TruConnect is an American MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that offers mobile devices, as well as affordable talk, text, and data plans on T-Mobile’s nationwide network. TruConnect is a Lifeline phone service provider, as such, they offer free or discounted wireless service plans, hotspots, and cell phones to Lifeline-eligible low-income customers. Lifeline is a government benefit program that subsidizes phone service for low-income households, thus making sure that everyone stays in touch.
In addition to Lifeline, TruConnect is also an Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program provider. The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a limited-time government benefit program by the FCC that offers eligible customers discounts on monthly broadband internet access service as well as some connected devices.
While we have established that TruConnect offers free or discounted smartphones, we have yet to find out whether or not the MVNO also provides free or discounted tablets. To find out this and more, keep reading.
Does TruConnect Really Offer Free EBB Tablet?
As we have mentioned before, the government-funded Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program is FCC’s limited-time program that provides discounts on monthly broadband internet service and certain connected devices.
Each eligible household can only get one service discount and one device discount. The exact EBB plans, devices, and offers depend both on your state of residence and available options at the time of your inquiry.
If and where available, TruConnect does offer eligible subscribers the possibility to purchase a discounted Android tablet with LTE connectivity that may qualify for an EBB discount of up to $100.
How To Get TruConnect Free Tablet?
To get a TruConnect free or discounted tablet, you must be EBB-eligible.
EBB eligibility criteria are similar to Lifeline’s eligibility criteria. There are several different criteria that may make a person eligible for an EBB benefit.
- Income-based eligibility. A person can be EBB-eligible if they have a gross annual household income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. A person can also be EBB-eligible if their household has experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020. Households that experienced a job loss or furlough and reported a 2020 household income at or less than $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for joint filers are eligible to participate.
- Program-based eligibility. A person can be EBB-eligible if they qualify for Lifeline or any other Lifeline-qualifying program. They can be eligible if they participate in SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit Fund. A person may also be EBB-eligible if they participate in an EBB Program-qualifying program, such as the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program.
- Unemployment-based eligibility. For a limited amount of time (as determined by the FCC), a person may also qualify for EBB due to unemployment.
- Eligibility for enhanced support. In addition to any one-time device discount that may be available, EBB subscribers who live on qualifying Tribal lands may also receive a discount of up to $75 a month on their broadband service. They can receive the Enhanced Tribal Benefit regardless of how they qualify for the EBB Program.
EBB eligibility is determined for the FCC by Universal Service Administrative Company’s National Verifier and National Lifeline Accountability Database, or an alternative verification process approved by the FCC.
In case you prove to be EBB-eligible you will get one non-transferable service discount and you may also receive (depending on availability) a discount of up to $100 on an Android tablet.
What Documents Are Required For TruConnect Free Tablet Application?
When applying for the EBB discount and benefit, you may be required to provide certain documents in case USAC is unable to find a person’s EBB program eligibility, identity, or address in a database.
EBB application documents include:
- An official document verifying your identity (for example, your passport, state ID or other government-issued ID, U.S. military ID, U.S. Driver’s license, Social Security Number, Tribal Identification Number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
- An official document showing your address (for example, a driver’s license, a valid government, state, or Tribal ID, utility bill, mortgage or lease statement, most recent W-2, or tax return)
- If you qualify based on your income, you will be required to provide a document that shows that your annual household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty guidelines (for example, a prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return, current income statement from your employer or a paycheck stub, a Social Security statement of benefits, Veterans Administration statement of benefits, Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits, divorce decree, child support award, or a similar official document showing your income, a retirement/pension statement of benefits)
- If you qualify based on assistance program participation, you will be required to provide an official document proving that you are currently participating in the program (for example, a benefit award letter, an approval letter, a statement of benefits, a benefit verification letter)
- If you qualify based on substantial loss of income, you will have to provide a document showing loss of income due to job loss (including bankruptcy or business closure) or furlough since February 29, 2020 (for example, a layoff/furlough notice, an unemployment application, approval letter, or benefit statement, evidence of bankruptcy or business closure) and a document proving that your annual household income is now below $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for joint fillers (for example, a 2020 state, federal, or tribal tax return, Social Security statement of benefits, Veterans Administration statement of benefits, Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits, divorce decree, child support award, or a similar official document showing your income, a retirement/pension statement of benefits)
- As EBB participants must be at least 18 years old or emancipated, emancipated minors must provide a court document or certification proving their emancipated minor status.
The applicant can make copies or take pictures of the required document using a scanner, copy machine, camera, or smartphone. Copies must be clear, easy to read, and should not be blurry or too dark. Make sure to never submit original documents.
How To Apply For The TruConnect Free Tablet?
Applying for the TruConnect free tablet is simple. All you have to do is to follow the steps below.
- Step 1: Determine whether or not you are eligible for the EBB program through the National Verifier. To do so, visit getemergencybroadband.org/?icid=MGPO_TMO_U_21TMOEBB_2OU88MVBPF300N6P24758 and apply for the EBB program by submitting an enrollment form. In case you are accepted in the National Verifier, you will receive an approved application.
- Step 2: Visit truconnect.com/broadband and simply enter your ZIP code and email address. Once you do so, press ‘Apply Now’.
