In today’s interconnected world, having a phone is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Unfortunately, many low-income families and unemployed individuals struggle to afford a device and essential cell phone services. Recognizing this challenge, the American government established the Lifeline program in the 1980s to ensure access to basic phone services for those in need. While all Lifeline providers offer discounts on wireless services, some go a step further by offering free or discounted phones to eligible individuals. And here’s the exciting part: participants of the Food Stamp program are eligible for Lifeline benefits! In this article, we will explore the best providers and guide you on how to get a free phone with Food Stamps, along with insights into the type of phone you can expect to receive.
Is It Possible to Get a Free iPhone With Food Stamp Program?
Participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) should be enough to qualify for Lifeline assistance. Residents of the United States who are Lifeline eligible (including SNAP participants) are qualified to receive both a monthly discount on wireless services and a free government-funded cell phone.
As mentioned before, some Lifeline providers only offer discounted services, but many also offer free or discounted mobile devices to Lifeline-eligible customers. Exactly which device you can expect to receive depends fully on the Lifeline provider. Most Lifeline providers who offer free or discounted cell phones give out mid-range Android smartphones. However, there are some Lifeline providers (which may, however, not be available in all states) that also offer iPhones.
So, to answer the question – yes, it is possible to get a free iPhone with the Food Stamp (SNAP) program, as Food Stamp participants are Lifeline eligible and as some Lifeline providers do offer iPhones.
Top Companies That Offer a Free iPhone With Food Stamp Program
While the list of free government Android phones is quite large, the list of free government iPhone providers is rather short. The only Lifeline or ACP providers that have confirmed to offer free iPhones are the following:
AirTalk Wireless is a company that is quickly growing. It is a Lifeline and ACP provider that helps families who struggle financially. It offers free monthly service plans with unlimited talk, text, and broadband service in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, however, they are planning to expand to other states soon.
In addition to free monthly service plans, eligible customers can also receive a free iPhone and an opportunity to buy a highly discounted tablet.
To receive a free iPhone from AirTalk Wireless, you must be eligible by the following criteria:
- You must have a household income below 135% of the Federal poverty line.
- You must participate in a government assistance program, such as SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Survivor Pensions Fund, etc.
To apply for an AirTalk free iPhone, you must:
- Visit https://airtalkwireless.com/apply and enter your ZIP code.
- If the service is available in your area, you can select a plan and device.
- When redirected to the application form, fill it out by providing all the necessary information and documentation verifying your identity and proving your eligibility.
- Alternatively, call their customer care at +1 (855) 924-7825 and tell a representative that you wish to apply.
- Once you have provided all the information and documentation, you will be notified about receiving the free iPhone. The product is available until supplies last.
Cintex Wireless is a Lifeline and ACP provider. The company provides free monthly wireless services and mobile devices (cell phones and tablets) in five U.S. states – Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
As a part of their Lifeline program, you can receive an entry-level to mid-range Android smartphone. However, as a part of their Lifeline & ACP Combo program, you may get a free iPhone (depending on availability).
To get a free iPhone from Cintex Wireless you must be eligible by the following criteria:
- You must participate in a government assistance program, such as SNAP, SSI, or Medicaid.
- Your household income is below 135% of the Federal poverty line.
- You must be a resident of any of the states mentioned above.
To apply for a Cintex Wireless free iPhone, you must:
- Visit https://cintexwireless.com/apply and enter your ZIP code to sign up.
- Provide all the necessary information during the application process.
- Provide all the necessary documentation, which will prove your eligibility.
- Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the form.
- In case you are eligible, receive your free iPhone or another smartphone (depending on availability) within a few days.
NewPhone is another popular Lifeline and ACP provider. It offers both free monthly wireless services and free smartphones (both Android and iPhones) to customers in need. Customers can also get a highly discounted tablet. The company’s benefits are only available in Louisiana and Wyoming.
To receive a free iPhone from NewPhone Wireless, you must be eligible by the following criteria:
- You must have a household income below 135% of the Federal poverty line.
- You must participate in a government assistance program, such as SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Survivor Pensions Fund, etc.
- You must have received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
To apply for a NewPhone Wireless free iPhone, you must:
- Visit newphone.com and apply online. Press Apply, enter your ZIP code, and select a plan. When redirected to the application form, fill in the required information and press ‘Sign up now’. You may also be required to provide certain documentation verifying your identity and proving your eligibility.
