In the words of an old song, “Forever is a long, long time.”
The short answer to the question is that you can have a free government cell phone for the rest of your life as long as you meet the requirements.
Here are the details:
As soon as you enroll, your free cell phone from the government it will be sent to your home address. You’ll probably receive it two to three weeks or so after you are approved. At the same time you will receive your first monthly allotment of minutes. You will continue receiving this monthly allotment for a full year.
As you get near the end of that one year period, Lifeline Assistance/Affordable Connectivity Program service providers are required to send you an email alerting you to the fact that you need to re-qualify and tell you how to do it. Don’t worry. It’s simple.
Federal and/or State regulations require that you re-certify that you are eligible for the Lifeline Assistance program within 30 days of the anniversary of your annual enrollment date. So mark it on your calendar.
There are two other times you are required to recertify:
First, if something could affect your Lifeline/ACP eligibility changes, your service provider may send you a notification asking you to recertify. We’re talking about things like changes in your income, household size, or your enrollment in government assistance programs.
Second, you may be chosen for a random qualify assurance review. In this case, your service provider will send you a notification with instructions on how to complete the review and provide the required documentation.
And as long as you continue to qualify, you can continue to use your free government cell phone and continue to receive your monthly allotment of minutes.