Staying connected is quite crucial in this era, more so for the seniors. In this case, telecommunication technologies, like mobile phones and landlines, are for you. But what about those who can’t afford those devices?
For that case, the government has introduced a program called “Lifeline Program”, which provides eligible users with a smartphone, or home phone and free service. There is also a free landline phone service for seniors.
Today, in this article, we will know how you can be eligible for the free landline phone service for seniors or even get a free phone. But, before that, let’s know about the program that will assist you with their service.
What is Lifeline Assistance Program
The lifeline assistance program is a federal program, which was introduced in 1985 to make communication technologies affordable for low-income families, low-income seniors, and disabled people. To achieve it, the government provides free phones, free services, and discounts.
You can get at least a $9.25 discount every month to reduce your monthly landline cost.
Several providers offer free monthly home phone service and a free phone. But, selecting a reliable company is always the best option. Those companies not only have a consistent connection also customer service is always available whenever you need it.
So, I recommend you to go with:
- Verizon Landline service.
- AT&T home phone service.
- Straight Talk Landline service.
We will discuss them in detail in the later part of the article. Before that, let’s know how you will qualify for the assistance program.
How To Qualify For The Lifeline Program
The lifeline is for low-income families and individuals. So, if your household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guideline, you will be eligible for the program.
You will also automatically qualify if you participate in some federal programs. For Anyone in your household enrolled in the program, you can take advantage of it. In what follow are the programs agreed for it.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Head Start
- National School Lunch Program’s Free School Lunch.
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
These are all the assistance programs; if you are enrolled in one, you can get a free landline phone service for seniors. Some new programs can add or remove depending on the state you are living in.
Keep in mind – the lifeline benefits are only for one person in each household. And, if you are already in the lifeline program of any provider, you can’t participate in other providers’ plans.
How To Apply For The Lifeline Program
To apply for the program, first, you need to gather all the proof documents of your eligibility. If you qualify through income requirements, collect your pay stubs, a W-2 form, your income statements. But, if you qualify through participating in a program, provide the presenting card, letter, or certificate from the government agency.
Then select from which providers you want to get the service. Several providers are offering free phones and services. In your case, you can select one of my recommendations or pick a provider from this I added below for free landline phone service.
There are two ways to apply for the program. You can either go to the Lifeline national verifier website or apply through the provider’s site. In both cases, the process is simple. Some providers don’t have any web tool to check eligibility; for that, the National verifier is your only option.
You need to give personal information like your name, address, birth date, ID card, and national social security card. The provider will check all the details, and if you are verified, they will contact you for confirmation. Thus, you can get your free landline phone service for seniors.
Free Landline Phone Service For Seniors In 2021
AT&T doesn’t offer free landline service for the lifeline program participants, but you can get discounts. However, if you sign up for their home internet service, the landline service comes as a park.
Anyways, for regular lifeline qualifiers, AT&T offers a 9.25 dollars discount. And, if an eligible customer lives in federally recognized tribal lands, there is a $25 discount for them.
- The landline service from AT&T isn’t available in the whole USA.
- If you are using your discount for the AT&T Lifeline discount, you need to reconfirm again every year.
The company offers one of the cheapest landline phone service for seniors. Their plans are divided into four tiers, so you only pay for what you want. The plans offer a lot of flexibility to the customers.
Moreover, you can purchase additional long-time calling packages with these plans. AT&T has a lot of features with its landline plan. And, depending on your need, you can select any perks.
Features you get: Caller ID, Caller ID Blocking, Caller ID on TV, Call Trace, Call Blocking, Anonymous Call Blocking, Safe Call Forwarding, Busy Call Forwarding, Exclusive Call Forwarding, and many more.
The price of the landline pace is quite variable. Here’s what you get and what you need to pay for each tier –
Traditional Home Phone
This most basic plan costs you around $37/month, offering standard features like unlimited calling and 911 services. With additional charges, you can unlock the long-distance calling option.
Complete Choice – Basic
With some additional perks, the Complete Choice Basic plan is priced at $45 each month. Like the previous pack, You get unlimited local calling and 911 emergency services. But, there are some perks, which make it costlier.
