You may not know this, but Illinois is an economic powerhouse in America. As of 2010, its total gross state product was number 5 in the whole country. The 2010 per capita income in Illinois was $41,411. On the flipside, Illinois is in a dire financial state, regardless of its size. For a very long time, Illinois has spent far more than its means, and this has caused much greater financial problems for its residents since the national economy has slowed. Illinois has tried to fix its budget deficit by increasing corporate taxes, and this has caused businesses to flee the state, which has made the unemployment rate go higher. Fortunately, the Lifeline phone service program can assist the unemployed and other financially challenged residents to get a free cell phone from the government. Having a free cell phone and free minutes makes it much easier to contact potential employers and secure the job you so desperately need to pay your bills and thrive. Luckily, you have two major choices by which you can get your Lifeline phone. In this article, we’ll be listing out free cellphone providers in Illinois, as well as the criteria you need to meet to get one.
Free Cell Phone Providers in Illinois
Below is a list of all the Lifeline Assistance free government cell phones in Illinois. They all offer varying plans and different numbers of minutes, as well as different refill options, and they cater to different geographic locations. Go through each of them and select the cellphone company and plan that’s best suited for you.
- Access Wireless
- American Assistance
- Life Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
- Terracom Wireless
- Lifeline Discount Companies in Illinois
You may qualify for Lifeline Assistance, but Illinois is a large state, so you may find that none of the companies mentioned above offer free government cell phones in your area of residence. However, there is no need to fret, since there is another viable option. The cellphone companies listed below do not offer free cell phone plans, but they offer appetizing lifeline discounts on their regular mobile phone charges in Illinois.
- U.S. Cellular
Lifeline Cell Phone Eligibility in Illinois
You are eligible for a free lifeline government cellphone in Illinois if you receive benefits from any of the programs listed 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)
Income-based Eligibility for a Free Government Cellphone in Illinois
You can also be deemed eligible for a free cellphone in Illinois if your total household income per annum is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Members in Household: Annual income
1 member : $17,226
2 members : $23,274
3 members : $29,322
4 members : $35,370
5 members : $41,418
6 members : $47,466
7 members : $53,514
8 members : $59,562
For each additional member add $6,048 annually
How to Get a Free Lifeline Assistance Cellphone in Illinois?
Below are the steps you need to take to get a free cellphone in Illinois.
- Choose A Telephone Company That Best Suits Your Needs
We have already listed out the cellphone companies that give out free lifeline cellphones in Illinois. It is up to you to go through the plans and discounts they have to offer you. Although almost all of them offer the same deals, it is still your choice to go with one that you seem best. Be sure to select a telephone company that suits your specific requirements. Investigate each of them one by one before you make your choice.
- Fill And Submit The Application Form
After you have chosen your preferred cellphone company, you will need to ask for an application form and fill it out. Remember to accurately include all the relevant information required. False information could hinder your application process. It could actually get you disqualified. All carriers that issue free cell phones in Illinois will give you an application form upon your request. The information you are expected to provide include your full names, date of birth, current place of work, annual income, and a number of people in your household. If you are applying based on income eligibility, then you will need to provide your recent salary statement of account. Your bank can pull it out for you. But if you are applying based on your participation in any of the above-listed lifeline programs, then your membership cards will have to be submitted along with the form.
To round it all up, all you will need to do to get a free government cellphone in Illinois is –
- Be eligible for it (based on annual income or participation in a lifeline government program)
- Select a cell phone company
- Fill the application form and provide required documents as proof of your eligibility
- Submit the form
- Wait for your government-issued cell phone
If you live in Illinois and you meet the eligibility criteria for a free cell phone from the government, then you can apply immediately.