Kentucky has 18.8 percent of the state’s residents living under the poverty rate (according to the U.S. Census Bureau). With the U.S. national poverty rate at 15.4 percent, Kentucky’s poverty rate is 3.4 percent worse than the national average. This means that tens of thousands of people living in Kentucky have trouble paying their monthly bills.
Many low-income individuals living in Kentucky try to save money by not having a cell phone. This is a mistake! A cell phone is not a luxury–it is a necessity. Without a cell phone, you could not stay connected to family, friends, co-workers, job opportunities, doctors appointments, or 911 emergency services.
Don’t live without a cell phone any longer. There are free government cell phones in Kentucky! Yes, there is a government benefit program called Lifeline service that will assist you with getting a free cell phone and free cell phone service in Kentucky. Learn more about Lifeline below.
What is the Lifeline Assistance Program?
The Federal Lifeline Assistance Program is sometimes nicknamed the “free government cell phone program”. Also called Lifeline, or Lifeline service, the program was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the 1980s as a way to provide discounts on landline telephone services to low-income people.
The program was updated in the 2000s to also include cell phone services. Around the time Lifeline was updated, the FCC started allowing private phone companies to provide the free phone services to eligible low-income individuals. Contrary to what many think, the government or the FCC has no part in paying for the free cell phones. Instead, these approved Lifeline service providers pay for the cost of the phones to help people that are eligible for the program.
Who Is Eligible for Free Government Cell Phones in Kentucky?
As a rule of thumb, anyone who meets one of the two eligibility criteria may qualify for free government cell phones in Kentucky. The first eligibility criteria is having a total yearly household income that meets the Federal Poverty Guidelines for Kentucky (which varies each year and state-by-state).
You may also qualify for free government cell phones in Kentucky if you currently participate in any of the following government assistance programs:
- Food Stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- National School Lunch Program (Free Lunch Program Only)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Most Other Government Assistance Programs in Kentucky
How Can You Apply for Free Government Cell Phones in Kentucky?
Applying for a free government cell phone in Kentucky is fast and easy. First, choose a reliable Lifeline service provider that serves Kentucky. Secondly, contact your chosen Lifeline provider and ask for more information, or sign up online. You may also sign up over the phone or by mailing in an application.
With Lifeline, you can stay connected to work opportunities and co-workers. You can stay connected to family members, friends, and doctors. You can even have the peace of mind staying connected to 911 emergency services. Check your eligibility or sign up now by entering your information in the blue box below and clicking on the orange button!