Free Government Phones By State 2020

Lifeline Assistance is an FCC-mandated (Federal Communications Commission), government-sponsored program that helps the financially disadvantaged receive a cell phone at no cost to them.

An estimated 12-15 million Americans have a Lifeline cell phone and about 10 million more are qualified to enroll in the program and receive a free cell phone. Those who wish to see if they qualify or want to enroll in the Lifeline Assistance program can go to the Free Government Cell Phones website.

Some companies that participate in Lifeline offer new smartphones such as Android, but it is likely that recipients will receive used, refurbished models or a basic feature phone. Lifeline users will typically get 250 minutes per month or up to unlimited voice minutes and sometimes unlimited texting as well.

Lifeline by State

Forty-nine states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico currently offer Lifeline cell phone service providers. Eligibility requirements vary by state; however, there are some federal programs that one can qualify with in every state:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Veteran’s Pension and Survivor’s Benefit
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
  • Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
  • Tribal Head Start (only households meeting its income qualifying standard)
  • Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

Alabama

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, North American Local, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, SouthernLINC Wireless, T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Alaska

  • Free cell phone providers: Alaska DigiTel, arctic Scope Telephone Association Cooperative, Copper Valley Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies in Alaska: AT&T Mobility, Cordova Wireless communications
  • Eligibility: any benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for Alaska

Arizona

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Terracom
  • Lifeline discount companies: Total Call Mobile
  • Eligibility: any benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Arkansas

  • Free cell phones providers: Absolute Mobile, Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Assist Wireless, Cintex Wireless, Conexion Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q-Link Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Terracom Wireless, TruConnect, True Wireless, US Connect
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, U.S. Connect, Viaero Wireless
  • Eligibility: any benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

California

  • Free cell phones providers: Access wireless, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Feel Safe Wireless, Life Wireless, Safelink Wireless, SafetyNet Wireless, Tag Mobile, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: none
  • Eligibility: if you or anyone in your household is enrolled in any benefits program listed above; if your total annual household income is at or less than annual income limits for your household size

Colorado

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Tempo Communications, Terracom Wireless, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: none
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Connecticut

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Life Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Delaware

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

District of Columbia

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Florida

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (Note: some providers in Florida say 135% and some say 150%)

Georgia

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Amerimex Wireless, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, SafetyNet Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tempo Communication, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: SouthernLINC Wireless, T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Hawaii

  • Free cell phone providers: American Assistance, EnTouch Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Tempo Communications
  • Lifeline discount companies: none
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Idaho

  • Free cell phone providers: Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Q Link Wireless
  • Lifeline discounted companies: AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Illinois

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Life Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Terracom Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: U.S. Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Indiana

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Terracom Wireless, Tempo Communications, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Iowa

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Terracom Wireless, Tempo Communications, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: iWireless (Iowa Wireless Services), U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Kansas

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tempo Communications, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: Epic Touch/EpicPCS, U.S. Cellular, Viaero Wireless
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Kentucky

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, Easy Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Feelsafe Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, SafetyNet Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Tempo Communications, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Louisiana

  • Free cell phone companies: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Conexion Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, NewPhone Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Terracom, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Maine

  • Free cell phone providers: Assurance Wireless, Cintex Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Tag Mobile
  • Lifeline discount companies: U.S. Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Maryland

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assist Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Cintex Wireless, Conexion Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Tempo Communications, Terracom Wireless, TruConnect, US Connect
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile, U.S. Connect
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Massachusetts

  • Free cell phone providers: Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up, Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Michigan

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Feelsafe Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, SafetyNet Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Tempo Communications, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (Note: some providers in Michigan say 135% and some say 150%)

Minnesota

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assist Wireless, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tempo Communications, Terracom, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Mississippi

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount providers: AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Missouri

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assist Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Easy Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Tempo Communications, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount providers: T-Mobile, Total Call Mobile, U.S. Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Montana

  • Does not have a Lifeline program

Nebraska

  • Free cell phone providers: EnTouch Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tempo Communications
  • Lifeline discounted companies: U.S. Cellular, Viaero Wireless
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Nevada

