California is one of the most popular states, not just in America, but around the world. For this reason, you may think they would lead the way as far as receiving free government cellphones is concerned. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that Reach-Out wireless came to California. They were the first mobile phone company to give out free government cellphones in the state. Sadly, they are out of business as we speak today, but there are now several more cellphone companies that operate in California who give out free lifeline assistance government cellphones to qualified persons in the state. The good news for eligible beneficiaries is that these mobile phone vendors offer the most generous plans you can get anywhere else in America. These companies do not only offer qualified residents of California free cellphones, they also offer free unlimited voice limits and texts. California offers lifeline assistance companies a subsidy that is well above the subsidy offered in other states, and for this reason, qualified persons can receive cellphones and data plans that are of greater value than those in other states. Amazingly, California has a very high unemployment rate, actually much higher than the national average.
Free Cell Phone Providers in California
Here is a list of cellphone companies who are part of the lifeline assistance free government cellphone program in California. As you will observe, they all offer different plans ranging from voice calls to text, as well as geographical location, so be sure to choose the company that offers you the best deal according to your area of residence. We will include some of the packages these companies offer in brief. We believe this will help you make your decision.
Access Wireless: Free cellphone with 1,000 talk minutes or texts + 200mb data
Assurance Wireless: Under their California FREEdom Plan, you will receive a cell phone, unlimited talk, and text, plus 500 MB data.
Entouch Wireless: Freephone, unlimited minutes and texts, plus 500 MB data.
Feel Safe Wireless: Freephone, unlimited talk, unlimited text, 100 MB data, and 100 free international texts.
Life Wireless: Free cell phone plus unlimited voice and text, plus 500 MB of data.
Safelink Wireless: Free Android phone, unlimited voice calls, and unlimited texting, and you also get 500 MB of data per month (California deal only).
SafetyNet Wireless: Free cell phone, unlimited voice calls, and unlimited texting, and you also get 100 MB of data per month (California deal only).
Tag Mobile: Free cell phone, unlimited voice minutes, unlimited global texting, plus unlimited 2G/3G data.
TruConnect: TruConnect gives you a free smartphone plus unlimited talk and texting.
How to Qualify for a California Lifeline Cell Phone
There are two ways by which you can qualify for a free lifeline assistance government cellphone in California. We will list them out below.
Program-based eligibility: You can qualify for a lifeline assistance free government cellphone if you or a member of your household belong to any one of the following programs below.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
- Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Tribal Head Start (only those households meeting its income qualifying standard)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
Before 2017, there were several state programs that could allow you to be eligible for a free government-issued cellphone. As at today, federal laws have made them ineligible. They are listed below.
- Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
- Healthy Families Category A
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)
- Stanislaus County Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (StanWORKs)
- Welfare-to-Work (WTW)
- Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN)
There is another means by which you can qualify for a free cellphone in California.
Income-based eligibility: You can be deemed eligible if you or a member of your household has a gross yearly income that is leveled with or less than the annual income limits for the size of your household.
Members in Household: Annual income
1-2 members : $28,700
3 members: $32,600
4 members: $39,700
5 members: $46,800
6 members : $53,900
7 members : $61,000
8 members : $68,100
For each additional member add $7,100 annually
Steps You Need to Take to Get a Free Lifeline Assistance Government Cellphone
Below are the steps you need to take.
Check your eligibility status: If you are a beneficiary of the relevant lifeline assistance programs or your income level (or that of a member of your household) is leveled with or less than the gross annual income limit for the size of your household, then you can apply.
Fill out the application form: Get an application form from a lifeline assistance cellphone company of your choice and fill it out accurately. Include the relevant documents that prove your eligibility. Submit the form and wait for approval.
California offers one of the best lifeline assistance free cellphone programs in America. Be sure you are eligible before you apply. Also keep in mind that some lifeline assistance cellphone companies may not cater to your area, so do some research before you apply.