SafeLink Wireless and Assurance Wireless are two companies that offer free government cell phones in the state of New Hampshire. Qualified residents can apply for and receive a free cell phone along with free airtime. These phones are made possible through the Lifeline/Link-Up program.
New Hampshire Discounted Home Phone Service
Residents who prefer to use a landline as opposed to cell phones can benefit from the discounted phone program in New Hampshire. As with the free cell phone program, qualified individuals can save money. Phone companies are offering a discount of approximately $8 off of basic phone service. The savings amount will vary from phone company to phone company. To find out how much of a discount your company offers visit the Lifeline Support website.
The Lifeline Support website is a site run by the Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC) in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). They administer the Lifeline/Link-Up program across the United States. Once on the site, click on the state of New Hampshire. You’ll be able to select phone companies to find out how much of a discount they offer.
While the Lifeline Support website is a convenient service, they may not list all New Hampshire phone companies participating in the Lifeline program. The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has a more complete listing of participating companies. If your phone company isn’t listed on the Lifeline Support site, you call them to find out how about their discounts.
In addition to monthly discounts, you may be eligible to offset part of the phone installation costs. The Link-Up program will pay up to 50% of the cost to install phone service. The maximum they pay is $30. Households that live one federally recognized tribal lands might qualify for the Enhanced Link-Up program, which will defray up to $100 of the installation costs.
Eligibility Criteria for Free or Discounted Phone Service
Because the program was created to help low-income individuals/households obtain home phone service, you must participate in one of the following assistance programs:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance / Section 8
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- National School Lunch (free program only)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- There may be additional eligibility criteria for households living on federally recognized tribal lands
You may also qualify if your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Applying for Discounts or Free Service
To apply for a free cell phone from SafeLink Wireless, visit their website and complete their online application.
To apply through Assurance Wireless you can either visit their website and complete an online application or download their application and mail/fax it back.
For discounted phone services you must contact your phone company and request and the Lifeline/Link-Up application. Once you receive it, complete the necessary information and send it back as soon as possible to the phone company. Processing the information takes several weeks.
- If you elect to participate in the free cell phone program, you should be aware of the residency requirement.
- You may only participate in one of the phone programs at a time. You may not enroll in the free cell phone program and discounted home phone line service simultaneously.