According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 4,255,000 Texans who live below the poverty line. This is a very large figure compared to other states, although Texas has a significantly large population. All the same, it is quite evident that many Texas residents are in need of several forms of welfare. Food, clothing, shelter, and medical care are among the most pressing. But telecommunication is also important. With access to good mobile services, underprivileged Texans can contact friends and family, business associates, and medical or other emergency services. If you live in Texas and you’d like to know more about the free cellphone program in the state, then keep reading!
Are there Cellphone Companies that Partake in the Free Government Cellphone Program in Texas?
Yes, there’s a decent number of participating cellphone companies in the free cellphone program in Texas. They have basically the same offers, but it is up to you to choose the one that’s best for your situation. It could be that you need more talk-time than data, or more SMSs than voice-calls. Whatever the case, study their offers before you choose. Visiting their individual websites is a great way to start. See what offers you can find and make your decision. Below are the participating cellphone companies in Texas.
- Access Wireless
- Assurance Wireless
- EnTouch Wireless
- Life Wireless
- Q Link Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
- StandUp Wireless
- Tag Mobile
- Terracom Wireless
- True Wireless
How Can I be Eligible for a Free Government Cellphone in Texas?
To be eligible for a free government cellphone in this state, you must either be income-eligible or program eligible. If you are not eligible based on the above criteria, then applying for a free cellphone will be a waste of your time.
Application Based on Program Eligibility
If you belong to one or more of the lifeline assistance programs listed below, then you are eligible to apply for a free government cellphone in Texas. Keep in mind that beneficiaries are handed a membership card, and this card will have to be presented during your application process. The programs are listed below.
- 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 (only those households meeting its income qualifying standard)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
Application Based on Income
The other means by which you are eligible to apply is based on your annual household income. Going by the federal household income rule, if your annual household income is not beyond 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, then you are eligible to apply for a free government cellphone. Below are the relevant numbers. Take a look at the ratios to see if you are eligible based on household 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 person, add $6,048
How to Apply for a Free Government Cellphone in Texas
Going by the figures and the lifeline assistance programs listed earlier, I’m sure you’re now certain if you’re eligible for a free cellphone or not. If you are, then you can start your application process as soon as you like. Follow the steps below to apply for a free government cellphone in Texas.
1. Select Your Cellphone Company
As you may already know, you cannot apply to more than one cellphone company for your free phone. For this reason, it would be a wise decision to explore each of the participating cellphone companies and see the kind of packages they offer. There are several mobile phone companies that offer free government cellphones in Texas, so going through them one by one may seem like a lot of work. But if you’re looking for the very best deals, then it’s a small price to pay. Visit their various websites to see what they’re offering in terms of voice call minutes, data bundles, SMS, and other discounts. Call or send them an email if the website cannot answer all your questions.
2. Get an Application Form
When you’re sure of the mobile phone company you want to get your free cellphone from, you can proceed with the application itself. This would mean getting a form, and you can ask either the cellphone company or a lifeline support center for it. They will give it to you immediately you request it. The form is also free.
3. Provide Relevant Details in the Form
In the application form, you will find spaces where you are to input some very important information. These include your full names, date of birth, employment status, household size, annual household income, residential address, and participating lifeline assistance programs. Be sure that all the information you provide is true, as false information can damage your chances of getting your free cellphone. After you fill the form, do a quick cross-check of all the data provided to ensure everything is in order.
4. Attach Proof of Eligibility and Submit the Form
As you submit your application form, you must attach some documents that will prove you are eligible for the free cellphone. If you are applying based on your annual household income, then your bank statements from the previous year will suffice. You can get this from your bank. You can also present your recent tax receipts as proof of income. If you’re applying based on program participation, then you should attach your membership card to your application. Mail the form to the relevant offices and wait for the approval. Every year, your eligibility status will be reviewed. As we all know, financial standards can change at any time, so the authorities need to know if you are still eligible or not the following year.