If you live in Illinois, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington, Missouri, Maine, Kansas or Rhode Island and meet the eligibility criteria, you can obtain a free government phone from YourTel Wireless. YourTel participates in the government’s Lifeline program and offers free cell phones along with 250 minutes of free talk time.
The 250 free talk minutes are automatically added to the phone service each month. The 250 minutes includes texting. Sending or receiving a text takes up one minute of talk time. If you don’t use all 250 minutes you cannot roll them over for use the following month. Either use it or lose it.
In addition to the 250 free minute plan, YourTel Wireless offers two more plans as follows:
- Oklahoma Lifeline Unlimited Plan at a cost of $3.99 per month plus taxes and fees. This plan does not include texting and you cannot carry unused minutes from one month to the next. Only available to Oklahoma residents living on Tribal Lands.
- Oklahoma Lifeline 1000 plan, which costs $1 a month (plus taxes and fees). On this plan you get 1,000 talk minutes or 1000 text messages. Each text message costs 1 minute to send and 1 minute to receive. As with the other YourTel plans, you cannot carry extra minutes from month to month. Only available to Oklahoma residents living on Tribal Lands.
Qualifying for Free Phones from YourTel Wireless
To qualify you must live in one of the following states:
- Rhode Island
In addition, you must participate in at least one of the following government assistance programs:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
Or have a household income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Depending on your state, you might qualify based on state-specific assistance programs.
The Application Process
YourTel Wireless makes it easy for applicants to start the process. Just go to their website and click on the Start Application link. Or, you can call them at 1-855-299-9991 and apply over the phone.
It takes several weeks for the application to be processed. If, however, you have questions about your application during the waiting/processing period, you can use the Check Application link to find your application’s status.
Once your application is approved and you receive your free government phone, be advised that you must re-certify annually. In other words, you must prove to YourTel that your financial situation still falls within the qualification criteria.