New Mexico: Cell Phones from the Government

The free government cell phone program has finally come to New Mexico. And in our opinion, it’s about time.

First the good news: 25% of New Mexican workers are employed by the Federal Government. State and local governments are also major employers. The state also has lots of high paying jobs in aerospace and mining. Its unemployment rate is an enviable 6.4% (December, 2012), compared to the national average of 7.8%.

Based on those statistics, you might be inclined to assume that the state’s economy is strong and vibrant. Unfortunately, that would be a huge error.

Now the bad news: A shocking 19.0% of the state’s residents live below the official federal government poverty level (compared to 14.3% nationally). The state’s average income also lags behind the national average.

When you compare and contrast those conflicting statistics, New Mexico seems to be an economic Jekyll & Hyde with abject poverty living right alongside

How can this be explained? According to the United States Census Bureau (2011), 10.1% of New Mexico’s population is Native Americans. And according to Wikipedia, the poverty rate in some reservations exceeds 60%.

Luckily, the Lifeline Assistance free government cell phone program is now available to almost all low-income New Mexicans. And special programs are available for those who live on reservations.

We sincerely hope this can help close that gap between well-to-do New Mexicans and the state’s neediest residents.

Free Cell Phone Providers in New Mexico:

Who’s offering the Lifeline Assistance program in New Mexico? Just two companies, but they ara strong ones. Please check them both out and compare the plans as not everything is the same:

Free Cell Phone Eligibility in New Mexico:

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

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Food Stamps
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • National School Lunch Program’s (free lunch program)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

You may also qualify if your Total Household Income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. See chart for New Mexico incomes below:

Income Based Eligibility for New Mexico
Members in Household Annual income Monthly Income
1 member $15,890 $1,324
2 members $21,506 $1,792
3 members $27,122 $2,260
4 members $32,738 $2,728
5 members $38,354 $3,196
6 members $43,970 $3,664
7 members $48,586 $4,049
8 members $55,202 $4,600
For each additional member add $5,516 annual or $460 monthly

Latest News for New Mexico:

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


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  1. Maria T Doloricon says

    Is there a place in Albuquerque NM that I can sign up in person to get a free government phone Im a low income and I have Medicaid and food stamp.

  2. David Espinoza says

    Becuse of my situation of being on food stamps and my medicl history and condition, it is imparitive that I have phone service and internet.

  3. David White says

    I am 79, getting food stamps, on ssdi, total income $681.00
    rent is $475.00, plus gas $25.00. i need a phone in case i need a doctor