We see that a lot of people end up on our site after searching for “free phones for seniors.” While the Lifeline Assistance program that our website is primarily devoted to does not offer age or being a social security recipient as a qualification, they’ve still come to the right place.
If you call any of the providers and ask if there is a special program for senior citizens, they’ll tell you no. They can’t discount a free cell phone below zero, and they don’t offer more minutes or features if you show your AARP card. (By the way, there’s no AARP cell phone that free, although the AARP .)
We’re not sure how the concept of free cell phones for seniors got its start. Perhaps it was due to local programs in counties and cities that hand out second-hand cell phones with no minutes, but are still 911-operable for emergencies. Any phone with a charge will be able to dial 911, even with no service, so some organizations collect old phones and give them away to seniors.
A recent story, 3,000,000 Middle Class Americans to be Eligible for Free Government Cell Phones, may have also contributed to the rumor. Thanks to a little-noticed clause in the nation’s new healthcare law, up to three million middle-class early retirees will qualify for free cell phones under the Lifeline phone service program.
Regardless, whatever your age, senior citizen or not, the qualifications for a free government cell phone (and up to 250 minutes airtime a month) are the same. Qualify either by your low-income status or current participation in another public assistance program like food stamps, Medicaid, SSI, public housing and others.
If you’re looking for the “AARP freecell”, that’s an online game not a phone.