If you’re a reader of this website, you’re probably familiar with all the ways to qualify for a free government cell phone. Or at least you thought you knew all the ways. Let’s do a quick review of the ways most people qualify:
- Annual Income under minimum set for state
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Federal Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Food Stamps (SNAP)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- National School Lunch (free program only)
- Supplemental Security Income
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
But what if you fall between the cracks and don’t participate in any of those state or federal assistance programs. Are there any additional, little known ways to get a free government cell phone? Well, of course, there are. Otherwise, this would be the shortest article in the history of this website.
Turns out that many states offer their own unique public assistance programs and if you participate in any of them, you will also qualify for that cell phone. Here’s a quick, state-by-state summary of other state assistance programs in which your participation means automatic qualification for the free government cell phone program.
Telephone Assistance Program for the Medically Needy
Telephone Assistance Program for the Medically Needy is an Arizona state program that helps individuals who can’t afford a phone, but who need one for a medical condition. Substantial savings are possible.
From the California Department of Social Services, CalWORKs is a welfare program that gives cash aid and services to eligible needy California families. The program serves all 58 counties in the state and operated locally by county welfare departments.
To build a stronger community, CSA works with the people of Stanislaus County to help with a safe place to live, access to food, health care, and opportunities to work.
Welfare to Work/GAIN
Welfare-To-Work is a program developed to help CalWORKs (cash aid) customers find and keep a job. We can also help pay job expenses so you can continue working, worry free. We may even be able to help you get job training to help you upgrade to a higher paying job that will lead to more money for your family.
Women, Infants and Children Program
WIC is a federally-funded health and nutrition program for women, infants, and children. WIC helps families by providing nutrition education, issuing checks for healthy supplemental foods, and making referrals to healthcare and other community services. Participants must meet income guidelines and be either pregnant women, new mothers, infants, or children under age five. In California, 84 WIC agencies provide services locally to over 1.3 million participants each month at over 600 sites throughout the state.
Senior Citizen Low-Income Discount Plan
The Georgia Public Service Commission wants to make sure that eligible senior citizens are aware that they can receive a discount on their gas, electric and telephone bills in the form of a “senior citizen discount” or, in the case of telephone bills, “lifeline assistance.” Georgia Power Company, Atlanta Gas Light Company, and Liberty Utilities all offer senior discounts based on age and income. If you get any of those discounts, you also qualify for a free government cell phone.
MaineCare Eligibility: Low Cost or Free Health Care Coverage Workshop. Detailed information about Maine’s expanding health insurance programs covering children, teens, parents and adults without children, as well as the elderly and disabled. Many eligible people are not receiving this free or low-cost health coverage. Could you or your child be covered?
Electrical Universal Service Program
A state program that helps electric customers to pay their bills. What do you get? Money will be sent to your electric company to pay current bills. You may also be eligible for assistance paying certain past-due electric bills, and receive referrals for energy efficiency measures to reduce future electric bills. Households who qualify for EUSP can also sign up for the Utility Service Protection Program (USPP), which can help protect you from utility cut-offs. EUSP-eligible households may also qualify for the Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP), which helps eligible customers meet heating and cooling costs, and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) which provides free weather stripping, caulking, etc. to help make your home more fuel efficient and comfortable.
Maryland Energy Assistance Program
The Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP), Nationally known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. LIHEAP can help you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of health and safety problems (such as illness, fire, or eviction). The Maryland LIHEAP program may be able to offer you one or more of the following types of assistance: Bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, weatherization and energy-related home repairs.
Temporary Cash Assistance
The Maryland Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) – known as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program federally- is designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency. States receive grants to design and operate programs that accomplish one of the purposes of the TANF program. The four purposes of the TANF program are to: Provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes, reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage, prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families
Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children
EAEDC provides cash benefits to individuals who are eligible because they are: a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant, unable to work due to a physical or mental incapacity which has lasted or will last at least 60 days and meets the Department-established medical standards for disability, over 65 waiting for SSI payments to begin or if found ineligible for SSI (if all other EAEDC eligibility requirements are met), caring for a child living in the home and not related to the individual, participating in a Mass. Rehabilitation Commission program, or required in the home to care for an incapacitated individual who would have to be institutionalized if someone does not provide the care in the home.
In Massachusetts, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are combined into one program called MassHealth. MassHealth members may be able to get doctors visits, prescription drugs, hospital stays, and many other important services at little or no cost.
