Having retired doesn’t mean senior citizens should lack activities. Even some seniors might be busier than they have ever been! For that, they need a cell phone to support their daily activities. With a cell phone, staying connected becomes easier than ever. It’s the most effective way to contact family and friends, even doing some jobs. Besides, senior citizen needs a cell phone to contact a doctor and any healthcare service providers. Or they need to call an emergency in times medical assistance is needed. A cell phone is vital even for seniors, but some of them may have a financial disadvantage to afford monthly cell phone plans. Thus, the government provides senior citizen cell phone plans free through a Lifeline Program.
In the 1980s, the government established a Lifeline Assistance Program. It’s a program that ensures senior citizens and families with financial disadvantages having access to the telecommunication services.
It helps improving access to education, jobs, and other crucial opportunities. The government collaborates with telecommunication companies to give free cell phones to senior citizens. It also includes a free cell phone. While Lifeline is not specifically for senior citizens, many of them can qualify.
Cell phone companies offer cell phone plans with free text messages, free minutes, and data. These plans are varied by the state where you live and cell phone providers. Not only do you get a free cell phone plan, but you may also get a free cell phone. Some providers even let you bring your current phone as long as your phone is compatible.
The qualifications for free cell phone plans are nearly the same for all states. However, every state can add specific requirements. Are you or your senior lives on a low income at or below (or at most) 135% of poverty guidelines? If so, you or your senior is eligible to receive a free monthly cell phone plan.
Senior citizens are also qualified if they’re a member of the federal assistance programs. These programs include:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP)
SNAP is a program that helps American residents with food and finances. If a senior is a member of SNAP, he or she is eligible for free cell phone plans.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP helps eligible low-income households with their cooling and heating energy costs. Plus, it helps with energy crisis assistance and bill payment assistant. Energy-related home repairs and weatherization are also included. If a senior citizen is a member, he or she can qualify to get free cell phone plans.
To help the eligible low-income family with free medical service, the government provides Medicaid. Senior citizens are also eligible for a Lifeline senior citizen cell phone plans free.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is one of the federal assistance programs for American low-income residents. These include individuals and the elderly. SSI provides clothes, food, and shelter. To qualify for Lifeline, senior citizens need to provide active membership.
Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
Participating in FPHA makes senior citizens qualify for free cell phone plans. To apply for Lifeline, you need to provide some documents. It includes a public house assistance leasing agreement.
Veteran’s Pension and Survivors Benefit
Veteran’s Pension and Survivors Benefit is one of the ways on how to get free cell phone plans for senior citizens. They may eligible and can apply for Lifeline.
However, senior citizens must know that she or he is only allowed to get one Lifeline per household.
How to Get Free Cell Phone Plans for Senior Citizens
If senior citizens meet one of those criteria above, here’s what a senior citizen can do to get a free cell phone plans.
Senior citizens are qualified for Lifeline free cell phone plans if they live under poverty guidelines. They also qualify if they participate in one of the federal assistance programs.
Choose Lifeline Cell Phone Providers
After checking their eligibility, you can find out about cell phone companies in your area. You can check service providers in the area where you live by contacting the providers’ customer support.
The senior citizen can also visit the cell phone providers near your residence. You can ask what the Lifeline providers offer and compare the free cell phone plans options.
Apply for the Lifeline Free Cell Phone Plans
Once you’ve chosen a cell phone provider, you can complete an online Lifeline application to sign up. Or you can come to the Lifeline provider near you.
If you prefer to send the application through mail, don’t forget to complete the required documents. Lifeline service providers may have varied approval processes. They will contact and let you know the result.
How to Choose the Best Lifeline Providers?
The government collaborates with several nationwide wireless companies for the Lifeline program. Besides, there are also regional wireless companies. You can find more than one Lifeline service providers in your state. They may offer different free cell phone plans for senior citizens. Some other boasts in the cheapest cell phone plans for seniors. Thus, you need to check carefully each cell phone plan to get the best offer.
There are some considerations you need to look at when choosing Lifeline providers. You can check them out before you choose free cell phone plans for senior citizens.
Senior citizens may only need a cell phone with minute plans. It helps them to stay connected with family, friends, or doctors. Having a reliable network and strong signal across the country is a peace of mind when they need to use the phone.
