Obama’s phone program today goes by the name of the lifeline program. It is a federal program and offers individuals who qualify a Lifeline discount which is limited to one per household. Under this program, free phone service and the free phone is provided to the individual by the state. The only caveat is that the individual must be eligible under the program’s criteria.
The Lifeline program dates way back to the Reagan administration. Under this program, the administration decided to provide a landline phone to low-income Americans. During the Bush administration, this was upgraded to the mobile phone.
The program became popular as the Obama phone program because its popularity exponentially increased during the Obama administration.
How Do I Get An Obama Phone For Free?
To get an Obama phone, you need to be eligible under the criteria of the program. The steps to get an Obama phone include:
Step 1: Check income eligibility
Visit https://www.lifelinesupport.org/do-i-qualify/ to fill out a questionnaire and find out if you qualify for the program according to your income or not.
Usually, your income needs to be at a maximum of 135% or below the federal poverty guidelines. These guidelines are updated annually, so it is best to check an official site https://aspe.hhs.gov/topics/poverty-economic-mobility/poverty-guidelines to check the latest poverty income threshold. The income levels might also change according to the state in which you live.
Unfortunately, income eligibility is not the only criterion for getting the Obama phone. Check out the rest of the steps below to qualify for the program.
Step 2: Participation in other social welfare programs
There is an easier way to qualify for the program as well. If you or anyone in your household already receives assistance from the federal government or the state under any program, then you might be eligible for the Obama phone. The list of programs is pretty long like:
- Federal public housing assistance or section 8
- National School lunch program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Supplemental nutrition assistance program
- And so on
You can check the link above with the questionnaire to find out the list of programs under which you can qualify for the Obama phone. Certain state programs might help you qualify as well.
Step 3: Ensure no one else has got the Obama phone at your household
The Obama phone or the discount under the Lifeline program is limited to only one per household. This includes Wireless (mobile) or landline connection. Even if you qualify, but someone in your house is already using the Obama phone, you cannot get a new phone under the scheme. It is a better idea to speak with your family member to decide who is going to avail the benefits of the program.
Step 4: Choose the provider
Once you complete the questionnaire and are eligible for the program, you can view the list of companies according to your state on the Lifeline program’s official website. Along with the list of providers, you can view the plans as well. After going through the various plans, you can select the plan that suits you the best.
Step 5: Complete the application
The next step involves filling out the application on the website of the service provider. You might have to contact customer care or search their website for the application link.
The application requires you to submit details like name, address, social security number or tribal identification number.
In addition to this, you need to demonstrate to the service provider that you qualify under the assistance program. In case you qualify because of your income levels, you can submit various documents to prove the same like:
- Current income statement
- Tax returns
- Social Security statement of benefits
- Veteran’s statement of benefits
- Unemployment benefits you might be receiving
- Child support award
- Divorce decree
- And anything else to prove your income is below the poverty guidelines.
Step 6: Submit the ID documents
The next step is to submit your ID documents. Fortunately, there are quite a few options available when it comes to verifying your identity with the service provider. You can submit documents like:
- Driver’s license
- Birth certificate
- Certificate of the US citizenship
- US government-issued ID
- Weapons permit
- Military discharge documentation
- And so on
It will be best to check with the website of the service provider to understand which ID documents they accept and which documents they do not. You can verify the same from the customer care of the service provider.
Step 7: Determine the mode of usage once approved
After that, you have to wait for the service provider to approve your application.
Once your application is approved, the service provider is likely to send you a cell phone. You can avail the benefits of the program once you receive the cell phone. It will come along with the instructions to activate the service and start using your phone.
In case you are applying to use the benefits of this program on an existing phone line, you will have to speak with the customer care representative of the company, and then you can avail the benefits.
These are the steps that you need to complete to get an Obama phone. They might seem cumbersome, but once you complete the steps and qualify for the program, you’re likely to receive a phone or at least a plan which is completely free, allowing you to remain connected via phone with your family and friends.
Can I Bring My Own Phone To Use With Obama Phone Program
Yes, you can bring your own phone and use the benefits of the Obama phone program as long as you qualify as per the criteria that we have highlighted above. In that case, once you qualify for the program, you need to enquire from the service provider regarding the exact steps you need to follow to avail the benefits of an existing phone.
10 Best Providers That Offer Obama Phone Program Near Me
Now that you know how to qualify for the Obama phone program let’s look at the ten best providers that offer you service under this program.
1. Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless is one of the largest service providers under the Obama phone program. It has over 2.7 million customers. The reason it has grown so big is that it offers services in various states like Connecticut, Delaware, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and so on. Since it is a subsidiary of Sprint Nextel, you can certainly assume that the service quality is going to be good enough.
The service provider not only offers you free talk and text, but some plans have limited free data as well. Thus, if you truly want to remain connected, check out this service provider’s plans.
2. SafeLink Wireless
SafeLink Wireless is the largest service provider under the Obama or Lifeline phone program. The total number of customers exceeds 3.8 million. It is a subsidiary of Tracfone. The reason the company is so famous is that it offers various plans under which you can get a free smartphone, free unlimited talk and text. If you’re looking for a service provider which offers multiple plans under the program, this is the one that you should go with.
3. Q Link Wireless
Q Link Wireless is a service provider under the Obama phone program with over 1 million customers. The service provider offers various plans, some of which might provide you with unlimited data along with free unlimited talk and text. You can also bring your phone number the since it offers 4G/5G connectivity, you can be certain that the service quality will be excellent.
4. StandUp Wireless
StandUp Wireless has unlimited talk, text, and data (up to 10 GB) plan. It offers nationwide coverage, and therefore you won’t have to worry about the state you are in.
Not only that, if you qualify for a free phone, the service provider will also offer you that.
The application process is online, and you will be mailed a free smartphone once you qualify for the program. The activation process is equally easy by calling the customer care number. All in all, if you’re looking for a national service provider under the Obama phone program, this is the one that you should go with.
5. Access Wireless
Access Wireless is another service provider that offers nationwide coverage. It offers free long-distance calling as well. For an additional fee, you can activate international calling as well.
While it offers limited free text and talk plans but if you want to add any features to your Obama phone plan, you can do so in denominations of ten dollars. Thus, if you want to avail the benefits of the Obama phone program and might upgrade to additional features in the future, this service provider is certainly a good option.
6. Cintex Wireless
Cintex Wireless has some of the most lucrative plans under the Obama phone program. It offers a plan with free unlimited talk and text along with free high-speed data up to a certain limit. Not only that, if you qualify, you can get a free iPhone, Galaxy S9, and other such smartphones (as per their website). You can visit this website to check the number of states where the provider offers their service.
7. enTouch Wireless
enTouch Wireless is another prominent provider under the Obama phone program. It offers coverage in 34 different states. The service provider offers you not only a free phone but also a free plan with unlimited data, unlimited talk, and text. It is one of the few service providers which offers you free international calling. If you want to check whether the service provider offers service in your state or not, just visit https://entouchwireless.com/states/
8. SafetyNet Wireless
SafetyNet Wireless offers three different programs under the Obama phone program. It offers you unlimited talk and text with a limited amount of data. While it is a provider not available in many states, you can check for availability in your state by visiting the official website.
9. Life Wireless
Life Wireless offers you unlimited talk and text under the Obama phone plan. Not only that, it offers 5 GB hotspot data as well. You can either bring your smartphone or activate the plan, as you can get a new smartphone if you are eligible. The fact that it offers at least 5GB hotspot data certainly makes it a lucrative service provider under this program.
10. Tag Mobile
Tag Mobile offers you 8 GB of free data with unlimited monthly talk and text. The 8 GB of free data certainly means that you can use the messengers, check your mail and perform the necessary activities on the Internet without having to pay anything extra. The lucrative plan is the primary reason the service provider has over 200,000 Obama phone customers spread across various states.
If you are aware of the best service providers under the Obama phone program, it is time to understand what kind of phone the program offer.
What Type of Free Phone Does The Obama Phone Program Offer?
You can get a free smartphone or landline under the Obama phone program. The exact model of the smartphone varies from one service provider to another. Usually, models which have been launched for 2 to 5 years are available for free under this program. Here is a list of free Obama phone you get from the Lifeline provider-
- Apple iPhone 6
- Apple iPhone 7
- LG G7 ThinQ
- LG K51
- LG Stylo 5
- LG V40 ThinQ
- LG V50 ThinQ 5G
- Motorola moto g 5G
- Motorola moto g pure
- Motorola moto g stylus 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A03s
- Samsung Galaxy A13 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
- TCL Classic
- And many more.
If you do not qualify for the free smartphone or the landline, most service providers will offer you smartphones at a discounted rate if you qualify for this program.
Thus, if you’re finding it difficult to pay your phone bills, it is time to find out if you qualify for Obama phone or not. Using the guide above, you will know exactly how you can determine your eligibility criteria and, if you’re eligible, how to get Obama phone and gain the benefits of this program.