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Discounted Government Phones in Vermont

Unfortunately, Vermont residents cannot participate in the free government cell phone programs as offered through SafeLink Wireless, Assurance Wireless and ReachOut Wireless.    As of this writing (July 2011), none of the above carriers are approved to provide service in the state.

Although residents cannot take advantage of free government cell phones, eligible Vermont residents can benefit from monthly discounts on their basic home service thanks to the Lifeline/Link-Up programs.

Discounted Home Phone Service

The Lifeline/Link-Up program is a government program created to assist low-income individuals to pay for monthly phone service.  Because of this program, Vermont residents can enjoy discounts ranging from $13.40 to $14.48 per month.  According to the Lifeline Support website  (Lifeline Support is co-administered by the FCC and Universal Service Administrative Company) Vermont phone service provider discounts are as follows:

Phone Company

Monthly Discount on Basic Service

TDS Telecom


Telephone Operating Co. of VT  (FairPoint)


Waitsfield-Fayston Telephone Co., Inc.


If your phone company isn’t listed above, please call them to find out how much of a monthly discount they offer.

Installation Costs


Through the Link-Up portion of the program, eligible households can help offset the cost of installing phone service.  Link-Up will pay up to 50% of the cost to install phone service up to a maximum of $30. If the installation cost exceeds $30, you might be able to spread the outstanding amount over the course of a year.  You should confirm this with your phone company when ordering phone service.

Qualifying for Discounted Phone Service

According to the Vermont Public Service Commission, in order to qualify for Lifeline discounts you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • For families under the age of 65, you must have a household income of at or below 150% of the federal poverty guideline
  • For individuals 65 and older at or the household income must be at or below 175% of the federal poverty guideline

Applying for Discounted Phone Service

You can download the Lifeline Application from the Vermont Department of Taxes website.    Or, if your family is receiving benefits through Economic Services Division of the Department of Children and Families you can apply through DCF (1-800-287-0589)  and seniors 65 and older can apply through the Senior Help Line (1-800-642-5119).

The application process (once you’ve submitted your application and appropriate documentation) may take several weeks, so please be patient.  If you have questions about the status of your application, call your local phone company for an update.

About the author: This site was created to help people find information about free government phones. We do not mail, activate or repair free government phones nor do we provide service. If you have questions about phone service we suggest you contact the phone service provider directly.

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