Can I have more than one Lifeline phone? A home and a cell phone? Two cell phones?

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You wouldn’t believe how often people ask us this question. The good news, we guess, is that people are so happy with their one LifeLine telephone that they want another one.

Unfortunately the answer is no. You can only have one Lifeline account per household. Take your choice of landline or cell phone. You can have one, but you can’t have both.

If the term “Lifeline” is throwing you off, we’ll explain. Lifeline is the government program instituted by the Federal Communications Commission that provides discounts on basic monthly service for qualified heads of households. Originally, it was applied just to landline phones, but it now includes mobile phones such as those distributed by Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless and ReachOut Wireless.

Remember, this is one phone per household only.


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  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. joseph bodnar says

    I applied for a safelink phone my 11 year old daughter who is now in middle school.
    How do I get another phone for her twin as he goes to another school and I need to be reached if they need me.

  2. Chris M says

    I have a free phone through Assurance, can I switch too Safelink? A Sales rep for safelink is in my neighborhood, can i just tell him i lost my phone and sign up with him for a safelink brand? Will that automatically cancel my Assurance for me? I’m not trying to have two phones. Just switch over to have the 500 minutes promo. Please help. Thanks

  3. Alisha says

    I have a question. There are three people in our house. My mom already has an access wireless phone which is a part of California Lifeline Program. My dad doesn’t have a phone. Can he get another phone such as budget wireless phone which is also a part of California lifeline program?

  4. Nick says

    Can I get a free phone for my 15-year-old kid (born in 2000) who has Medicaid? I’ve tried to apply online but all websites only allow to enter birth year 1997 or earlier.

    • peter says

      a simple guess would be that you are suppose to be 18 to fill out the application… 1997 -2015 would make sense???

  5. Audrey Bradley says

    I wasn’t aware that my choice was a free cell phone or a home phone when I ordered a home landline phone last year. I prefer the free cell phone. I really have no use for a home phone. I’m disabled, receiving SSI and I use public transportation to get to my appointments. I was recently jumped from behind in L.A. without provocation and, I didn’t have a cell phone to call 911 for help. The people there at the time, watched as I was being attacked. By the time the police arrived, the female that attacked me, got away. Can I please switch out the home phone for a cell phone. I don’t have the money to buy a phone. Please help!

    • says

      Cancel your home phone, or at least cancel the Lifeline discount on it, and then call one of the companies we list to get a cell phone. By the way, and cell phone without service will still call 911 — it’s the law. So you can at least for the moment get your hands on an old phone someone is no longer using and keep it on you, charged.

  6. Shauntay says

    I live in the home with my elderly father. Since he is in & out of the home back & forth to appointments alot & I travel out of town from time to time, can we both have a LifeLine?

    • says

      Only one Lifeline phone is allowed per household. “Household” is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address as one economic unit. An “economic unit” is defined as “all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household.” (Note for others: Lifeline support is available to eligible low-income consumers living in group living facilities. Lifeline applicants may demonstrate when initially enrolling in the program that any other Lifeline recipients residing at their residential address are part of a separate household.)

  7. mitchell rucinski says

    I applied someone approved me and sent me a niu phone without instructions or name , it was mailed from ohio . was it you

  8. frank mercer says

    I was with one lifeline provider and got the phone, but now they do not service my area, so I am with another lifeline provider and they provided me with a phone. Now the original phone I wanted to bring over to my new provider, so that’s 2 cells with one lifeline provider, is it possible, or do I just throw away a hundred dollar cdma phone?

  9. Wanda Thorson says

    I received a free phone from Q-Link Wireless a little over 2 years ago. I dropeed it and broke it. It was so bad I could not see the screen. I ended up donating it to a womans shelter but don’t remember the phone #.