Minutes and text
Most senior citizens prefer to have a simple phone and plan they only need. Cell phone plans with unlimited talk can be the best for senior citizens who make lots of calls. Text message allotment can also be helpful. They can use it to check and confirm the doctor’s appointment. Cell phones with a large button will definitely help them while texting.
Senior citizens are getting more tech-savvy lately. They’re able to operate a smartphone and make use of the applications. Video calls with grandkids? Send photos and videos? Those are things seniors can do with data. They can also use data to access health services or watch the news.
Lifeline Service Providers
The government works together with more than 50 cellular phone companies for Lifeline. Safelink Wireless and Assurance Wireless are the two biggest Lifeline providers. Plus, they have wider coverages compared to other companies. They don’t just offer free cell phone plans, but a free cell phone, also.
Here is a list of the Lifeline providers that offer senior citizen cell phone plans free.
Access Wireless is becoming one of the major players in Lifeline providers. They provide free cell phone and cell phone plans in more than 30 states. These include Arkansas, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
They will give you a free cell phone and a cell phone plan. You’ll get unlimited texts, 750 minutes call, and 200MB data every month. Plus, you can get a free unlimited text to domestic numbers. If you’re Californian residents, you’ll get 1,000 minutes call. Text and data allotments are the same.
American Assistance is provided by Broadband & Telecommunications. They offer free government cell phone plans for Americans, including senior citizens. You can find their services in more than 10 states. These states include Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Utah.
If you’re eligible, you can get 500 minutes calls and 500 free texts every month. American Assistance also offers free features. Free call waiting, voice mail, 3-way calling, and caller ID are one of them. However, this may not be the best for senior citizens who need the internet. American Assistance doesn’t offer free data.
Assist Wireless provides Lifeline program in Arkansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Maryland, and Oklahoma. They offer different senior citizens free cell phone plans. Generally, you can get free 1,000 minutes of talks, 500 text messages, and 50MB data.
However, Oklahoma offers various plans with additional costs as little as 1 USD a month. It’s perfect for senior citizens on a tight budget. What’s more, Assist Wireless allows the eligible customers to bring an old device.
Assurance Wireless is one of the best Lifeline free phone and plan services. They’re provided by Spring/Nextel. Assurance Wireless serves in 40 states. Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Oregon, and Virginia are amongst the 40 states. Having wider coverages, make Assurance Wireless more accessible for Americans.
Eligible senior citizens will get 350 minutes calls, unlimited text, and 500MB data. On top of that, Assurance Wireless will give eligible customers a free smartphone, not a basic phone. There’s a special offer for California residents. The eligible senior citizens can get unlimited texts and minutes, plus 5GB data.
You can always top up for additional services using Virgin Mobile Top-Up Card. It’s available at stores across the country. There are also unlimited Mexico and Canada international talk and text plans. You can get these plans for 5 USD and 10 USD.
enTouch Wireless is another Lifeline provider offered by Boomerang Wireless. They’re available in more than twenty states. Residents in Georgia, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming qualify for Lifeline. Eligible senior citizens will get free 500 minutes call, 10MB data, and 100 texts every month. California residents, as usual, get additional 500MB data every month.
Feelsafe Wireless is offered by Air Voice Wireless. They provide free government phones and service plans. They’re available in Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. You can also find them in California, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
As a start, senior citizens will get a free cell phone if qualified. Plus, they will get 500 texts, 1,000 voice minutes, and 500MB data each month. For California residents, they’ll have two options for cell phone plans. The first one is unlimited text and talk. Or you can choose unlimited text and talk, 100 international SMS, plus 2GB data every month.
Oklahoma tribal residents also get special offers. They will receive unlimited texts, unlimited talk, unlimited SMS, plus 3.5GB of data. Each customer will get a free caller ID, call waiting, and call forwarding. Other features are a voicemail account and free 3-way calling. Besides, you can call 911/E911 and Feelsafe customer service for free.
As of one the Lifeline providers, Infiniti Mobile provides you a free smartphone with a free monthly plan. You’ll receive unlimited texts, free 1,000 talks, and 1GB data. The plan may vary by state. You can get Infiniti Mobile in Maryland, Georgia, Vermont, and Nevada. Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wisconsin are also available.
