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Are Free Government Cell Phones and Service Really Free?

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Are Free Government Cell Phones Free?

Are Free Government Cell Phones Free?Are free government cell phones and service really free? Yes; if eligible for the government benefit program called Lifeline Assistance, then you can receive a free cell phone and free monthly cell phone service!

How Does the Lifeline Program Work?

The Lifeline program (sometimes nicknamed the “free government cell phone program”) was created in the 1980s to provide low-income Americans access to landline telecommunications services. At the time, the program only gave a discount on the phone bill, which is about $10 or less. Later on, the program was updated to provide cell phone service. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) actually allows private phone companies to provide free monthly minutes to those who apply and are qualified.

When you sign up for the Lifeline program, you will receive an allotted amount of monthly airtime at no cost to you. Usually this airtime includes up to 250 free minutes per month, and includes features such as: free text messaging services, free access to 911 emergency calling, free voicemail, free 3-way calling, free caller ID, and sometimes free access to Wi-Fi (depends on phone models).

What About the Phones?

Although many people refer to the Lifeline program as the “free government cell phone program”, the government really isn’t the one who provides the free cell phones. Private companies who are approved by the FCC are actually the ones who pay for the cell phones to use with the free cell phone service. These companies are not mandated by government or the FCC to provide a free government cell phone. In fact, companies who provide Lifeline service choose to pay for and give free cell phones as a way to help out individuals in need.

So when you apply for Lifeline under your chosen Lifeline service provider, you will receive a completely free cell phone to use with their free service. It’s a win-win deal!

Are There Any Hidden Fees, Costs, or Restrictions?

Are Free Government Cell Phones Free?No; Lifeline service is completely free, unless otherwise stated by your Lifeline provider. Once you apply and are approved for Lifeline, you will receive a free cell phone with free monthly minutes. You will also enjoy absolutely no activation fees, hidden fees, or shipping fees. Basically, if you continue to be eligible for Lifeline and continue to use your free cell phone at least once every 60 days, then you will continue to receive your free monthly minutes.

Furthermore, your Lifeline service provider will never run a credit check on you, and you will never have to sign a service contract.

Can You Upgrade Services?

Absolutely! Many Lifeline service providers offer you a choice to “upgrade” the already free service for a very small fee. You can add extra airtime throughout the month, if needed; Lifeline providers offer exceptionally competitive prepaid rates. If available, you can sometimes even add Internet access or a data plan to your phone; note that not every Lifeline provider offers this service add-on, and not every free government cell phone offers Internet or data capabilities. We recommend you ask your current or future Lifeline service provider what add-on services they offer.


Are you ready to get your free government cell phone and service? Applying is so fast and easy; check your eligibility or apply now by entering your information below and clicking on the orange “Get Your Free Phone” button!