Based on the research of the CDC(Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), approximately one out of four US citizens are suffering from disability issues. This is a sarcastic fact when you find out that the peak benefit of the SSI program is about 770 dollars each month for each individual or household.
It doesn’t matter if you are participating for SSI(Supplemental Security Income) or the SSDI(Social Security Disability Insurance); a concern is still raised.
Despite getting SSI benefits, you may fall short of bearing the overall expenses of your every month. Then the question comes in terms of getting the essential cellular services, which is also costly.
If you are in such cases where you find difficulty paying your cellular bills, you can proceed to free cell phones for seniors and disabled. Several plans and offerings are available which can allow you to get free cell phone cellular services, and we’ll discuss them below in thorough detail. Therefore, stay tuned to know how to save money on cellular bills as a senior or disabled individual.
Qualifying Requirements of Free Cell Phone For Seniors And Disabled
With more than 50 coverage states, you can get free government cell phones services and a great device from the Federal government. For low-income people and households with disabilities, the FCC or the United States federal government provides cellular benefits under the Lifeline aid.
The Universal Service Fund Administration provides all the funds under the coverage of the federal government. Like other government services that offer free cellular services and free devices, this program also has specific requirements for qualification.
You can automatically qualify for this program if you fit one or multiple subsequent criteria or requirements. Let’s find out the qualifying requirements of free cell phones for seniors and disabled!
Qualifying Federal Programs: You can apply for the assistance program either by your annual income or by participating in FCC programs. Here are the Federally approved programs, which you can use as proof to qualify in the free cell phone program.
- Medicaid or Federal Medical Assistance Program
- LIHEAP or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income or SSI
- TANF or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance Program or known as Section eight
- Any Free projects of the National School Lunch Program
Qualifying By Annual Income Status: If you cannot show any programs to qualify for the Lifeline program, there are alternative options regarding your annual income status.
Therefore, you need to show proof of having a yearly household earning underneath the Federal Poverty Guideline. More specifically saying, your yearly earning needs to be at or underneath 135 to 150 percent of the FPG.
Miscellaneous Qualifying Requirements: Except for these qualifications requirements, you may need to follow other necessary steps before proceeding with the free cell phone for seniors and disabled program.
- You can participate in the Lifeline program if you are under Social Security while aging 55 or more.
- You can also apply if you are a qualifying participant in the Emergency Broadband benefit program.
- If you are unemployed or jobless for an extended period, you can participate in this Lifeline program.
- You can also apply if you have received the Federal Pell Grant Award in the running award season.
- Since February of 2020, during the Covid pandemic, you can also qualify if you have a substantial fall down in your business.
The qualification conditions of the Lifeline offer program for seniors & disabled are pretty similar to the EBB or the Lifeline program requirements. Lifeline free cell phones for seniors & the disabled are not the only way to get free phones. Other federal programs like EBB or Broadband Benefit Program can also offer free cell phones and great plans.
As we have mentioned the requirements above, you may have noticed that you don’t need to go for official disability approval from the Federal government for eligibility.
If your income profile meets the conditions or has a participation certificate of any FCC launched programs, you can easily qualify. Therefore, you can get free cell phone services with essential features and a government cell phone free of cost.
How To Get Free Cell Phone For Seniors And Disabled
Application Process Of Free Cell Phone For Seniors And Disabled
If you have found out that you have the stated qualification requirements for the Lifeline program, you can visit the Lifeline website. You can search and determine which carriers offer Lifeline services for seniors and the disabled inside your area on the Lifeline support website.
- After that, you need to follow the procedure to apply to the program.
- Select the area you are residing and find out the service providing carriers or the state lifeline partner
- Enter the location or ZIP code or your state, and you can find out the compatible services based on your area.
- You can apply through their site, or you can go with the Lifeline application through email.
- You should contact the ETC or the Eligible telecommunications carrier which you will use for the benefits program.
- After the selection, you need to follow the ETC’s procedures and become an ETC member.
- You need to keep the income status paper which will work as proof of your eligibility.
- If you are applying through a qualified FCC-approved program, you should also keep the proof of participation in that program.
- You should file all the necessary information like name, location, Social Security Number, and additional data.
Lifeline offers up to 9.25 dollars for the eligible participants living in all states. But they offer cellular & broadband services for up to 34.25 dollars for the residents of the Tribal lands. The minimum offers to the average lifeline participants can get up to 1000 minutes per month.