Complete Choice – Enhanced
The Enhanced plan has everything similar to the basic plan, except the total perks numbers, which are eleven. This plan will cost you $51/month.
All Distance Package
Call unlimited to anywhere, local or long-distance, with the $72 plan. The plan includes all the premium features AT&T offers. And, by paying $5 additionally, you can get unlimited calling options to Canada/Mexico.
For qualified customers, Verizon provides lifeline discounts at the monthly billing. If the eligible customer lives in tribal land, there are additional discounts.
Verizon’s cheap landline phone service is pretty inexpensive compared to AT&T’s. Their unlimited minutes cost $10.74 per month after applying for the lifeline benefit.
But, there is a $35 single-time activation fee. But, the issue is they aren’t widely available. Only a handful of states can enjoy the lifeline benefits.
Their lifeline services are available in – Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia.
You get plenty of features with this free landline phone service for seniors, including Caller ID, spam block, voice mail, and others, making a total of 30 perks. It also offers unlimited local and long-distance calling in specific countries like Mexico, Canada, the U.K., and India.
The home phone connects basic plan cost only 20 dollars a month. But, it comes completely free with the Verizon home internet pack. You may need to sign a contract for 12 months+ in both cases.
CenturyLink offers two programs for its customers; one is the Federal Lifeline program, and the other is the Telephone Assistance Program (TAP).
Similar to the previous landline providers, CenturyLink will offer up to a $9.25 discount each month. Depending on your state, there might be some additional discounts. Also, the residents of the tribal lands get more monthly discounts and other reductions.
Anyways, CenturyLink offers free landline phones for seniors. The provider is available in 37 states, including all the major states. The company’s good call quality makes it a viable option.
But, you can find its considerable drawbacks too. Firstly, their services aren’t entirely cheap; and, secondly, the customer service needs to be far better.
CenturyLink offers both only home phone plans and bundle service with cable TV connection and home internet. And, there are both essential and unlimited options. But, the funny thing is, both offers have the same price despite one offering is better.
So, make sure to select the business pack, which offers unlimited local and nationwide long-distance calling. A couple of additional perks come with the plans, including voicemail, voicemail to email, call forwarding, block caller ID, and caller ID.
Other Inexpensive Plans
Not many providers offer free landline phone service for seniors with the Lifeline program. There are several reasons for it. First, the services are becoming pretty rare these days.
And most of them are already inexpensive. Now, let’s see some inexpensive plans, where you can also apply a lifeline discount in your area.
4. Cox landline phone service
Cox offers home phone service for seniors at an affordable price. And, the company’s service is dependable. You can easily follow their guide and set up the company’s landline equipment.
But, before you sign a deal with Cox, keep in mind, there is a 24-month contract with the provider. That means you can’t switch carriers before the contract duration ends. If you do so, there will be a termination fee, which will be a little hefty.
However, the company also offers a 30 days trial period. If you find Cox isn’t fit for you among the thirty days, you can cancel the service without any cost.
Cox offers both the only landline package and the mix packages. You can get the only landline service at $20 each month. The plan has included all the necessary features like caller ID, readable Voicemail, call forwarding, TV caller ID, etc.
Cox is well known for its customer service. Whereas other providers mostly don’t care about the inexpensive free phones, Cox has taken excellent care of it. If you contact them for any issue, they stay with you and try to find a solution.
5. Xfinity Home Phone Service
Xfinity can be an excellent choice for seniors looking for inexpensive plans. The company is pretty easygoing, and it isn’t necessary to sign a contract with them. But, if you want to, they offer an attractive discount with two-year contracts.
The company’s every plan is affordable and straightforward. But, the triple way plans are cost-effective and come with a lot of flexibility, starting from a Starter Triple Play to the Xfinity Complete Triple Play. This plan includes Xfinity WiFi, Xfinity TV, and free Xfinity free telephone service.
Anyways, the basic plan only for home phones starts at $29.99, and you don’t need to sign a contract if you don’t want to. You get twelve features with the cheapest landline phone plans, including three-way calling, nationwide calling, caller ID, caller blocking ID, call return, and so on.