- Step 3: If you are a resident of an eligible state, the system will allow you to continue the application process. You will be required to provide all the necessary information, therefore make sure to read the instructions carefully. Once you are done, press ‘Submit’.
- Step 4: Once you have applied, TruConnect will let you know soon whether or not you qualify for their EBB program and if there is an Android tablet and a device discount available at the moment and at your exact location.
Which Brand Of Tablet Does TruConnect Offer Free Or Discounted?
At the moment, TruConnect offers the opportunity for eligible customers to purchase a discounted 8″ Google Play Certified Android tablet with LTE connectivity that may qualify for an EBB discount of up to $100.
However, whether or not you can get the discounted device depends on the state and time availability.
For more information about the potential tablets you may be able to receive through the EBB benefit, contact TruConnect’s customer support by a submission form or chat at truconnect.com/contact-us or by phone at 800-430-0443 (available from Monday to Saturday 5 am – 9 pm PST).
In case you also need information What Phones Are Compatible With TruConnect
What Other Benefits Do I Get if I Qualify For A TruConnect EBB Program?
In addition to the opportunity to purchase a discounted Android tablet with LTE connectivity that may qualify for an EBB discount of up to $100, an eligible customer may also get one monthly broadband internet service discount.
The TruConnect EBB plans vary based on your state of residence and available options at the time of your application. Generally, TruConnect EBB plans include:
- California Lifeline customers: The TruConnect California FREE EBB plan comes with 14 GB of 4G/LTE data (EBB plan adds 8 GB to your Lifeline plan) with Wi-Fi hotspot capability.
- Lifeline customers outside of California: The TruConnect FREE EBB plan comes with 12.5 GB of 4G/LTE data (EBB plan adds 8 GB of data to your Lifeline plan) with Wi-Fi hotspot capability.
- Stand-Alone Service: The TruConnect FREE EBB plan comes with 8 GB of 4G/LTE data with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and your choice of an LTE-enabled hotspot device or Google Play Certified LTE Android handset.
Both the discounted tablet and the monthly discount on broadband service give an eligible customer a large variety of benefits:
- TruConnect’s EBB program allows low-income people to stay connected to their loved ones.
- It allows them to stay connected to virtual classrooms and education facilities.
- It allows them to stay in touch with work and to seek out new job opportunities.
- It allows them to stay in touch with health services.
- It allows them to stay in touch with emergency services and more.
In Which Areas Does TruConnect Currently Offer Lifeline And EBB Programs?
TruConnect currently offers Lifeline service to residents in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawai’i, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, as well as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. The provider is expected to add states soon.
EBB program is available across all 50 states for the duration of the EBB program.
Read one of our past articles T-Mobile Lifeline Government Discounts
What Are The TruConnect EBB Restrictions?
TruConnect EBB program offers discounts on monthly broadband internet access services and some devices, however, it comes with certain restrictions. TruConnect EBB restrictions include:
- Both the monthly service and device discounts are non-transferrable.
- An eligible household can only get one monthly service discount and one device discount.
- In case you or any of your household members already have an EBB discount, you won’t be able to get another EBB discount from any other EBB provider, including TruConnect. However, you can transfer your EBB benefit to another participating EBB provider at any time.
- The EBB program is a limited-time program. As soon as the FCC announces the end of the program (which is said to happen approximately 6 months after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic) or as soon as TruConnect terminates their EBB service offer, the provider will notify you and you will be able to continue receiving the standard free Lifeline plan if you are eligible and where available.
- Only EBB-eligible people can get the discount and thus the free tablet. See EBB eligibility criteria above.
How Good Is TruConnect Coverage Network?
Given the fact that TruConnect uses T-Mobile’s nationwide network, which is one of the best networks in the country, TruConnect also offers an excellent network and great coverage. You can see TruConnect’s nationwide coverage map at truconnect.com/wireless/coverage/map.
Does TruConnect Charge Any Cost for TruConnect EBB Tablet?
Eligible households can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a tablet if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
How Long Does It Take to Receive a TruConnect Free Tablet and EBB Program Benefits?
If your EBB application has already been approved, you can enroll in TruConnect’s EBB program at once. On the other hand, if you are applying via TruConnect the application process may take between 3 to 8 days, depending on various factors.
Does TruConnect Lifeline Give Free Phones?
Yes, Lifeline-eligible customers can expect to receive a free smartphone. However, the brand, model, and other details depend on your state of residence and current availability.
Can I Replace a TruConnect Free Phone and Tablet?
Yes. If you experience any technical issues with the device, issues that are not caused by your misuse of the device and if the device is under warranty, you may be able to get a free replacement device. If, on the other hand, you damaged the device yourself or if it got lost or stolen, you will be required to pay for the replacement device.
Is TruConnect EBB the Same as Lifeline?
No, while both are government-funded aid programs, Lifeline is a permanent program, while EBB is a temporary one. TruConnect’s EBB and Lifeline benefits are similar but not the same. You can read more about TruConnect’s EBB benefits at truconnect.com/broadband and find out more about TruConnect’s Lifeline benefits at truconnect.com/lifeline.
Does TruConnect Offer Free Internet?
Yes, TruConnect’s EBB and Lifeline programs both offer up to 14 GB of free monthly data to eligible customers.