12+ Providers With Free Touch Screen Government Phones

The other day, I shared a quick guide on how to get free tablet for low-income families. In the post, we saw a dozen providers you can get at least an 8-inch tablet, including flagship brands like Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab. But now the question of today is, do these same providers offer free touch screen government phones? If yes, which brand of a touch screen phone can I expect?

Well, most of the companies that give the free ACP tablet from the government also offer a free touchscreen phone. It’s not all that have the phone discount, as the offer’s somehow under a different program some of these ACP providers aren’t participating.

FYI:

  • ACP- stands for affordable connectivity program, the longer-term replacement of EBB
  • EBB- stands for emergency broadband benefit, the original program that offered the internet discount to people.

What’s the Best Free Touch Screen Government Phone in 2023?

In this particular guide, I’ve put together sixteen providers with free touch screen government phones to give. But out of these options, my favorite five are:

  • Airtalk Wireless Best of Flagship Phones
  • Safelink Wireless- Best of phone & data
  • TAG Mobile- Best phone & coverage
  • Assurance Wireless- Best phone with Lifeline/ ACP
  • TruConnect Wireless- Best of phone & international service

Are The Free Touch Screen Government Phones Worth It?

First, a phone is now a basic need- something hard to live without (or at least for me). Keep in touch with loved ones, employers/ employees, business partners, physicians, shopping, utility providers, et cetera. All these are things you can do with a smartphone today.

Sadly, not everyone can afford to purchase the phone or pay the monthly service bill. Lost employment (permanent/ furlough), salary cut, old age, disability, or terminal illnesses are some of the instances that may attribute to this predicament.

However, the government now has multiple assistance benefits to make sure all of us can afford a phone and the monthly bills. If with a low/ no income, you can get the two at no cost.

In my opinion, the offer is worth it as the likes of AirTalk Wireless free phone even brings you iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or Google Pixel.

Nevertheless, as you shall see shortly, most of the service providers with the government phone feature entry-level brands. They offer phones you’ll only find on eBay refurbished catalogs, such as WiKo, Hot Pepper, and Schok

But whether a low-end or flagship brand, the free touch screen government phones are still worth it. At first, the companies participating in the program had limited the freebie to a 5.5-inch smartphone with 8GB/ 16GB storage.

In this year’s freebies, though, I’ve noticed you can now get phones with an extra-wide, 6.8-inch display and up to 64GB of built-in memory. Some phones even support the latest features like 5G, video recording in 4K quality, eSIM, NFC, and more. Isn’t that something worthwhile to you?

How To Get The Free Touch Screen Government Phones

If we can skip all the lengthy details, there are two main programs you can get free touch screen phones from the government: Lifeline and ACP program.

Method 1: Get Free Touch Screen Government Phones with the Lifeline program

Lifeline is the oldest government assistance program for free phones and phone service. The program launched in 1985, and at the time offered eligible consumers a free landline phone service.

After cellular phone service was available to the public, ETCs started to offer lifeline service through cell phones. And until 2017/ 18, you’d get a one-time discount on a flip phone when joining for the first time.

Around 2018 smartphones were now more common, and lifeline providers started to hand them out over flip phones. It was also around this time Major Carriers announced their intent to shut down the 3G network. Thus, their MVNOs, which include our lifeline providers, had to be ready to switch over their customers to 4G LTE.

12+ Providers With Free Touch Screen Government Phones
Free Touch Screen Government Phones

The good thing is that this time you’d get an upgrade touch screen phone free of charge. It was at least a 5.5-inch model, which many lifeline companies are still offering right now.

As I may have mentioned in some previous posts, the USAC gives ETC $9.25 for the lifeline phone benefit. Several carriers participating in this program, such as Q Link, claim this fee only covers the monthly service. Thus, the free phone they give to new customers is out of their good hearts.

However, when you play economics a little bit, the nine bucks lifeline providers receive pays for the phone discount over time. The reason for this is that ETCs don’t pay the taxes and other government fees charged on postpaid/ prepaid telecoms.

And let’s be sincere, more and more lifeline carriers won’t be popping up if the program wasn’t beneficial.

How to Qualify:

The process how to apply for free touchscreen phones from government is pretty straightforward. Simply, the first rule is to make sure you’re eligible for the lifeline, then gather the necessary documents to prove that.

The two main eligibilities of the free phone with lifeline program are usually either low income or a qualified government assistance program.

If applying with a low-income requirement, your total household (income) amount must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.

