Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Military ID
- Social security card
- Birth certificate
- Permanent resident
- Permanent Resident Alien Card
- Unemployment or Workers Compensation Statement
What Kind Of Free Phones Get Food Stamps Member?
You won’t know what kind of phone you are getting. You have to go through the approval process with the carrier first. There are both home phones and cellphones that the program offer. But it varies over the providers. Some providers offer both and some offer any of them. Make sure that the carrier or provider offers home phones or smartphones through SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or Food Stamp. With the Lifeline policy, they offer a variety of smartphones, but they cannot guarantee the exact model. And you will have to accept the one they deliver. It’s totally on the provider. You can find the brand name and model on the provider’s website.
Which Provider Offer Free Phones With Food Stamps?
There are certain providers who offer free home phones and smartphones (iPhone, Android Phone) through the Lifeline program for food stamps member. All of them come with a reliable network and Lifeline program benefits. The free phones providers are:
- Cintex Wireless
- Copper Vally Wireless
- Easy wireless
- FeelSafe Wireless
- Infinity Mobile
- Assurance Wireless
- New Phone Wireless
- Q Link Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
- SafetyNet Wireless
- Sprocket Wireless
- Standup Wireless
- enTouch Wireless
- Terracom Wireless
- True Wireless
- Tag Mobile
- Life Wireless
- Tempo Communications
FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
Does receiving a free phone affect your Tax?
No, Food Stamp benefits are not included in income calculations. This program is for low-income people especially those who struggle to afford food. The federal government doesn’t include tax in any of the government aid programs.
What are the benefits of free phones with Food Stamp?
People who enroll in the Lifeline program using the Food Stamps can get free home phones or cell phones. Besides, the providers also offer free monthly talk, text, and data to eligible families or individuals.
What does Per Household mean?
Per household means each household whatever members it has can apply for only one benefit. A Food Stamp benefit is allowed for one household. According to Lifeline program rules, an address where members live and share their income and expenses.
Can I receive free phones with Food Stamp if I do not have children?
Yes, being eligible anyone can receive free phones with Food Stamp. Single mothers, households, seniors, working people, senior citizens can get free phones with Food Stamp. Even people who don’t have children can receive Food Stamp benefits.
A smartphone is a basic communication tool for family, friends, and work. Unfortunately, many peoples cannot afford cell phones, especially luxury smartphones. Simply, being on SNAP (Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program) or Food Stamp is enough to receive a free phone. This program is designed to provide nutritional assistance to millions of low-income families or individuals. This is a great benefit for Food stamp subscribers where you can enjoy both food subsidies and a free phone by enrolling in the Lifeline program.
The entire Lifeline program was originally designed to ensure people could get a phone with other phone services. Millions ofpeople still benefit from the free phone offer from the 1980s. Whoever is facing difficulties managing a phone can use the Food Stamps to get a free phone through the federal Government Lifeline program.