Illinois: Free Cell Phones from the Government

On one hand, Illinois is an economic powerhouse: Its 2010 total gross state product was fifth in the nation. The 2010 per capita income was $41,411.

On the other hand, the state is in dire financial condition despite its size. For too many years, the Land of Lincoln has spent far beyond its means which has caused even greater problems for its residents as the national economy has slowed.

The state has attempted to solve its budget deficit by raising corporate taxes, which has caused companies to leave the state, making the unemployment situation even worse.

Luckily, the Lifeline phone service program is here to help the unemployed and other financially disadvantaged people to get a free cell phone from the government. When you have a free cell phone and free minutes, it makes it a lot easier to contact prospective employers and land the job you need.

And you have two main choices from which to get your Lifeline phone. We’re still waiting for the third major company in this space, Assurance Wireless, to enter the market; they will eventually. And you’ll also see that their is a smaller companies that offers the cell phones as well.

Free Cell Phone Providers in Illinois:

Here’s a list of all the Lifeline Assistance free government cell phones in Illinois. They all offer different plans with different numbers of minutes, different refill options, and serve different geographic areas. So click through them all and find the plan that’s best for you.

Lifeline Discount Companies in Illinois

If you qualify for Lifeline Assistance, but since California is such a big state, you may find that none of the companies offer free government cell phones where you live. But no need to despair, since you have another option. The companies below, while not offering free cell phone plans, do offer substantial Lifeline discounts off their regular mobile phone plans in Illinois:

Lifeline Cell Phone Eligibility in Illinois:

You are eligible if you receive benefits from any of these programs in Illinois:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance / Section 8
  • Food Stamps
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • National School Lunch (free program only)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Medicaid

You may also qualify in Illinois if your Total Household Income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. See our handy chart below that shows those levels at the 135% rate already calculated for you:

Income Based Eligibility for Illinois
Members in HouseholdAnnual incomeMonthly Income
1 member$15,755$1,313
2 members$21,236$1,770
3 members$26,717$2,227
4 members$32,198$2,683
5 members$37,679$3,140
6 members$43,160$3,597
7 members$48,641$4,054
8 members$54,122$4,510
For each additional member add $5,481 annual or $457 monthly


Latest News for Illinois:

If you have any other questions, please refer to the links in the sidebar.

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Comments

  1. Wesley Bowen says

    I am trying to help my Dad sign up for a phone. He lives in Quincy, Il. Is there an application you could send me? My address is **** Washington St. Gary, In. 46408. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Lesa says

    I’m a case manager in supportive housing. My client has been terminated from her free phone because they say she is on a list that says she is already getting service from another carrier. The phone companies are not telling us where the other account is so that we can cancel it so she can at least have one working phone. I have called at least one other carrier who says her account is cancelled already but this list for people who appear to have multiple carriers seems to live somewhere in the government.

    I wish to be connected to a central point where we can explain to one person that my client has NO service so how does she get this old warning list to phone companies straightened out with the correct information? Going forward I’m working with her to not pick up the “free” phones they offer outside of the Illinois Department of Human Services but since she’s mentally impaired it’s hard for her to understand. Why can’t she just be denied because she already has service and not be able to get new service until she cancel’s the other?

  3. paula says

    I have tried all of the companies and it keeps saying invalid address..i changed my address and am getting my mail and public aid notices…….whats wrong????

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