Frequently Asked Questions for the Lifeline Program and Cell Phones

All the information that the vast majority of readers should need can be found on the informational pages of our site. But we’ve created this FAQ page to attempt to answer other questions that come up most often. If you have a question that you don’t see answered, please go to our Help page to learn how to submit your question to us.

The Frequently Asked Questions are categorized into several groups for ease of finding information about the specific question you have about the free cell phones available through the various Lifeline companies.

Popular FAQ’s

About the program


Phones and Plans

Participant Issues

Assurance Wireless Specific

Safelink Wireless Specific



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Before you post your comment...

  1. If you are going to ask "how do I get a cell phone?" go here instead.
  2. If you are going to ask "how do I get a replacement phone," go here instead
  3. We are not your cell phone company. All technical questions should be asked of your vendor.
  4. Your comments are moderated, and we will manually approve those worth publishing within 24 hours.


  1. Larry Davis says

    My phone has been lost for about two months now, and I’ve called the number I’m supposed to and all i get is prerecorded messages… So I don’t know what else to do but leave this post… Please email me and please let me know exactly what I need to do to receive my safelink replacement phone thanks……. Larry Davis

  2. Susan Card says

    Do you have to be a certain age to get this phone? I have a friend who has a 14 year old child that has gotten a “free” phone, some how.

  3. peter laufbahn says

    i ran out of minutes so i topped off with the 5.00 plan for and additional 250 but my service was cut off before i used 60 minutes what is going on

  4. Steve says

    I am looking for a manual for my phone, however it only says “T-Mobile” on it, no make or model.

    I can’t get the voicemail box to set up. The vendor is only at the church once a month, so I have no other assistance with these issues.

    I also have signal issues, which is weird because I’m in downtown Minneapolis, MN.


  5. Charlene bennett says

    I have filled out everything and I get the same message that I cannot get a cellphone I make under the amount iam on Medicare why. Please help me

  6. Anthony says

    Why can’t we use the camera every time I’m going to use it it says to insert an SD card to use the camera? Why is that

    • says

      Because photos need to be stored in memory and with a memory card (SD card) there is nowhere to put the photo.

  7. Laurie L says

    its terribly frustrating to sign up. I only get the run around.
    very upset.
    please help me
    as Im trying to help a senior citizen out


    I APPLY ON JULY 6, 2015 AND MY USER NAME IS my email address and like to know want I have to do to get my free cell phones with min. and text please me back

    • says

      If you applied on July 6, that is only five days. You’ll have to wait longer than that.

  9. Teresa Woody says

    I was wondering if I could upgrade to a better phone with my assure wireless provider. Thank you,

  10. M.Neff says

    I got a SafeLink phone and plan, but I want to buy a smartphone. Can I switch my reg safelink number and plan to a new smartphone if I buy one? If so how do I do it or who do I contact?

  11. Tim Green says

    Can a person keep their old cell phone number when getting a free phone and minutes ? I looked through all my states providers, and didn’t see that answered.



  12. Kathy S. says

    I didn’t receive my minutes when I recertified earlier this month. The operators stated I was successful when I completed the process. When do the minutes appear?

  13. Judy Lilly says

    Is there a site where I can read customer reviews regarding Providers? That seems to be the biggest problem with this program.

  14. nazario tejeda says

    Can you please help me. I am in Sacramento Ca. I would pay and have my phone with me when I went to a place on Florin Road in the south area of Sacramento. It was a small place to buy a phone or and pay your bill. Well this month they are no longer there. Plus the other one on Howe Ave is gone too, I need some one to tell me where is a center here locally if you would please? I need to have a repair to my voice mail as well because it is stuck and I can’t get them to open up and play/ So if any one knows anything to help me please let me know Even a phone number would help.

    Thank You Nazario Tejeda

  15. Karen Hanley says in an assisted. Living center and my whole social goes to this facility. I’m also on a diverfe program through Medicaid which pays half of my care there. Through this program I receive $54.00. a month for my personal needs. Can I receive a home phone through this program? They don’t provide phone service and if you want a phone you have to pay for it and that is quite expensive and I can’t afford the cost. I’m really in need of this time. Can you assist me in this matter? Thanks

  16. Paul Anthony Wesbecher says

    Hey There;
    Hi, It’s just me again. Just read down your page after I posted my comment / request.
    Please do not post the personal info. contained in that correspondence. P— W——–.

  17. Jacqueline Polk says

    “These free phones aren’t cheap wireless phones or a discounted models. These are recent model, fully-featured cell phones, backed by prominent mobile phone companies. You won’t get an iPhone, but you’ll get a basic, modern phone.” The phone I received from Assurance is a Kyocera S1360, it’s a cheap worthless phone and is a discounted model with no camera. I have searched the web for the release date of this phone and couldn’t find it. I sent Assurance e-mail about the quality of the phone. The response I received stated that the phone sent to me was a “program” Kyrocera Jax 1360 again, I’ve searched the web and it’s non-existent. Evidently they don’t even know what they sent me.. The Rally model looks exactly like my phone but it’s not. It is a fully equipped modern phone. This must be the model they sold to the government for the free phone program. But these are not the ones the qualified recipients received. If you can’t do anything about this, please refer me to someone who can.

  18. Crystal Moreno says

    My question is – I graduated from college 2014, lived with my boyfriend, and then have had to stay with my Mom, I don’t know that I can continue living with my bf, so I’ll be trying to stay with my Mom.

    My Mom cannot afford to pay for a phone for me because she is currently paying for rent, utilities, and food, also, my sister cannot afford to pay for a phone for me as she works at a part time job and is paying off bills that won’t accommodate for a phone that will help me. However, the total income they both make is over the low income amount you have posted.

    I don’t have an income. I need to find a job. I can’t even drive yet. Is there anyway that I can use my Mom’s address to sign up for a free phone?

    • says

      You should have your mom apply for the phone, and then she can let you use it, as long as there is not someone yet in your household with a Lifeline phone already.

    • says

      The only thing you could try is to contact your phone provider (try 611) and ask. It’s doubtful they will comply though.