Tennessee Free Government Cell Phone Service Guide

tennessee free government cell phone service guide

Tennessee is a southern state known for its role in country and rock ‘n roll history in America. The state also has well natural beauty, and is home to the Great Smoky Mountains.

Some of the major industries in Tennessee include: automative manufacturing, music production, energy, health care, and agriculture. However, nearly 14% of Tennessee residents live below the state’s poverty line and may struggle to pay their bills.

The Lifeline benefit program provides qualified Americans free cell phone service, and may help Tennessee residents stay connected to their world, regardless of their income.

What is Lifeline Tennessee Free Government Cell Phone Service?

As stated above, Lifeline is a government benefit program that provides eligible people in America with free government cell phone service. It is a monthly benefit also available to all eligible people living in Tennessee.

Lifeline began in the 1980s by the Federal Communications Commission and the federal government to help low income Americans with discounted or free landline communications services. In the 2000s, Lifeline was updated by the government to include wireless phone services.

Free government cell phone service for Tennessee residents is given by approved companies known as Lifeline providers. In order to receive free government cell phone service, Tennessee residents must sign up with an approved Lifeline provider. If their signup is approved, they will receive free cell phone service from their provider.

Why Tennessee Residents Should Get Free Cell Phone Service

Lifeline is a government program that is available for all eligible people who apply for service. Lifeline helps low income people with staying connected to family, friends, work, and 911 medical services.

Having cell phone service allows Tennessee residents to look for employment opportunities on their own cell phone. Being able to stay connected is important to Tennessee residents.

Lifeline Cell Phone Service Eligibility Requirements in Tennessee

If you live in Tennessee and already participate in a government program, or you have low income, then you may be eligible for free cell phone service.

What is the easiest way to qualify for Lifeline free government cell phone service in Tennessee? If you participate in a government program such as Medicaid or Food Stamps, then you may automatically qualify for Lifeline. Specific government programs may vary by state, but below are the most popular government assistance programs that will qualify you for Lifeline cell phone service in Tennessee:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps)
  • Supplemental Security income (SSI)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8 voucher)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
  • National School Lunch Program (Free Lunch Program only)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
  • Most other government assistance programs (varies by state)

If you don’t currently participate in a government program, then you may alternatively qualify for Lifeline in Tennessee if you have low income. If your total household income is at or below Tennessee’s Federal Poverty Guidelines, then you may qualify for Lifeline. See Tennessee’s Federal Poverty Guidelines here.

How to Apply for Free Government Cell Phone Service in Tennessee

The first thing you should do when applying for free government cell phone service in Tennessee, is choose your Lifeline service provider. We recommend you research before deciding which Lifeline provider you want to sign up with.

Take the time to select the best Lifeline service provider for you and your household. Lifeline providers typically offer various cell phone plans, so take the time to look up your available providers before signing up. 

Free Cell Phone Providers in Tennessee

Below are three popular Lifeline cell phone service providers in America. While all of the providers below provide their own cell plans with minutes and data, all of these companies are reliable and offer quality cell phone service.

  • Q Link Wireless
  • Safelink Wireless
  • Assurance Wireless

Once you have chosen your Lifeline provider, you can sign up immediately. The easiest way to apply for Lifeline in Tennessee is online through your Lifeline provider’s website.

The online application is different for every Lifeline provider, but the signup usually involves these five steps below:

  1. Enter personal information, such as your name and address.
  2. Enter information that proves your identity (usually your SSN).
  3. Select the government assistant program you currently participate in. If you do not currently participate in a government program, the application will then let you apply with low income.
  4. Select the Lifeline service plan you want from the provider. Most providers offer more than one type of Lifeline service plan for you to choose from. If there is only one option, this step may not show up in the online application.
  5. Submit proof document(s) that show you either participate in a government assistance program, or you have low income. Your Lifeline provider will help with providing the proof documentation. If you need help submitting documents, you should contact your Lifeline provider.
tennessee free government cell phone service checklist

Once your Lifeline application is approved, your provider will assist with setting up your free cell phone service!


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