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, and soon Safelink Wireless followed. Now, Ohio residents have a number of Lifeline providers to choose from. Call several of them and see what types of phones they offer, and ask about texting charges and rollover minutes — the plans may differ slightly.

Free Cell Phone Providers in Ohio:

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

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 Kentucky:

Ohio Lifeline Eligibility

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 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. We’ve taken care of the math for you and you can check your income against the amounts in the table below:

Income Based Eligibility for Ohio
Members in HouseholdAnnual incomeMonthly Income
1 member$17,505$1,458
2 members$23,595$1,966
3 members$29,685$2,474
4 members$35,775$2,981
5 members$41,865$3,489
6 members$47,955$3,996
7 members$54,045$4,504
8 members$60,135$5,011
For each additional member add $6,090 annual or $507.50 monthy

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.


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  1. LOIS J YOUNG says

    I received a message i had to recertify, when i tried the number it kept cutting out on me, so i called customer service to see what’s going on. I was informed that i have to send in a copy of my drivers licence, and bank statement since i have direct deposit, i ger ssd every month nothing has changed since i signed up 4 or 5 years ago is this true, it sounds kind of fishy to me, & it was a guy i couldn’t understand very well so had to have him keep repeating what he said, my question is do i have to send this stuff in or can it be something else that doesn’t have certain information on it, not comfortable with sending anybody my banking info ty

    • Free Government Cell Phones says

      We certainly would not recommend sending anything with your bank information on it to anyone.

  2. Betty Jeanne McClintock says

    At 76 years of age and receiving a PERS Retirement Direct Deposit of $945.97 PLUS Social Security of
    $198.00 = Total of $1143.97. It appears to me I qualify, do I? Also have a sever hearing problem that
    Ohio Rehab mostly helped me to get, so do you have a free phone for the hearing impaired?

    • Free Government Cell Phones says

      You qualify but I don’t know if any of the providers have phone for the hearing-impaired.

  3. Jeanie Friar says

    I have lost access to phone service due to inability to pay for a replacement phone for the one I purchased from the Cricket company, who does not provide service in the Ohio Barberton area. I was willing to pay for the Forty Six dollars to have mobile web, so I had contact with out of state relatives, but the phone died and I cannot afford to replace it and they won’t honor the warranty. I got it in September 2013 and it dies two days ago July 14, 2014. I see no other option but to apply for a “free phone” as I am below the poverty guidelines indicate above. Could you mail the application to me as access to the computer is limited to when it is not used by other residents in my senior living facility? I hope so. Thank you.

  4. Theodore J. Nesbitt says

    I am 72 years old, single and retired. I receive $1001 per month in Social Security benefits and a teachers’ retirement check of $331 per month. My total monthly income is $1332. I have taken a part-time job through which I earn about $180 per month — and most months less than that.

    Am I eligible for a cell phone or any other kind of government assistance?

    Thank you.

    Ted Nesbitt

  5. Richard M. Basil says

    I am on Social Security Disability, and I get extra help, and HEAP. I am interested in government free cell phone. Thank you