For mobile broadband, they provide up to 4.5 GB of High-speed data at 3G network standard. They offer up to 1024 GB or 1 TB monthly usage allowance to eligible Lifeline participants at 25/3 Mbps speed. You can also get a chance to win a free cell phone for elderly and disabled.
Criteria Before Choosing Free Cell Phone For Seniors And Disabled
Before picking the free cell phones for seniors, you need to contemplate several factors. The rule of thumb is to always focus on the features they require as a senior or disabled person.
Because disabled seniors can’t use smartphones or modern phones with a bunch of premium features, they have aging issues that restrict them.
That’s why we suggest you observe the needs of your senior person in the household, whether it is your father or mother. Don’t give them extra loads of hefty phones.
Moreover, there are no specific phones that will suit all seniors or disabled persons. Therefore, we have discussed some key aspects that you need to check before choosing the best cell phone for disabled person.
Body Measurement of the device
If you provide any bulky or oversized cell phone to the senior citizen of your household, it can be inconvenient for them to operate. On the other side of the perspective, if you have any disabled senior with memory disability, he may need a large device.
Because he or she may have forgotten where he has kept the device after usage, a large device can help out in such circumstances. That’s why you need to pick the free cell phone for seniors and disabled by considering the overall body measurement of the selected person you wish to provide.
Are you looking for free cell phones for seniors and disabled with visual impairment? In such cases, you need to go for a cell phone which has a display with a greater brightness level. Therefore, you can go for a cell phone with an easy navigation option for individuals with visual problems.
If you have decided to pick a smartphone, it can fill out the easy navigating criteria. But if the user prefers buttons or flip phones rather than smartphones, you can pick traditional ones with large buttons and backlit keyboards that have peak brightness. Phones with large fonts in the display can also be helpful in these circumstances.
If you are looking for a senior cell phone for hearing impaired compatibility, it must need a prominent speaker and superb audio quality. It can be pretty inconvenient to talk with your loved ones at the peak volume but can’t hear words clearly.
That is why you need to go for a cell phone for hearing disabled seniors with potential speakers. In a nutshell, hearing impairment is also one sort of disability, and if you are a senior, a cell phone with a quality speaker is a must. Thus you should pick a phone that offers clear sounds in recording, video calling, and streaming.
No Useless apps
Cell phones for seniors and disabled would have very few apps that are essentially required for the basic functions. Basically, these free cell phones for seniors would have some basic applications like phone book contracts, messages, GPS tracking, etc.
However, a few social media apps like Linkedin, Facebook, Messenger, and others can be added as a great source of entertainment & pastimes for the seniors. Moreover, you can add a few brain games to the device, which can work as a refreshment.
Long term battery
A cell phone for seniors without a substantial battery life is hard to imagine. Because seniors use their phones less frequently, they also don’t charge them regularly or after a few days.
They don’t even get the time to check sometimes if the device has enough charge remaining or not. That’s why you should pick a free cell phone for disabled on social security.
Cell phones with a tracking capability can come in pretty handy in finding the location of the device and the senior citizen. This is an essential feature that will allow you to keep tracking of the seniors of your household and their whereabouts.
Moreover, you should also check if the cell phone has any health tracking features also. There are several phones which have health tracking ability and emergency alert options. Phones with health tracking features can monitor the overall health condition of the phone user.
No loud bells or whistles
In the past years, this feature was pretty popular amongst cell phones for seniors and disabled people. At that moment, this was considered as a lifesaving feature for a senior cell phone, as it was to notify about any sudden incidents or emergencies.
But nowadays, most seniors are not interested in those sudden bells and whistles. A few seniors have also reported them as irritating, which is why this feature is phased off in recent senior cell phones. You should also pick a device that doesn’t have any irritating alters, bells, and whistles.
Benefits of Free Cell Phones For Seniors And Disabled
Cell phones provided for seniors and disabled people come with numerous benefits for the selected group of people. These phones are mainly developed for the usage of seniors with disabilities. Let’s discuss what advantages these phones can provide to disabled seniors!
Provides Personal Safety
The majority of the seniors and disabled citizens are the most abandoned and vulnerable individuals in society. For that reason, they also pass most of their daytime in loneliness.
