Assurance Wireless Lifeline Free Smartphone Plan
Assurance Wireless, which is backed by Virgin Mobile and supported by the Lifeline Assistance program, offers free cell service to qualified applicants. This service helps low-income households enjoy the benefits of being able to talk/text and access the Internet on a free Smartphone. Currently (June, 2019), the Assurance Wireless Lifeline plan is available in the following states:
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia
If your state is not in their service area, check back later as they seem to add new states from time to time. However, if you have an immediate need for a free government cell phone, please click on the State Listing link in the menu above. There you will find a listing of Lifeline providers in each state. There’s a good chance you’ll find an alternative provider to fit your needs.
What Assurance Wireless Offers
If you qualify you will receive a free Android Smartphone, free talk time, free texting and free data. Currently Assurance Wireless offers 350 talk minutes, unlimited texting and 3GB of data. The number of free talk minutes and data vary depending on the state in which you live.
If you find that you need more data, you could always purchase additional limits. The amounts listed below are for 30 days service:
You could also purchase additional talk minutes at the cost of $.10 per minute.
Note: International calls/texts are not free. Assurance Wireless offers discounted rates for international calls/texts.
The smartphones run on the Android operating system. The current inventory of phones includes Kyocera, ANS, ZTE and more. All phones except for the Alcatel OneTouch CinchTM have a touchscreen display. In addition to the usual smartphone features such as camera, alarm, speaker, etc, they each have M3/T3 HAC rating for the hearing impaired.
Qualifying for Assurance Wireless
In order to get a free phone and service, you must meet the qualification criteria. Keep in mind that the qualifying criteria differ by state. In general, if you participate in any of the following programs*, you qualify for the Assurance Wireless program:
*Please note, this is not a complete listing of qualifying programs.
If you don’t participate in any of the above programs, you may still qualify if your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Please visit the Assurance Wireless website to become familiar with your state's requirements.
Keep in mind there is an annual recertification process to ensure you remain eligible for the phone service. When asked to recertify, you must do so within 60 days or lose your benefits.
Applying for Free Phone
Applicants in states subject to the National Verification program can begin the application process by going to CheckLifeline.org. Once approved by the program, you can then visit the Assurance Wireless site and complete the process.
If you are not yet part of the National Verification rollout, you can apply by going to Assurance Wireless website, create an account and complete the online application. Or, you can call one of their customer service representatives at 1-888-898-4888.
Before starting the process, whether you're subject to National Verification or not, make sure you have the necessary documentation. You’ll not only need proof of participation in a qualifying government program, but you’ll also need a legal document to confirm you are who you say you are. Documents like a passport, state-issued driver’s license or military ID are just three acceptable forms.
Please be aware that you may only have one free government phone in your economic unit. If anyone in your economic unit (household) is participating in another Lifeline program, you won’t be eligible for Assurance Wireless unless the other program is canceled. If you are living in a group facility where other residents (not part of your household) participate in the Lifeline program, you'll need to complete the one per household worksheet.
Residency Check, Shipping and Usage
If you don't have a permanent residence, you must provide a temporary address. It must be an actual address and not a P.O. Box.
Out of curiosity, I called Assurance Wireless to find out how long it would take to get the phone after submitting a completed application. They told me it could take up to 4 weeks. However, you can always check the status of your application online.
Once you receive your phone, make sure you use it at least once every 30 days. If you don't, you will get a 15-day notice to use it. If you don't use it, your services will be terminated.
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.
Last Modified: 7 February 2020
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