Besides, Infiniti Mobile free plan includes voicemail, call waiting, and caller ID. You can also get a free text & picture messaging and 3-way calling. And it’s Wi-Fi compatible. What’s more, you have access to call 911 for free.
Q Link Wireless
Q Link Wireless provides senior citizens cell phone plans free in more than 20 states. These include Iowa, Maine, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, and Texas.
Eligible Lifeline customers will receive a free monthly plan. It includes unlimited text and talks. Plus, you’ll get 3GB data. The cell phone plan may vary in each state.
If you low on minutes and data, you can add directly from your Q Link phone starts from 3 USD. They also have a Q Link Bonus Program. You can earn free 100 extra minutes when you refer Q Link to your family or friends.
SafeLink Wireless is known as the oldest and largest Lifeline provider. It’s provided by Tracfone. And they have millions of customers across the States. Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and West Virginia are amongst the 40 states.
Lifeline customers can get a free cell phone. Plus, free cell phone plans every month. You’ll get unlimited texts, 350 minutes, and 500MB data. And SafeLink allows you to bring your phone to get a free SIM card.
TruConnect provides free Lifeline phone and phone service. Residents in several states like Kansas, Missouri, and Louisiana can get a free cell phone plan. They’ll receive unlimited texts, 1,000 minutes, and 2GB data every month. For Texas residents, they will get free 100 minutes and 100 texts, plus 500MB data. California residents can get unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 400MB data.
Alternatives Cell Phone Plans for Senior Citizens
If you or your seniors are not eligible for senior citizen cell phone plans free, there are other options you can get less expensive plans, including:
Several providers offer prepaid and no-contract plans. The cost starts at 10 USD. You can buy a one-time phone that combines with a pre-purchased block of talk or text. It’s known as pay-as-you-go phones. So you can buy a plan that only suits your needs without paying monthly bills or hidden costs.
Inexpensive cell phone plans
Some biggest cell phone providers, including Verizon and AT&T, offer affordable prepaid plans. These are perfect for senior citizens who don’t use a cell phone too many often but want to have for emergencies.
You can get T-Mobile for 3USD each month. You’ll get 30 texts, 30 minutes of talk, or any combination of texts and minutes up to 30 every month. Meanwhile, AT&T offers 2USD/day. Other providers like US Mobile offers a base cost as 4USD/month with minutes and text. Ting offers texts, data, and call minutes start at 6 USD/month.
GreatCall also can be your choice. They provide 200 minutes call with 14.99USD/month. On the other hand, TracFone offers a pay-as-you-go plan for 10USD/month. You can get 90 minutes of talk, text, and web access.
Senior citizens may find that they’re qualified for the Lifeline free cell phone plans, but there are no companies offer Lifeline in your area. Or maybe the free cell phone plans don’t suit your need. You can choose several Lifeline providers that offer discounted cell phone plans. You’ll get a 7.25 USD discount per month. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are one of the companies that offer discounted plans.
AT&T offers Lifeline discount service in 17 states plus the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Discounts and plans may vary from one state to another. In fact, you should check out AT&T cell phone plans for seniors. Meanwhile, Verizon offers Lifeline Discount only in four states: North Dakota, Iowa, New York, and Wisconsin. They only offer one plan at the cost of 33.99 USD/month.
T-Mobile offers Lifeline discounts in 26 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. Eligible customers may get as much as 13.50 USD discount per month. What’s more, residents in Tribal lands may only need to pay 1USD/month. You can check the Lifeline providers’ website. Or you can call their customer service for more info about the Lifeline discounted program.
Senior citizens may have retired, but they still need access to communication. It’s a way to stay connected with their family and friends. Perhaps, some of them only need cell phone plans to talk and send text messages, while others need more. However, they may have limited income to get monthly plans. With Lifeline, they can get senior citizen cell phone plans free.
Choosing the best provider and plan is important for senior citizens. It can give them peace of mind, knowing that they can rely on the network in case emergencies arise. You must check which company in your location that provides Lifeline. And you need to carefully choose the offers to get the most suitable for your needs. There are also several options if senior citizens can’t get free cell phone plans. Prepaid pay-as-you-go and Lifeline discounted can be another option.