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children
TAFDC provides time-limited cash benefits to certain families with dependent children and pregnant women in the last 120 days of pregnancy. A recipient must meet income and asset limits, live in Massachusetts, be a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant, and have a Social Security Number or have applied for a Social Security Number.
Minnesota Family Investment Program
The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) helps families with children meet their basic needs, while helping parents move to financial stability through work. Parents are expected to work, and are supported in working with both cash and food assistance. Most families have a lifetime limit of 60 months on MFIP.
The purpose of the MO HealthNet Division is to purchase and monitor health care services for low income and vulnerable citizens of the State of Missouri. The agency assures quality health care through development of service delivery systems, standards setting and enforcement, and education of providers and participants. We are fiscally accountable for maximum and appropriate utilization of resources.
Certified by the OK Tax Commission to participate in or receive assistance or benefits pursuant to the Sales Tax Relief Act
To file for sales tax relief, you must be an Oklahoma resident and physically live in Oklahoma for the entire year. Your total gross household income cannot exceed $20,000 unless one of the following applies: You can claim an exemption for your dependent, or you are 65 years of age or older by 12/31/06, or you have a physical disability constituting a substantial handicap to employment. If any one of the above three items pertains to you, your total gross household income limit is increased to $50,000.
Certified program by the State Dept. of Rehabilitation, providing vocational rehabilitation assistance or benefits, including hearing impaired
Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR) provides quality individualized services to enhance and support people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain or retain employment. The individual will work closely with a VR counselor throughout the process. Through active participation in their rehabilitation, people with disabilities achieve greater level of independence in their work place and living environments.
Head Start Programs (under income qualifying eligibility provision only)
Head Start is a Federal program that promotes the school readiness of children from birth to age five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports children’s growth in many areas such as language, literacy, and social and emotional development. Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher. These programs help build relationships with families that support family well-being and many other important areas. (Find the federal poverty guidelines here.)
Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance to Elderly
Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Elderly (RIPAE) program pays a portion of the cost of RIPAE-approved medications purchased during the deductible phase of a Medicare Part D plan and may offer partial reimbursement to enrollees who enter the “donut hole” of their Medicare Part D plan. Rhode Island residents 65 and older who meet income guidelines (listed below), must provide proof of age, proof of RI residency, and Medicare Part D enrollment verification. Adults with disabilities ages 55-64 who receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) payments may be eligible and must provide proof of RI residency, SSDI eligibility documentation, and Medicare Part D enrollment verification.
The RIW program encourages adult family members to work by offering benefits and support services: Cash Assistance is provided on a temporary bases to needy families that meet certain guidelines. Health Care is no longer automatically provided through RIW, but most RIW clients are eligible for Medicaid once they apply. See Medicare Programs for information about Rhode Island’s health care exchange, HealthSource RI. Assistance with Finding Work or Job Training is also available. Most RIW clients are also eligible for food assistance through SNAP. Transportation reimbursement or bus passes are available to support preparation for employment
School Clothing Allowance
Each eligible child can receive a voucher worth $200.00 to buy new school clothes. Any family with children 18 or under, who is or could be eligible for “WV WORKS” cash assistance benefits is eligible. If you don’t know, then apply and DHHR will tell you. You don’t have to apply for cash benefits to get clothing vouchers. You don’t have to receive cash benefits to get clothing vouchers. You just have to be a family that would be eligible if you did apply for them. You CAN get your vouchers without applying for cash assistance.]
WV Childrens Health Insurance Program (WV CHIP)
WVCHIP was created to help working families who do not have health insurance for their children. You want your kids to be healthy. One good way to keep them healthy is making sure they get medical care. Children who get good medical care have a better chance of being healthy and doing well in school. Services covered by WVCHIP: Doctor visits,check-ups, hospital visits, immunizations, prescriptions, tests and X-rays, dental care, vision care, emergency care, mental health, diabetic supplies, urgent care or after hour clinic visits, case management for special needs, and more.
BadgerCare is a health-care cost-reimbursement program created by former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson. It went into effect July 1, 1999, and was created to provide health-care coverage to Wisconsinites whose employers didn’t provide it and who made too much money to be covered by Medicaid.
WI Homestead Tax Credit (Schedule H)
The Homestead Credit is a tax benefit for renters and homeowners with low or moderate incomes. It is designed to lessen the impact of rent and property taxes. Qualifying persons can get back some or all of their state taxes withheld during the year.Jan 15, 2016.
The Wisconsin Works (W-2) program is available to parents of minor children whose family income is below 115% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Each W-2 eligible participant meets with a Financial and Employment Planner (FEP), who helps the individual develop an employability plan.