In a hectic life, we don’t get enough time to look after the whereabouts of the seniors and disabled of our household. This thing leads to the necessity of a free cell phone for seniors and disabled people.
With a cell phone, these vulnerable seniors can positively spend their time. More specifically, these mobiles come pretty helpfully in emergency cases where they don’t get anyone to call for help. These cell phones can guide them as a helping hand to lead their daily personal life in a better way.
Maintains Mental health
More than personal safety, our society’s seniors and disabled pupils need mental support as they spend most of their daytime in severe loneliness. Loneliness can cause many mental or bipolar diseases and even depression.
A cell phone allows them to spend their time with families and friends in a pleasurable way. Which also maintains the mental health of a disabled senior sound and safe. That’s why you should go for a free cell phone for seniors and disabled ones.
Ensures medical Safety
Medical safety is one of the most prioritized factors for the disabled ones and senior citizens of society. As they are a group of the most vulnerable people of the locality, they need more medical support.
Seniors have a greater likelihood of being ill than average pupils. If they fall into any accidental attack, or any severe illness all of a sudden, they can use the cell phone as a means to call for help.
Best 5 Carriers That Offers Free Cell Phone For Seniors and Disabled
Following, we’ll mention the best carriers that offer free cell phone for seniors and disabled underneath the Lifeline benefit plan. If you are a qualified participant for the Lifeline benefit programs as a senior or disabled person, you can get free cellular services from these providers.
1. enTouch Wireless
Boomerang Wireless has previously operated the cellular services of enTouch Wireless. But now, they are under the coverage wings of Verizon Wireless. It is a dominating one in delivering Lifeline free cell phone for seniors and disabled with impressive 4G coverage.
Before applying for their complimentary senior cell phones, you are required to be competent first for the Lifeline protocol. Identical to other Lifeline assistance providers, you need to possess a low-income profile. Which means you must stay under the Federal Poverty Line prerequisites.
Benefits of enTouch Wireless Lifeline: With enTouch wireless, you can get excellent features with free government cell phones. However, enTouch Wireless has outstanding plans and features for the residents of California. The offerings of enTouch Wireless are-
- Provides unlimited talk and text to qualified participants
- You can get 1.5 GB of data monthly (4 GB for the residents of California)
- It offers excellent modern smartphones from the top-level brands
- You can get unlimited data access for a limited period only
- Produces solid 4G LTE data coverage in more than 34 states around the United States
You can also obtain the possibility to win a Free cell phone for disabled seniors. After being approved, you can relish unlimited data permits under the EBB program advantages. You can be qualified in two aspects, through FCC projects and your annual income profile.
2. SafeLink Wireless
SafeLink Wireless is a Lifeline service providing partner of the USAC in the United States, which offers coverage to 42+ states. It is operated under the network wings of TracFone, which is also an MVNO.
They offer cellular services and Lifeline Free cell phone to seniors and disabled if you are a qualified participant. The parent company of SafeLink is TracFone, one of the most well-known cellular service providers in America, with 20+ million subscribers across the country.
SafeLink offers free cell phones under the Lifeline program in two segments. They offer dedicated plans for the residents of California and less overflowing plans for the citizens of other states.
Benefits of SafeLink Wireless Lifeline: You can get privileges from Lifeline and EBB assistance programs if you are a LifeLine eligible senior person aged 55 or more. The EBB program was launched to offer low-income senior citizens internet or broadband access. The offerings of SafeLink Wireless are-
- Offers unlimited domestic 4G LTE data access across the nation
- Get unlimited minutes and messages with international calling convenience
- It gives a free government smartphone from the most modern brands
- Grants up to 10 GB of mobile hotspot tethering access
- Delivers free calling access to emergency numbers like 411 and 911
As a senior, you can also access free air times for the first 12 months after the membership enrollment. Since the Lifeline cellular plans last up to 1 year, you may need to renew them by recertification.
3. Access Wireless
If the task of applying for a free cell phone for seniors and disabled seems challenging for you, you can simply move to Access Wireless. They come close to the needy ones with the most straightforward cellular services under the wings of the Lifeline program.
Access Wireless will deliver more comprehensive services as they are merging with T-Mobile. The application process of Access Wireless is pretty simple, and you can apply from their official site. They also have top-up options that will allow you to combine additional minutes, data, and messages.
