Florida has a free cell phone program available to those that qualify, including a free device as well as monthly service. The importance of having a cell phone is nationally recognized, hence why the government offers a benefit program called Lifeline that provides free phones and monthly service. An estimated 12 million people are already taking advantage of the program.
If you don’t have access to a phone it can impact your ability to get a job and get back on your feet. Plus, a cell phone is a necessary tool during times of emergencies and to stay in contact with doctors, family, and children. In other words, no one should be without a cell phone. Lifeline plans include up to 250 minutes of talk time per month, as well as text messages, voicemail services and more.
If a cell phone seems unaffordable to you the Lifeline program might be available to you. Read on to learn more and find out if you may qualify or not.
The Federal Lifeline Assistance Program, known as Lifeline for short, was originally instituted back in the mid-1980s. At this time it wasn’t for cell phones but instead was aimed at providing discounted or free landline phone services to those in need that qualified. In the 2000’s cell phones were added to the Lifeline program in order to keep up with changing times.
Shortly after adding cell phones to the list of perks, the FCC opened the doors for private phone companies to offer Lifeline service. The companies that offer this service are compensated through the government. Although the government does not cover the cost of the phone, the individual company takes on that cost.
If affording a cell phone is a struggle you might qualify for a free phone as well as monthly minutes. If you are considered low-income you may apply for the Lifeline phone program.
There are two key factors for approval:
- Your total household income must be less than or meet Florida’s Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- You currently receive financial aid from government assistance programs such as Medicaid or Section 8 housing.
A full list of Florida government assistance programs that may make you eligible for the free cell phone program include:
- Food Stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- National School Lunch Program
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Head Start
- Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Food Distribution Program On Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
There are also other federal assistance programs that may qualify you for the free cell phone program. The only way to find out for sure is to apply.
The application process is fairly simple. Start by selecting the Lifeline provider right for you, and then request additional information.
Free cell phone providers in Florida include:
Access Wireless (Click Here)
Assurance Wireless (Click Here)
Safelink Wireless (Click Here)
T-Mobile (Click Here)
You may apply online in a couple of minutes by answering a few questions. You may also apply over the phone or by mail, depending on what works best for you.
Lifeline’s free plan includes a lot more than people often expect. Free features include:
- 250 monthly minutes
- Free 911 calls
- Local calls
- International long distance calls to 100+ locations
- Voice mail
- 411 directory assistance
- National long distance
There are no credit checks in order to qualify. Instead you only need to qualify for other assistance programs, which provide the necessary proof that your income is low enough to require assistance.
If you are approved for the program you will receive your free phone in the mail and may start using free minutes right away. (Reference)
A cell phone gives you access to a new world of opportunities you can use to get back on your feet so that someday soon you can afford your own phone. A cell phone gives you the chance to apply for jobs, answer calls from potential employers and even start up your own business. Every year you must verify that you are still eligible for the Lifeline program.
If your free phone breaks My Broken Phone will fix it faster than you can say ‘uh-oh,’ and at a price you can afford.
Not everyone qualifies for Florida’s free cell phone program, but there are other ways to get a phone you can afford. My Broken Phone offers new and used models at all different price points. If the monthly cost is a concern to you we have no contract phones that won’t break the bank. We also offer affordable financing plans that require no credit checks. All you need is a bank account and proof of employment to qualify.
If you’re having troubles affording a phone or monthly plan but don’t qualify for Florida’s free program come talk to us. We will do what we can to get you a reliable cellphone you can comfortably afford.
Contact us by phone or visit your local My Broken Phone location to learn more!