The poverty guidelines must be the most current release from the Department of Health & Human Services. Otherwise, calculating your income level with the incorrect rates may give you false hopes of qualifying while you’re not.

Proof of eligibility: to prove you’re on a low income, you will need to provide a document such as a copy of your current paycheck stub, income statement, tax return, or statement of social security benefits.

On the other hand, you can qualify for a free phone on Lifeline through a government assistance program, such as:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans’ Pensions & Veterans Survivors’ benefit
  • Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Tribal-based federal assistance programs include- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Head Start, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, etc.

Proof of eligibility: to prove your eligibility here, the providers of Lifeline free phones require documents like a copy of a letter of approval/ verification. A copy of the statement of your benefit will also work.

Quick Note:

  • ACP- stands for affordable connectivity program, the longer-term replacement of EBB
  • EBB- stands for emergency broadband benefit, the original program that offered the internet discount to people.
  • FCC- stands for federal communications commission, the government body that oversees Lifeline & ACP service
  • USAC- stands for universal service administrative company, the institution that administers Lifeline & ACP programs
  • ETC- stands for an eligible telecommunication carrier, which is a phone provider that has a license to offer lifeline service
  • MVNO- stands for a mobile virtual network operator, which is a carrier that doesn’t have its own network towers

Method 2: Get Free Touch Screen Government Phones with the ACP program

The second way how to get free touch screen government phones is through the recently-released affordable connectivity program (ACP). However, the broadband benefit usually doesn’t cover the “free phone” offer.

The $100 allowance the FCC dedicated for ACP applicants only covers a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. To qualify for the free government smartphone, the idea is to combine the lifeline and ACP programs from the participating providers.

What happens is that ETCs offer the two programs (Lifeline and ACP) as different/ separate service plans. And recently, over 70% of the lifeline providers have pushed the free phone to the ACP benefit. They want you to apply either with the ACP-only plan or the ACP + lifeline combo.

Remember, “the government does not supply ACP or Lifeline providers with free phones”- at least this is what Q Link claims. So, we could say they’re free to change the policies about the phone part. It must also be the reason most of these companies are still giving crappy devices despite the many complaints to the FCC.

How to Qualify:

Eligibility to ACP is in many ways similar to the lifeline program. For one, you can qualify with either a low income or government assistance program.

Nevertheless, the requirement to get ACP with a low income is that your total household amount must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. (You must provide official documents, like a copy of your paycheck or tax return).

As for eligibility with a government-assistance program, all the options I’ve listed for Lifeline above will also apply to ACP. However, there’s an addition of:

  • Students on Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
  • Students on Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch/ Breakfast Program
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

In most states, these three programs aren’t eligible to get free touch screen government phones with Lifeline. In fact, the California Lifeline benefit seems like the only one that accepts them. But this is something I’m yet to personally confirm.

(You must provide official documents to prove you’re on a government assistance program when applying for ACP. The perfect documents to use are a copy of a letter of approval/ verification or a statement of your benefit).

Important Note:

Besides eligibility, you’ll also need to prove your identity and physical address when applying for the free phone via Lifeline or ACP program.

Some of the documents you can use for identity include a copy of a state/ tribal/ any government-issued ID, Driver’s license, green card/ permanent resident card, certificate of citizenship, etc. Then to prove the address, a copy of your utility bill, tax return, and lease/ mortgage statement will work.

10+ Providers with Free Touch Screen Government Phones

 Free Phone with Lifeline-OnlyFree Phone with ACPKind of Phone to expect
AirTalk WirelessNOYESApple, Samsung, Google, LG, Motorola, Alcatel, et cetera
Newphone WirelessNOYESApple, Samsung, Google, LG, Motorola, Alcatel, et cetera
Cintex WirelessNOYES
SafeLink WirelessNOYES (ACP combo)Alcatel TCL, BLU, Motorola
Assurance WirelessYESYESMotorola, Wiko, Unimax, Schok, Moxee, Orbic, et cetera
Easy WirelessNOYESSky Devices, BLU C6L  
TAG MobileYESYESNUU, BLU
Q Link WirelessNOYES (ACP combo)Hot Pepper (HP), NUU, BLU, TCL
Access WirelessYES  YES  Sky Devices, NUU, BLU,
TruConnectNOYES (ACP combo)Cloud Mobile
Life WirelessNOYES
StandUp WirelessNOYESVortex, Sky Devices, BLU, Hot Pepper
American AssistanceNOYES (ACP combo)
Assist WirelessNOYES (ACP combo)
Safety net WirelessYES  YES Samsung, Google, LG, Motorola, et cetera
Torch WirelessNOYESAlcatel, Calypso, Maestro, MaxWest
    
