How Can I Get a Free Tablet?
Tablets are highly practical devices that offer the best features of both smartphones and laptops. They can be used to communicate with loved ones, contact emergency and other services, for work, education, entertainment, and much more.
Unfortunately, many low-income families are unable to afford a tablet and would, therefore, benefit greatly from a free device. In addition to getting a special deal from a carrier or retailer, becoming a reviewer, and entering an online getaway, low-income households may easily receive a free tablet in two ways:
Get a Free Tablet From the Government
The government offers the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which is designed to provide discounts on internet services (and in certain cases connected devices, such as tablets, laptops, and desktops) to eligible low-income people.
Get a Free Tablet From Charities and Non-profit Organizations
In addition, certain charities and non-profits also offer free tablets and other devices to low-income people who need such devices but are unable to afford them themselves.
Does Boost Mobile Offer Free Tablets Under Lifeline or ACP?
Boost Mobile doesn’t offer Lifeline benefits, but it does offer the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) discounts to eligible customers.
All ACP providers offer a discount of up to $30 a month ($75 a month for eligible customers on Tribal lands) on broadband services. However, only some of them also offer a one-time discount on connected devices (tablets, laptops, or desktop computers) under the condition that the customer pays a co-pay of more than $10 and less than $50.
Unfortunately, Boost Mobile is not one of those ACP providers that offer discounts on devices, as such, it is currently not possible to receive a Boost Mobile free tablet.
What Other Benefits Can I Get From Boost Mobile?
Even though Boost Mobile free tablets are currently not available, the company does participate in the ACP program. As such, ACP-eligible customers are still able to receive a monthly discount of up to $30 (or $75 for eligible Tribal households) on broadband services.
The discount can be applied on either a 10 GB Unlimited phone plan (which includes unlimited talk and text and 10 GB or 4G or 5G data), tablet plan, or mobile hotspot plan.
In addition to the ACP discount, Boost Mobile also offers other benefits. The wireless service provider and mobile virtual network operator offers a decent selection of relatively affordable phone plans, tablet plans, hotspot data plans, a large variety of high-quality cell phones and hotspot devices, access to a nationwide network, responsive customer support service, frequent special deals, exclusive perks for customers, and more.
Which Companies Provide Government Free Tablets?
Receiving a Boost Mobile free tablet is currently not possible. Nevertheless, ACP-eligible low-income households can still receive a free tablet from the government from another ACP provider.
As mentioned before, only certain ACP providers offer one-time discounts on connected devices. And from the ones that do, not all offer free tablets – some offer free laptops, desktop computers, or even smartphones (through Lifeline) instead.
ACP providers tend to change their offers depending on availability. However, currently, the following companies provide government free tablets to eligible customers:
How to Get a Free Tablet From Other Providers?
To receive a free tablet from an ACP provider that offers government free tablets, you must follow this simple, yet important process:
- First, make sure you are ACP-eligible. Only ACP-eligible customers can receive a free tablet from an ACP provider. See the ACP eligibility criteria in the section ‘Who Is Eligible for a Free Tablet?’.
- Find an ACP provider that offers free tablets in your state of residence. You can see the full list of ACP providers in your state at fcc.gov/affordable-connectivity-program-providers. The ones that have a tick under ‘Offering Connected Devices’ may offer free tablets. According to government rules, you can only apply for an ACP provider in your state of residence.
- Make copies of official, unexpired documents that prove your ACP eligibility, as you may be required to provide some of them during the application process. See the list of potentially needed documents in the section ‘What Documents Are Required to Apply for a Free Tablet?’.
- Apply for a free tablet. Visit the provider’s website and apply online or contact them and ask if they offer any other application methods. Learn more about the ACP application process in the section ‘How to Apply for a Free Tablet?’.
Who Is Eligible for a Free Tablet?
The Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP is managed by the government, therefore all ACP providers must follow the same government-determined ACP eligibility criteria.
A household is ACP-eligible and may receive a free tablet from an ACP free tablet provider if a member of the household meets at least one of the following eligibility criteria:
- A household’s annual income is 200% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The limit depends on the state and household size.
- A member of the household participates in one (or more) of the following Federal Assistance programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- A member of the household participates in one (or more) of the following Tribal Assistance programs:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)
- A member of the household receives a Lifeline benefit.
- A household is approved to participate in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program.
