In Oklahoma, more than 600,000 residents live below the federal poverty lines, and that’s about 16.1% of the total population of the. This is why they need lifeline assistance programs to ease their burdens. One such area where assistance is needed is telecoms. Thankfully, the free government cellphone program can be enjoyed by eligible candidates in the state of Oklahoma.
Which Cellphone Companies are Part of the Lifeline Assistance Program in Oklahoma?
Low-income earners and unemployed residents of Oklahoma would be glad to hear that many cellphone companies are part of the lifeline assistance programs in the state. Below is a list of mobile phone companies that offer free cellphones to eligible candidates in Oklahoma.
- Assist Wireless
- Easy Wireless
- Feel Safe Wireless
- Infiniti Mobile
- Life Wireless
- Q Link Wireless
- Sprocket Wireless
- Tag Mobile
- Terracom Wireless
- True Wireless
Most of these cellphone companies offer almost the same type of packages. However, you should do some investigation and find out the specific details of what they offer in terms of talk time, number of SMS, data plans, and discounts.
Who is an Eligible Candidate for a Free Government Cellphone in Oklahoma?
There are two classes of individuals who are eligible to apply for a free government cellphone in Oklahoma. Their qualifications are based on two things.
- Participation in a lifeline assistance program
- Annual household income
Other than these, there are no other ways to be eligible for a free government cellphone in Oklahoma.
Eligibility Based on Lifeline Assistance Programs
This is the first means by which you can be eligible for a free government cellphone in Oklahoma. Participation in any one of the programs listed below will qualify you for an application.
- Food Stamps/ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension and Survivor’s Benefit
- Section 8/ Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
- Tribal Head Start
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
Beneficiaries of any of these programs will be issued membership cards. If you are applying based on program participation, you will need to provide an original copy of your card as proof of eligibility.
Eligibility Based on Annual Household Income
The second way by which you can qualify for a free government cellphone in Oklahoma is based on your annual household income. According to Oklahoma’s household income rule, your annual income has to be leveled with or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. Below is a list of the number of household members and eligible annual income per household. Check to see where you fit in.
1 person: $17,226
2 people: $23,274
3 people: $29,322
4 people: $35,370
5 people: $41,418
6 people: $47,466
7 people: $53,514
8 people: $59,562
For each additional person, add $6,048
How to Apply for a Free Government Cellphone in Oklahoma
If you find that you are eligible for a free government cellphone in Oklahoma, then you can begin the application process right away. Below are the steps you need to take to apply for your free cellphone.
1. Choose a Cellphone Company
While several cellphone companies in Oklahoma participate in the free government cellphone program, you cannot apply to them all. You can only apply to one so you need to be careful when you chose. As we mentioned earlier, most of these cellphone companies offer almost the same plans. However, you may find slight differences in their packages. These differences could lie in voice call minutes, several free SMS, data bundles, or discounts. To be sure, visit the websites of each of the mobile phone companies and check out the packages they offer. After you’ve made up your mind on the cellphone company you would like to get your free phone from, you can proceed to the next step.
2. Request an Application Form
This is where the application itself begins. You can request an application form from a lifeline support center in your state. Another means by which you can get the form is by going to their website and downloading it. Either way, with your form in-hand, you can begin the process.
3. Fill the Application Form
When you fill the application form, make sure you are as honest as possible with the information you provide. False information could have you disqualified from the program entirely. A tip here is to cross-check the form after you have filled it. Doing this will ensure all the information is accurate. While filling the form, expect to provide information such as your full names, date of birth, residential address, number of members in your household, employment status, annual household income, and names of lifeline assistance programs you benefit from.
4. Attach Proof of Eligibility
You shouldn’t expect the cellphone companies who provide free cellphones to believe you are eligible just because you said so. You would have to provide proof of eligibility. For those who are applying based on their annual household income, they will need to attach their bank statements for the past year to the form as they submit. Visit any of your bank’s branches and request your statements. They will provide it on demand. You can also have them mail it to you. For those who are applying based on their participation in a lifeline assistance program, they will need to attach an original copy of their member ID card to the application form and submit. As proof of residence, you must also provide recent utility bills or any other documents that serve as proof of where you live.
5. Submit and Wait
After submission, there would be nothing else you can do but wait. Hopefully, your information checks out and you’ll have a free government cellphone shipped to you.
With a poverty rate of 16.1% in 2020, it means many less-privileged Oklahoma residents need free government phones.