Providers with Free Touch Screen Government Phones

AirTalk Wireless Touch Screen Phone

AirTalk Wireless is the first lifeline provider you can get free touch screen government phones. It runs off the T-Mobile network, and the kind of phones you get include:

  • Apple iPhone 8, 7-Plus, 6s-Plus, 6-Plus
  • LG Stylo 6, G8 ThinQ, V50 ThinQ 5G
  • Google Pixel 4, 4 XL, 3 XL, 3A XL, 2 XL
  • Samsung Galaxy: A50, S9, Note 8, A32, A20s, A10s
  • REVVL V+ 5G, REVVL V, Revvl 5G
  • Motorola G Stylus, Moto G Pure, Moto Z4, G7 Power, G Fast, et cetera

Newphone Wireless Touch Screen Phone

 NewPhone Wireless is also an excellent Lifeline provider if T-Mobile is good in your area. It’s a sister of AirTalk and has access to the high-end phones stock from HTH Communications, including:

  • Apple iPhone 8, 7-Plus, 6s-Plus, 6-Plus
  • LG Stylo 6, G8 ThinQ, V50 ThinQ 5G
  • Google Pixel 4, 4 XL, 3 XL, 3A XL, 2 XL
  • Samsung Galaxy: A50, S9, Note 8, A32, A20s, A10s
  • REVVL V+ 5G, REVVL V, Revvl 5G
  • OnePlus Nord N10 5G, Nord N100, 7T, 6T
  • Motorola G Stylus, Moto G Pure, Moto Z4, G7 Power, G Fast, etc.

Cintex Wireless Touch Screen Phone

Cintex Wireless is a third Lifeline provider HTH Communications now owns. It also runs off the T-Mobile network, like its sisters AirTalk and NewPhone Wireless.

However, Cintex no longer has the option to choose what phone to get as they used to have. Also, the brand disbanded its large catalog of phones, leaving only two selections: a “Cintex Smartphone” and a “Cintex 4G LTE Flip phone”.

SafeLink Wireless Touch Screen Phone

Do you travel a lot? SafeLink Wireless is one of the few eligible telecommunication carriers that work on Verizon. The service provider is actually still operating on all major carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

After applying and you’re eligible, the kind of free touch screen government phone you get varies with the stock available. However, the four brands of devices SafeLink deals with are limited to:

  • Alcatel TCL A3 (commonly sent)
  • Alcatel TCL A30
  • Blu View 2 (B131DL)
  • Motorola Moto G Pure

Assurance Wireless Touch Screen Phone

 Assurance Wireless is a decent provider you can also apply for a Lifeline or ACP service through T-Mobile network. And if eligible, for either service, you will get a free touch screen government phone, which can either be:

  • Motorola Moto G Pure
  • Wiko Life™ 3
  • Unimax 696CL
  • Schok Volt SV55
  • Moxee™ m2160
  • Orbic® Fun Android 12+
  • ANS Artia™ (ACK2326 )
  • HP (Hot Pepper®) Chilaca

Easy Wireless Touch Screen Phone

 If in the T-Mobile coverage area, Easy Wireless is a decent provider of Lifeline and ACP service. Of course, the data allowance they now give is lesser than it was for EBB (7.5GB instead of 25GB). But you still get a free touch screen phone, which can be either:

  • Sky Devices Elite F55
  • BLU C6L

TAG Mobile Touch Screen Phone

 TAG Mobile is one of the few service providers you get to join with the network that works best in your area. It has made a network deal with all three major carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

Furthermore, TAG Mobile offers free touch screen government phones with either ACP or Lifeline. Some of the phones you can get include:

  • NUU Mobile N5L
  • NUU Mobile – NU3S 4G

Q Link Wireless Touch Screen Phone

Q Link Wireless offers some of the best data allowances (28GB of high-speed data) if eligible for the Lifeline + ACP combo plan. The service, available through T-Mobile, also provides a one-time discount on the phone, whereby you get a free Hot Pepper (HP) Serrano 3.

