Ohio: Listing of Free Cell Phone Providers

The Buckeye State’s unemployment rate is even higher than the national average. When a recent Ohio newspaper poll asked the question “Are you worried about losing your job,” a remarkable 41% answered that they were already retired or unemployed.

Obviously, the state’s unemployment rate isn’t that high, but it does indicate how widespread the problem is in the Buckeye State. And it shows that there are a lot of Ohioans who can benefit from the Lifeline phone service program.

Luckily, Lifeline is available to provide free cell phones and free minutes to the state’s residents.

In May 2011, Ohio accepted Assurance Wireless into the state. It’s good to have more than one choice in a state as large as the Buckeye State. Call both Assurance and Safelink and see what types of phones they offer, and ask about texting charges and rollover minutes — the plans may differ slightly.


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

  • Section 8/Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Free National School Lunch Program (NSL)
  • General Assistance/Disability Assistance
  • Home Energy Assistance (HEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI)
  • Ohio Works First or 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 eligibility)

Latest News for Ohio:

Free cell phone fraud out of control in Ohio - In 2008 there were only 280,000 state residents enrolled, but by 2011 it had increased to nearly 600,000. But 26,500 Ohio recipients have already been busted for violating the rules.
Cincinnati Bell enters Lifeline cell phone program in Ohio - Cincinnati Bell has just entered the Lifeline cell phone market in Ohio, with plans to expand in neighboring Kentucky soon.
Assurance Wireless Expands into Ohio with Lifeline Free Phones Service - People in Ohio who are facing tough economic times received a little bit more help this month, as Assurance Wireless became the second provider of no-cost Lifeline cell phones to the poor there.

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