  10. Basil Winston Jones says

    It has almost been a year since I have an ” Assurance” cell phone. Recently a dealer of ” Safe Link ” as me to
    subscribe for a ” Safe Link ” cell phone. This I got within a week. Now I have learned that a HOUSE HOLD
    can have only one Life Line support cell phone. Do I have to return one of my phones.?
    Please answer me soon and I will make what ever amends necessary.

    • Free Government Cell Phones says

      If you don’t recertify your Assurance phone at your annual time, that service will just expire. I don’t think they will care to get the old phone back.

  11. timothy doten says

    i need to knowhow i can find out how i can disconnect other lifeline phones that are supposidley in my name amd address. i never applied for the nlifeline before till just a few months ago.

    • Molly Gill says

      I have a similar question. Our lifeline service was disconnected because they said we had another lifeline service, but we dont. We did a long time ago, but it was disconnected. How can we find out where we have service so we can either get another phone through that service, or disconnect to sign up for another one….

  12. Lynn says

    In NC if someone has a landline phone, are they eligible to receive a Lifeline cell phone or is only for people who do not have a phone at all.

  13. B.Johnson says

    You stated that I must contact my local phone company if I would like to apply for a LandLine service.
    My question is: Can you provide me with the name of my local phone company? I live in the city of Stockton, California. San Joaquin County. We used to have Pacific Bell they are no longer around and now I don’t know who to call? Thank you so much!

  14. Jenny says

    SafeLink states something was mailed out for verification 8-19 and I never received it. I cannot apply elsewhere with this application in process and with 5 phone numbers for them, and after sending many e-mails, I still know nothing. It may have to do with my landline, which has Lifeline. How do I remove Lifeline? It sounds so very easy but it has been anything but.

  15. Mark Jahne says

    I have a lifeline cell phone already, and know the deal about two lifeline benefits. May I have another cell line if it is NOT Lifeline supported? Like one of those $10 / month pay as you go plans?

      • Suka says

        Thank you! That answers my question. I have my old barely working 2010 reachout cell that hasn’t been on Lifeline for years but I keep because the number is on many resumes and business cards so I use it for voice mail only. I am now reapplying because I qualify and I had spent YEARS trying to update my address on my old account when I moved and finally gave up and just starting reloading my phone at the NON DISCOUNTED price just to keep the number. So now, if I understand correctly, I will be getting a working phone with the CA LIFELINE service and can STILL have the old phone number to receive calls on. Just wanted to make sure that the OLD cell minutes and NON LIFELINE REACHOUT number doesn’t get interrupted or get taken away since my sister was nice enough to put unlimited minutes on for me to get calls for interviews as I job hunt. Aaaaaaaah! Exhausted.

        Am I correct in my understanding then?


  16. MJ says

    Since you can only have one phone on the lifeline service, it is better to get the cell phone that way you can have it for home and on the go.

    Since the lifeline service only allows one phone per household, anyone in the home who needs a mobile phone and qualifies for it can just use the address of a friend or family member who doesn’t have lifeline services. I know someone who needed a phone really bad and used a friend’s address

      • Queen of Swords says

        That’s ridiculous! With all that our government has to worry about in the world imagine worrying about 2 people who both qualify who are only roomates getting a barely discounted price on phone service. This is an example of the problem. Absurd priorities!

  17. Pamela Smith says

    I have landline @ home with Lifeline, can you recommend a cell phone service? Need a cell phone when i am away from home, going to Dr. I am on SSD, low income. Live in Missouri. Any assistance would be appreciated.

  18. Richard Scull says

    I am about to apply for the Free Gov’t Cell Phone from Safelink; but I have just one question first. Are we able to retain our current cell phone number?

    Thanx for a speedy reply

    R. Scull

  19. William Anderson says

    I pay rent where I live.But I also pay for her phone. I.m on dissability, and so is she, why cant she get a phone ? By living in the same house or adress? It”s not like we are married..


    I have tried calling customers service on many occassions, been on hold for about 30 minutes then hung up on. Well i lost my cell phone about a month ago during a moving process and wanted to know how do i go about receiving another one?