If the Serrano is unavailable, Q Link sometimes can send:

  • BLU
  • TCL
  • NUU Mobile

Access Wireless Touch Screen Phone

Access Wireless is yet another lifeline & ACP provider you can get free phone and broadband service through T-Mobile towers. It also gives a one-time free touchscreen phone, which you either receive:

  • Sky Devices Elite E55
  • BLU C5L 2022
  • NUU MOBILE A6L-C

TruConnect Touch Screen Phone

 TruConnect is yet another lifeline and ACP provider that use T-Mobile towers. It will also give you a free touchscreen phone when joining for the first time, albeit with just the Lifeline + ACP combo plan.

The kind of phone TruConnect gives when you apply the government service with them is Cloud Mobile Stratus C7 with 16GB storage & 2GB RAM.

StandUp Wireless Touch Screen Phone

StandUp Wireless will also bring you free cell phone service from the government (on Lifeline or ACP) through T-Mobile. You’ll also get a free touch screen phone, which primarily is the Vortex Z22 with 32/ 3GB built-in memory.

If the Vortex is unavailable, you can expect to receive:

  • SKY Elite B55
  • Blu M8L or M8L+
  • Hot Pepper Ghost

Safety Net Wireless Touch Screen Phone

Safety Net Wireless is one of the few lifeline providers that bring you free government phone service through the AT&T network. It’s also one of the select companies you can enjoy a decent free touch screen phone, as they may even send flagship brands such as:

  • LG Sylo 6, K10,
  • Google Pixel 3 XL, 3A, 2XL,
  • Motorola Z4, Moto E4, , G7,
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+, S8, S6 , A11, A20, et cetera.

Torch Wireless Touch Screen Phone

Torch Wirelessis the last provider on my list that give free touch screen phones if eligible for the ACP program (ACP-only or ACP + Lifeline). It’s perfect if you’re in a location best on the AT&T network (used to work on T-Mobile but there are rumors of the company planning to ditch them).

As for the kind of phone Torch Wireless give you, a customer representative has just confirmed with me they offer either:

  • Alcatel smartphone
  • Calypso smartphone
  • Maestro smartphone
  • MaxWest smartphone

Common Related Questions:

Which is the best free touch screen government phone to get?

First, the best free government phone service will depend on the network that works best in your area or fits your lifestyle. Then for the best free touch screen government phone to get will vary with the provider chosen. For instance, my favorite five options include:
AirtalkWireless iPhone/ Samsung Galaxy/ Google Pixel/ LG
Safelink Wireless Motorola/ Alcatel TCL/ Blu View
TAG Mobile NUU Mobile
Assurance Wireless Motorola/ UNIMAX/ Wiko/ Schok
TruConnect Cloud Mobile

Do I get a free touch screen phone with Safelink Lifeline?

YES, you can get free touch screen phone with SafeLink Wireless. The drawback is that you’ll need to be on the Lifeline + ACP compo plan to qualify for the benefit. If on the Lifeline-only plan, SafeLink doesn’t offer a free phone.

What kind of phone does AirTalk Wireless give you?

HTH Communications is the new parent company of FeelSafe Wireless, now going by the name AirTalk Wireless. And as a leading phones refurbishment company, HTH is the reason the kind of phone AirTalk Wireless gives you is high-end brands, including:
Apple iPhone
Google Pixel
LG Stylo/ ThinQ
Samsung Galaxy
Alcatel REVVL
Motorola G Stylus

Can I Use my own touchscreen phone with Assurance Wireless?

Unfortunately, you can’t use your own phone with Assurance Wireless. The carrier is still yet to support bring-your-own-device (BYOD), which means unlocked phones won’t work. Also, Assurance Wireless phones sold on eBay don’t have guarantee to work, in particular, if another user had previously activated with his/ her service.

Final Thoughts:

Smart touchscreen phones are now the most common of their ease of use, comfort, and versatility. It’s one of the reasons even eligible telecommunication carriers dropped the classic flip phones they previously gave on the Lifeline program.

The lifeline providers now give free touch screen government phones if you become eligible for their benefit. The phones they initially offered were limited to a model with a 5.5-inch screen and 16/ 1GB memory. But phone brands like the Motorola Moto G Pure that Safelink gives you have a 6.5-inch display and 32GB/ 3GB memory.

Nevertheless, AirTalk Wireless is still my first choice since you not only get to choose your preferred device. The operator also gives you access to flagship phone brands like Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, LG, et cetera.

All that said, do remember part of the policies and laws the FCC set for Lifeline (and ACP) is that only a single enrollment available per household. You can’t qualify if another person you live with has enrolled or you’re already participating through another carrier.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top