- A household has received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
Additionally, to apply, you must be a resident of one of the states where the provider offers ACP discounts and you must either be 18 years old or older or an emancipated minor.
You can confirm your ACP eligibility by filling out the online application at the National Verifier at nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&ebbp=true. This secure website will let you know whether or not you qualify.
What Documents Are Required to Apply for a Free Tablet?
As all kinds of ACP benefits (including discounts on devices and monthly services) are only available for ACP-eligible households, it is vital to prove your eligibility during the application process. You can prove that you qualify by providing certain unexpired official documents that confirm your identity, age, address, or eligibility. Most ACP providers will allow you to attach digital copies of the documents during the online application process. Alternatively, you can send them via mail.
Note: Make sure to only provide copies created with a copy machine, scanner, camera, or smartphone, and to never provide originals.
Depending on your ACP eligibility criteria, you may be required to provide:
- An official document that shows that your household annual income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The documentation must include your full legal name and annual income. Acceptable documents include a current income statement from your employer, a paycheck stub, a prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return, a Social Security statement of benefits, Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits, a retirement/pension statement of benefits, divorce decree, child support award, Veterans Administration statement of benefits, etc.
- An official document that proves your participation in a qualifying government assistance program. The document must include your full legal name, the name of the qualifying program, the name of the establishment that issued the document, and an issue date within the last 12 months or a future expiration date. Acceptable documents include an approval letter, benefit award letter, benefit verification letter, statement of benefits, etc.
In case you will also be required to verify any other personal information, you may need:
- To verify your identity or age, you may be asked to provide an unexpired official document that includes your full legal name and date of birth, such as a passport, valid government, military, state, or Tribal ID, driver’s license, birth certificate, Permanent Resident Card or Green Card, Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization, etc.
- To verify your physical address, you may be asked to provide an unexpired official document that includes your full legal name and address, such as a valid government, state, or Tribal ID, utility bill, mortgage or lease statement, most recent W-2 or tax return, etc.
- Emancipated minors may also be asked to provide an official document that includes their full name and confirmation of emancipated minor status, such as a court document or certificate of emancipation.
How to Apply for a Free Tablet?
The exact application process to receive a government free tablet may vary slightly between ACP providers, however, most providers allow customers to follow this simple, quick, and general application process:
- After confirming your ACP eligibility by reviewing the eligibility criteria or through the National Verifier and after finding an ACP provider that offers free tablets in your state of residence, you can visit the provider’s official website.
- Find the provider’s online ACP application form and fill it out. To do so, you will be required to provide some personal information and supporting documentation that proves your eligibility.
- After submitting the application, wait a couple of days for the provider to send you a confirmation email, informing you of whether or not your application has been approved.
- If you have applied for an ACP free tablet, due to government rules, you will be required to contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
- If approved, expect to receive your free tablet within 7 to 10 days (depending on availability). Your ACP discount, on the other hand, will be applied in your next billing cycle. Finally, simply enjoy your ACP free device and free or discounted internet service plan.
The Best Non-governmental Companies That Provide Free Tablets Without Boost Mobile
In addition to the government-funded Affordable Connectivity Program providers that offer free tablets (listed in the section ‘Which Companies Provide Government Free Tablets?’), there are also some non-governmental companies, charities, and organizations that provide free devices for low-income households in need. Some of these companies include:
- Accelerated Schools Organization
- Computers For Learning
- Computer Technology Assistance Corps
- Komputers 4 Kids
- Microsoft Registered Refurbished
- On it Foundation
- Technology Assisting People In Need
- The Salvation Army
- World Computer Exchange
Moreover, you can contact your local church, school, or library and ask if they provide free tablets for low-income people, as many of them do.
You may also be able to receive a free tablet through a carrier or retailer’s special offer, by becoming a marketing agent or reviewer, entering an online giveaway, participating in a survey, or through Amazon Vine.
Which Tablets Are Provided by the Government?
Many ACP providers do not reveal which tablet brands and models they offer for free in advance as their offers depend on the location and availability. However, some ACP providers do reveal this information. Most ACP providers offer new or refurbished mid-range tablets with 4G connectivity and all the basic features. Some of the government free tablets provided by ACP providers include:
- Alcatel Joy Tab
- Lenovo Tab 5
- Lenovo Tab M10 Plus
- Google Chromebook
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
- Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
- Fire HD 10 Tablet
- LG G Pad 5
- New Microsoft Surface Go 2
- Apple iPad 2020