Benefits of Access Wireless Lifeline: In their Lifeline Assistance Program, you can get incredible perks and free cell phone for seniors and disabled pupils. The benefits of Access Wireless are-
- Get unlimited minutes, messages, and 500 MB of high-speed data
- Provides government cell phones from renowned brands
- Adds long-distance calling across the country
- You can also get international calling access
- Ensures a stable and comprehensive coverage throughout the coverage areas
With qualifying criteria for the Lifeline benefit, you can also enjoy EBB privileges. In the EBB program of Access Wireless, they offer up to 25 GB of lightning-fast data(coverage area matters).
The data speeds get reduced after the finishing of the data limit. Overwhelmingly, they also include the offered data for mobile hotspot tethering as well.
4. QLink Wireless
QLink wireless is one of the most well-established Lifeline cell phone service providers covering 35+ states around the United States. If you are a qualified disabled senior, you can get a QLink Wireless free cell phone for seniors and disabled.
Have you retired from your job and are facing trouble managing cell phone services? Nothing to worry about as QLink is here with the most reliable Lifeline cellular services.
You can qualify for their lifeline program if you have participated in any FCC programs if your annual income is under 135% of the Federal Guidelines.
Benefits of Qlink Wireless Lifeline: Qlink Wireless is one of the prominent providers which grants the users to bring their own phone and maintain the existing number under the Lifeline benefit. The privileges of Qlink Wireless are-
- Get the most comprehensive 4G LTE or 5G coverage throughout the US, with the network system of T-Mobile.
- Provides unrestricted nationwide data access free of cost
- Get domestic calling access with unlimited minutes
- Enjoy unlimited national messages regardless of the carriers
- You can win a free smartphone(for Lifeline subscribers), or a tablet(for EBB participants)
5. FeelSafe Wireless
AirVoice Wireless operates the FeelSafe Wireless, which is mainly based in Mississippi. FeelSafe Wireless offers a lifeline assistance program free phone for seniors, and they also have comprehensive coverage with a potent and stable GSM network.
AirVoice Wireless operates beneath the net range of AT&T, so as FeelSafe Wireless. AT&T is a substantial major national cellular carrier of the United States with widespread nationwide 5G coverage.
Benefits of FeelSafe Wireless Lifeline: The GSM net standard is considerable for those who don’t possess cellular access, particularly for seniors aged more than 55.
You can get free government cell phones and cellular services every month through FeelSafe Wireless if you are a low-income aged citizen. The LifelIne benefits of FeelSafe Wireless are:
- Get unlimited national vocal minutes
- You can send unlimited texts to your special ones
- Get up to 2 GB of convenient 4G LTE data bundle(based on location & compatible devices)
- Offers 911 emergency calling services for the residents of California.
- You can add supplementary talk, text, and data access by top-ups beginning at only $5 for every month.
If you have finished free perks before the end of the month, you can expand more perks with your values. They cost only 10 cents per vocal minute, text message, and MegaByte of data as well.
Ways To Save Money If You Didn’t Qualify For Free Cell Phone For Seniors And Disabled
In a few cases, if you don’t qualify for the Lifeline benefit program for getting free cellular services, there are some ways you can save money. Following, we will discuss the ways in a straightforward way.
Go For Cheap Cell Phone Plans
Several MVNO carriers offer cellular services at a discounted rate which is far better in the budget view, and you can also enjoy great perks. MVNO or Mobile Virtual Network Operators provides affordable cell phone plans where you may have to pay more than double for the major national carriers.
Straightforwardly, the MVNO cell phone services are pretty much 50% less than the major carriers. Moreover, as they run under the major carriers, you can get the same service at a cheaper rate. All the MVNOs operate under the four major carriers, so you don’t have to worry about reliable service.
Buy Refurbished Cell Phones
We spend thousands of dollars buying newer cell phone models from our yearly cellular expenses, whether in the retail price or installments. You can pick the refurbished options of the phones, which are available at bulky discounts.
Refurbished phones are mainly used phones that are re-constructed by the manufacturer, so there is nothing to worry about the warranty. These phones are available at up to 50% discounts from the retail price.
Having a disability is not a curse, but it can restrict you from leading an everyday life for the lack of enough cash. As a fundamental element, cell phone services are needed for regular communication.
Go for these free cell phone for seniors and disabled ones according to your preference. If you didn’t even qualify, you could check out alternatives as described in the upper hand.