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Free Government Cell Phones in Iowa Are Available

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Free Government Cell Phone Iowa

Free Government Cell Phone in IowaDespite improvements to Iowa’s economy, the U.S. Census Bureau says that about 12.4 percent of Iowans are living under the poverty level. Tens of thousands of people living in Iowa struggle to pay their bills every day. This means that many are forgoing having a cell phone in order to save some cash. Cell phones are a necessary technology!

Being able to call friends, family members, job opportunities, co-workers, doctors, or 911 emergency services is an everyday necessity. Without a cell phone, many Iowans are unable to stay connected to their world.

There is a government benefit program that can help! Called the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program, this benefit will help Iowans get a free cell phone plus up to 250 free monthly minutes. Yes, free government cell phones in Iowa are available.

What is Lifeline?

Sometimes referred as the Lifeline program or the “free government cell phone program”, Lifeline is a government benefit that was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the 1980s. The program originally only gave a discount on landline phone services, but it was later updated in the 2000s to also include cell phone services.

Around the time cell phone services was added, the FCC started to allow some private phone companies the opportunity to provide the free services. These private companies are actually the ones that give the free cell phones to eligible low-income people. These free cell phones are to be used with the free monthly minutes, and the FCC or the government does not pay for them. Private phone companies wholly pay for the cost of the phones as their way of helping low-income people living in Iowa.

Who Can Get a Free Government Cell Phone in Iowa?

Free Government Cell Phone IowaAlthough free government cell phones in Iowa are available, not everyone can qualify for one. In order to get a free cell phone, you must meet one of the two main eligibility criteria of Lifeline. One criteria is having a yearly total household income that is at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines for Iowa.

The other eligibility criteria is being enrolled in any of the following government assistance programs:

  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
  • Food Stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Head Start (If Income Eligibility Criteria are Met)
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
  • National School Lunch Program (Free Lunch Program Only)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

How Do You Get a Free Cell Phone in Iowa?

We suggest that you first select a Lifeline service provider that provides Lifeline in Iowa. Once you select your provider, you can ask for more information by visiting their website. You may also sign up for Lifeline via contacting their customer service over the phone, by mail, or by filling out an application online (fastest way).

Don’t wait; ask for your free cell phone in minutes. Remember that free government cell phones in Iowa are available, and you may qualify for one! To check your eligibility for Lifeline or apply today, enter your information in the blue box above and click on the orange button.

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!