The basic plan only offers unlimited local calling. But, to get the nationwide unlimited calling option, you need to upgrade the plan to $45. Xfinity also offers a 30-day trial with their services.
6. Straight Talk Home Phone Service
Straight Talk is highly known for its simplicity. For the process to the actual plan, everything is simple with Straight Talk. Customers can ease with the company, as there isn’t any additional fee or contact with the services.
Thanks to this straightforwardness and clarity, the service can be an excellent choice for seniors.
On the Straight Talk, basic plans start at only 15 dollars each month. The plan lets you talk unlimitedly in the USA. But, there aren’t many features offered, only 3-way calls and retain a voicemail option.
More new features and perks are added as you upgrade the plan to the $30 per month option. With this plan, you can call unlimited to specific countries, including Mexico, Canada, India, and China.
Straight Talk also offers discounts to lifeline telephone service providers. Here you can get up to a nine dollars reduction with your lifeline eligibility.
7. Spectrum Voice
Spectrum Voice is known for its customer benefits. And, it is a very suitable free landline phone service for seniors. Firstly, seniors don’t need to worry about binding a contract or paying a hidden fee. Secondly, the provider will pay for your termination fees up to $500 for switching to Spectrum.
The company’s transparency is another reason for choosing Spectrum. They provided every piece of information on their website about the process and how it works.
Without having a contract, the company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It means that if you find spectrum doesn’t fit, you can cancel their service and claim a refund within thirty days.
Their landline services are pretty affordable too. The basic landline plan costs only $13 each month. And that includes 911 emergency services and unlimited nationwide calling. If you need to call abroad, by paying an additional $5, you can get access to unlimited calling to 70 countries.
8. Frontier Phone Service
You can get landline service for the seniors from the Frontier home phone service providers. Similar to the previous providers, there isn’t any contract or hidden fees with the provider.
The plans of Frontier are divided into two groups. One is the primary essential plan, and the other one is the Unlimited option. The basic plans offer you unlimited local talks with 30 minutes of long-distance calling. It also has features like call forwarding and 3-way calling.
And, the digital phone unlimited plan lets you talk local and nationwide long-distance unlimitedly. The price of these plans isn’t exactly specific, as it varies depending on your living state.
You get a critical clear audio quality, which is perfect for the hard-hear-seniors. Also, you can expect outstanding customer service.
One of the well-known VoIP providers, Ooma, offers home phone service at an affordable price and even free. The company primarily provides services to small and medium businesses. But, individuals also can take advantage of their service.
As a top-rated corporation, Ooma’s phone service is outstanding. And even has friendly customer service. They guide you through the process of setting up the communication equipment. But, you don’t need to worry about how simple the sitting up is; you won’t require any professional help.
The company has a mobile and desktop app for its service. Thus, even if you are not in reach of the home phone, you can still receive calls and check voicemail. Moreover, some of the setups can quickly be completed by phone.
But, you won’t get many features with this basic plan—only some basic features. For individuals, the plan is free when you buy communication technologies. Ooma is the only provider that offers free landline phone service for seniors with equipment.
If you upgrade from the basic to pro, it will cost you 32.95-dollars each month, and you will get access to all of their premium features.
AARP offers landline phones and services for the lifeline participant at little to no cost. The service is currently only for the residents of Kansas. But, it will expand to other states pretty soon.
AARP is a community for seniors. It helps them with various facilities and solves issues. The lifeline eligible people can get a free government landline phone service and inexpensive internet service from them. There are also additional discounts, which go up to $17.02 each month.
Most of the landline service providers are offering deals at the lowest price of all time. So, it is pretty hard to find a provider with a free landline phone service for seniors. But, they offer various discounts for eligible customers.
You can choose any among the providers I listed. All of them are doing pretty well in their way. But, it’s always better to go with a reliable option available.
In that case, Verizon and AT&T are two great options. But, Spectrum Voice and Straight Talk also offer outstanding plans at a reasonable price. With that, let’s call an end to today’s article.