Washington is one of the most significant states in America. This is because of its connection to the presidency. Yet, there are approximately 857,000 of its residents that live below the federal poverty guidelines. Less privileged people in this state are in dire need of all sorts of government assistance, cellphone communication inclusive. Don’t fret, people in this poverty bracket can enjoy free cellphone services if they are qualified. In this article, we will be looking at how you can get a free government cellphone in Washington, as well as the eligibility criteria.
Which Mobile Phone Companies Partake in the Free Government Cellphone Program in Washington?
Luckily, Washington has a good number of mobile phone companies that are part of the free government cellphone program. They offer good packages in terms of talk time, data bundles, SMS, and other discounts. Check them out one by one to see which one will serve you best. Below is a list of cellphone companies in Washington that are part of the free cellphone program.
- Access Wireless
- Assurance Wireless
- enTouch Wireless
- Life Wireless
- Q Link Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
- Total Call Mobile
- Terracom Wireless
How Can You be Eligible for a Free Government Cellphone in Washington?
If you live in Washington, then there are two ways by which you can be eligible for a free government cellphone. One of them is by program participation, while the other is based on your annual household income. If you cannot qualify based on any of these two, then do not bother sending in an application. Let us take a look at each of the criteria one by one.
Eligibility Based On Program Participation
You can qualify for a free cellphone in Washington if you are a part of one or more of the lifeline assistance programs listed below. If you are a member, you will be handed a membership card that certifies your participation. Keep the card safe, as you will need it 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)
Eligibility Based On Annual Household Income
According to federal household income laws, you are eligible for a free government cellphone in Washington if your annual household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. The ratios are listed below. Take a look at them to see if you are qualified 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 Washington
The application process for a free government cellphone in Washington is pretty much the same as most states in America. If you do not know what to do regarding your application, you can follow the steps below.
1. Choose a Cellphone Company
Among the many cellphone companies that are part of the free cellphone program, you can only choose one. To make sure you are going with the right company, it would be a good idea to go through each of their packages one by one. When you do that, you will be able to see what special offers they can give you regarding talk time, data bundles, and SMS. You can visit their websites to investigate or give them a call. They will answer all your questions and you will be able to make an easier decision.
2. Get an Application Form
You cannot apply if you do not have an application form. You can get one from the lifeline support center in Washington. They will hand it to you on request. Another way you can get an application form is by sending the mobile company of your choice a mail requesting the form. You can also print it out directly from their website.
3. Fill the Application Form
Step 3 is to fill the application form as accurately as possible. Do not provide wrong information. If you do, your application will be rejected. Basic information you will be required to provide include your full name, residential address, date of birth, number of people in your household, employment status, current income, and participation in any one of the lifeline assistance programs listed above. It would be wise to go through your application form before you submit it. Just to be sure you have not provided any wrong information. If you notice any errors, then correct them at once.
4. Provide Proof of Eligibility
This is also an important phase of the application process. It is one thing to claim to be eligible, it is another thing to actually be. The authorities will require proof of your eligibility as you submit your form. If you are applying based on your participation in a lifeline assistance program, you would be required to attach your membership ID card. Only original copies are allowed. If you are applying based on your annual household income, then your past year’s bank statements and tax receipts will do. You can get your bank statement from any branch of your operating bank. They will hand it to you on request. You can also have them email it to you. Without proof of eligibility, your application will not be complete.
5. Submit the Form and Wait
Mail the form to the lifeline support center in Washington and wait for an approval. If all is in order, they will have your new phone shipped to you.
Having 857,000 people living below the federal poverty guidelines in Washington shows there is a need for the free cellphone program. Hopefully, your application will be in order and you will get your free government cellphone in Washington.