Lifeline Free Phone Providers in North Carolina

The University of North Carolina student newspaper recently said, “Right now, Republicans and Democrats can both agree that economic problems in North Carolina are gushing. The worst recession since the Great Depression has caused North Carolina to make drastic spending cuts, but the budget is still far from balanced.”

The Tar Heel State’s unemployment rate dropped to a stunning 9.5%, but has since recovered. But still, a large number of people still need help as they are underemployed or even unemployed.

If you live in the state of North Carolina, you have some choices for getting a free government cell phone and service.

Free Cell Phone Providers in North Carolina:

Here’s a list of all the Lifeline Assistance free government cell phones in North Carolina. 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 North Carolina

If you qualify for Lifeline Assistance, but you find that none of the companies offer free government cell phones where you live, 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 North Carolina:

Lifeline Cell Phone Eligibility in North Carolina:

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

  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps/SNAP
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program

In North Carolina, you may also qualify if your Total Household Income is at or under 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The chart below shows the income levels, calculated at the 135% rate for you:

Income Based Eligibility for North Carolina
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 North Carolina:

Terracom Wireless and Tag Mobile Seek to Expand to 8 More States and the District of Columbia - ReachOut Wireless and Tag Mobile are petitioning the FCC to enter Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
ReachOut Wireless to Enter 8 More States and the District of Columbia - ReachOut Wireless is petitioning the FCC to enter Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

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


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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 replacment phone," go here instead
  3. We are not your cell phone company. All technical questions should be asked of your vendor.
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  1. Lisa says

    My Mother in Law needs a cell phone. She is the only one in the house but has an income of $1660 per month. This is from Social Security. The table is confusing because if you base it off of monthly income, she makes too much; however, it says if you receive any types of government benefits, you can qualify. Could you please verify?

  2. Kimberly Koerber-Bauer-Koerber says


    My cell phone was stolen. Now I am supposed to hear a sex offender talk about ‘masturbating’ online and this is supposed to be me hearing voices because I am mentally ill. I need a replacement cellphone. My phone number is 336-458-****. Thanks very much.


    Kimberly ******-******-*****

  3. KT Pierce says

    I am trying to help a disabled friend of mine who lives way too far out in the boonies to have internet access. Is there a form that I can send to her that she can fill out and mail in? And are these smart phones? She needs to have some way of accessing the internet. Thank you so much for any help/advice you might be able to give!!

    ~ KT

  4. Sarah Hearn-vonFoerster, CFP says

    The people I am helping wish to use TEMPO WIRELESS as their Lifeline company. Why isn’t that company on the North Carolina list?

    • Free Government Cell Phones says

      They are not listed for North Carolina, because they don’t do business in North Carolina. From their website:

      Lifeline wireless plans are now available in the states of Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming!

  5. Dian Freeman says

    I got my phone a week ago today through a vendor ,i have been approved ,i have a phone and a phone number but no one will activate the thing ,,i want to know why ,i have the book the charger everything,,i need my phone connected ive called customer service three times ,still nothing and i am on food stamps ,so why is it not working ,,,FUSTRATED

    • Free Government Cell Phones says

      Give one of the providers in the list of companies above a call, or use their website to apply.