  • Free cell phone providers: Absolute Mobile, Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Tag Mobile, Tempo Communications, Terracom Wireless, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: none
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under specific guidelines

New Hampshire

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile, Total Call Mobile, U.S. Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

New Jersey

  • Free cell phone providers: Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (Note: some providers in New Jersey say 135% and some say 150%)

New Mexico

  • Free cell phone providers: Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: none
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

New York

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

North Carolina

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

North Dakota

  • Free cell phone providers: EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Tempo Communications
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, Nemont Wireless, Verizon Wireless
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Ohio

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Feelsafe Wireless, i-Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tempo Communications, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Oklahoma

  • Free cell phone providers: Assist Wireless, Easy Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Feelsafe Wireless, Infinity Mobile, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Sprocket Wireless, Tag Mobile, Terracom Wireless, TruConnect, True Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: Epic Touch/EpicPCS, U.S. Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Oregon

  • Free cell phone providers: Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Pennsylvania

  • Free cell phone providers: Amerimex Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Feelsafe Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, SafetyNet Wireless, Tag Mobile, Terracom Wireless, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Puerto Rico

  • Free cell phone providers: Absolute Mobile, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, Claro de Puerto Rico, Centennial de Puerto Rico, Open Movil de Puerto Rico, Total Call Mobile, T-Mobile
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Rhode Island

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, Cintex Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Tempo Communications, True Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: none
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

South Carolina

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, ClearTalk Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Feelsafe Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Tempo Communications, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: none
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

South Dakota

  • Free cell phone providers: EnTouch Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Tennessee

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Cleartalk Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Texas

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Terracom, TruConnect, True Mobile
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (Note: some providers in Texas say 135% and some 150%)

Utah

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tempo Communications
  • Lifeline discount companies: none
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Vermont

  • Free cell phone providers: Q Link Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: none
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; can qualify based on total household income (check with provider)

Virginia

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Washington

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Terracom Wireless
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, Inland Cellular, T-Mobile, U.S Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

West Virginia

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, Conexion Wireless, Cintex Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Gulf Coast Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Stand Up Wireless, Tag Mobile, Tempo Communications, Terracom Wireless, TruConnect, U.S. Connect
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, U.S. Cellular
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Wisconsin

  • Free cell phone providers: Access Wireless, American Assistance, Assurance Wireless, EnTouch Wireless, Feelsafe Wireless, Life Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Safelink Wireless, SafetyNet Wireless, Tag Mobile, Tempo Communications, Terracom Wireless, TruConnect
  • Lifeline discount companies: AT&T Mobility, Element Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Wyoming

  • Free cell phones providers: EnTouch Wireless, Tempo Communications
  • Lifeline discount companies: Nemont Wireless
  • Eligibility: any of the benefit programs listed above; total household income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
State 2020 Pop.
Alabama4,908,620
Alaska734,002
Arizona7,378,490
Arkansas3,039,000
California39,937,500
Colorado5,845,530
Connecticut3,563,080
Delaware982,895
District of Columbia720,687
Florida21,993,000
Georgia10,736,100
Hawaii1,412,690
Idaho1,826,160
Illinois12,659,700
Indiana6,745,350
Iowa3,179,850
Kansas2,910,360
Kentucky4,499,690
Louisiana4,645,180
Maine1,345,790
Maryland6,083,120
Massachusetts6,976,600
Michigan10,045,000
Minnesota5,700,670
Mississippi2,989,260
Missouri6,169,270
Montana1,086,760
Nebraska1,952,570
Nevada3,139,660
New Hampshire1,371,250
New Jersey8,936,570
New Mexico2,096,640
New York19,440,500
North Carolina10,611,900
North Dakota761,723
Ohio11,747,700
Oklahoma3,954,820
Oregon4,301,090
Pennsylvania12,820,900
Rhode Island1,056,160
South Carolina5,210,100
South Dakota903,027
Tennessee6,897,580
Texas29,472,300
Utah3,282,120
Vermont628,061
Virginia8,626,210
Washington7,797,100
West Virginia1,778,070
Wisconsin5,851,750
Wyoming567,025