Are you on Food Stamps/SNAP or Medicaid in California and want to learn more about how to get a free government cell phone? We have the information you need. In this post, we will walk you through how to get a free phone with California food stamps or other government benefits programs. This is through the Lifeline program, a service created by the government to provide discounted or free phone service to income-eligible people.
Table of Contents:
The LifeLine government assistance program started in 1985 to help households, at or below the poverty level line, afford a means of communication.
The California LifeLine Program (California LifeLine) is a state program that provides discounted home phone and cell phone services to eligible households.
The California LifeLine discounts help consumers lower the cost of their phone bills.
Only one discount per household is allowed.
Each household must choose to get the discount either on a home phone or on a cell phone, but not on both.
There are three steps to getting a Lifeline phone:
There are two ways to qualify for the Lifeline phone program:
If you participate in one of the following federal assistance programs, you may be eligible for the Lifeline phone program.
Participation by you or someone else in your household in one of the following federal assistance programs meets the eligibility requirements:
The first option to qualify for the Lifeline phone program is to meet the income limit.
Below is the Lifeline Phone Program income limit for California:
|Household Size||Annual Income Limits|
|Each Additional Member||$7,200|
|Effective June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022|
You have to apply for Lifeline through a Lifeline phone or internet provider in your state. Scroll down below to see the list of Lifeline providers by state.
Ask your Lifeline provider for a Lifeline application. You will need the following information to apply:
Here’s what you need to apply:
Note: Effective 12/1/19, the federal government is reducing the Lifeline discount on stand-alone voice service from $9.25 to $7.25 per month.
Scroll down below to see the Lifeline program providers in California.
The list is divided into Cell Phone Providers and Home Phone Providers.
You can choose which program to take advantage of, based on your home situation.
However, you can only participate in one program per household.
This means that your lifeline benefits can be used to either get a cell phone service or a home phone.
Below is a list of cell phone providers that participate in the Lifeline program in the state of California.
|Air Voice Wireless||888-944-2355|
|Boomerang Wireless LLC||866-488-8719|
Below is a list of home phone providers that participate in the Lifeline program in the state of California.
|TDS Telecom/Winter Haven Telephone Company||888-225-5837|
|Volcano Telephone Company||888-886-5226|
|Pinnacles Telephone Co.||831-389-4500|
|TDS Telecom/Hornitos Telephone Company||888-225-5837|
|TDS Telecom/Happy Valley Telephone Company||888-225-5837|
|Ducor Telephone Company||888-539-5234|
|Consolidated Communications of California Company||844-968-7224|
|Calaveras Telephone Company||800-253-2511|
|Sierra Telephone Company, Inc.||877-658-4611|
Here are the most frequently asked questions about the California Lifeline program:
For the purposes of the Lifeline program, a household is defined as anyone living at the same address who share income and household expenses.
Only one Lifeline benefit is allowed per household.
According to Lifewireless, a Lifeline program provider in California, here is what you get with their plan:
Qualified customers will receive 6GB of Data and 100 international SMS each month.
See below for details from TAG Mobile, a California Lifeline Provider.
According to Assurance Wireless, with 6GB of data, you can:
With 6GB of data a month you can:
Note that data speeds may vary. These examples are estimates. Actual data usage varies by App and streaming quality.
Here are the most well-known companies providing free government phone services through the lifeline program:
Do any restrictions apply to the California LifeLine and federal Lifeline Programs?
Yes, the following restrictions apply:
To file a complaint about your lifeline provider, see the options below to reach the California Public Utilities Commission:
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco CA 94102
Locate the “File a Complaint” link on the website.
Free Phone With California Food Stamps Summary
We hope this post on the free phone with California food stamps was helpful.
For a list of Free Museum Admission with EBT Card, click here: Free Admission with California EBT Card.
To see a list of Restaurants that take EBT in California, click here: List of Restaurants that take SNAP EBT in California.
For CalFresh FAQs, click here: California SNAP FAQs.
If you have further questions about California SNAP or CalFresh EBT Card, please let us know in the comments section below.
Be sure to check out our other articles about CalFresh and CalFresh EBT, including:
California P-EBT Extension for 2020/2021
How much will I get in CalFresh in 2021?
How to Complete CalFresh SAR 7 Form
$3,000 Stimulus Child Tax Credit for Families
SNAP Benefits for Texas