- Once you have applied, all of the provided data and proofs will be verified through the government’s secure and confidential system.
- Once your application is approved (which will happen as long as you are ACP or Lifeline eligible), you will receive the monthly service discount and a free phone. Expect to receive the free phone within 7-10 business days. The shipping is completely free of charge.
Check if any of these providers operate and offer their services in your state of residence. If so, and if you are Lifeline or ACP-eligible, these three providers are your best chance to receive a free iPhone with Food Stamp or SNAP.
There are many Lifeline or ACP providers that offer free Android phones, including:
- American Assistance
- Blue Jay Wireless
- Budget Mobile
- Easy Wireless
- enTouch Wireless
- Life Wireless
- ReachOut Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
- Tag Mobile
- True Wireless
- U.S. Cellular
- Verizon Wireless
Note: Not all of these providers offer their services in all states. In addition, whether or not you can get a free phone from them and which brand/model depends on their availability. Some of these providers may ask you to pay a small co-pay in order to receive the device.
List of Free iPhones You Can Get With Food Stamps in 2023
The only iPhone models that have so far been confirmed to be offered by certain Lifeline and ACP companies are:
- Apple iPhone 7
- Apple iPhone 6s Plus
- Apple iPhone 6s
- Apple iPhone 6
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus
- Apple iPhone 7 Plus
- Apple iPhone SE
- Apple iPhone 8
Ways to Get a Free iPhone With Food Stamps in 2023
There are actually two ways to get a free iPhone with Food Stamps:
- Lifeline. Lifeline is a government assistance program that offers discounts on monthly phone and wireless services and cell phones.
- Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). While Lifeline has been offering free phones and services since the 1980s, ACP is a brand new government assistance program that offers discounts on monthly internet services and a one-time discount of up to $100 per household to purchase an internet-connected device. The devices that are usually provided by ACP companies are tablets, however, many providers also offer free phones instead.
Process to Get a Free iPhone With Food Stamp (SNAP) Program in 2023
In order to get a free iPhone (or any other free government phone for that matter), you must follow a few simple steps.
Step 1: First, you must qualify for Food Stamps (SNAP). Secondly, you must be Lifeline or Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) eligible.
You can see the SNAP, Lifeline, and ACP eligibility criteria below.
Step 2: Secondly, you must be able to prove your eligibility during the application process. To do so, you will have to provide some personal information and clear copies of valid official documents that contain all the relevant proof.
Step 3: Apply for the Food Stamps (SNAP) program and afterward also for Lifeline and/or ACP. If your application gets approved, you have to find a Lifeline or ACP provider that offers services in your state and offers free iPhones. Once you find a Lifeline provider that offers free iPhones in your state of residence, contact them and ask them how to apply for their program and get the free iPhone.
The provider’s customer service will probably direct you to an online application site. There, you will be required to provide certain information and documentation that verifies your identity and proves your eligibility. Once you fill out the form and provide everything that is required, the provider will take some time to review your application. Once your application has been reviewed, you will be notified whether or not you qualify for their program and benefits. You will also be notified about what to do or expect next and about when you can expect to receive your free phone.
Eligibility Requirements for a Free iPhone With Food Stamps in 2023
Under federal rules, to be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program), your household’s income and resources must meet three tests:
- Gross monthly income (a household’s income before any of the program’s deductions are applied) must be at or below 130% of the poverty line. The poverty line is higher for bigger families and lower for smaller families.
- Net income (or a household’s income after the program deductions are applied) must be at or below the poverty line.
- Assets must fall below some limits. The limits are: households without a member who is elderly (an elderly person is considered one that is 60 or more years old) or who has a disability must have assets of $2,500 or less, and households with such a member must have assets of $3,750 or less.
Nevertheless, some people cannot be SNAP-eligible, regardless of whether or not they meet the income and assets requirements. People who are not SNAP-eligible by default include:
- People who are on strike
- Unauthorized immigrants
- Some students attending college more than half the time
- Some lawfully present immigrants
In addition, unemployed adults without children in the home who do not have disabilities are limited to three months of SNAP benefits every three years in many areas of the country.
To be Lifeline-eligible, you must meet the FCC’s criteria, which is universal for all Lifeline providers. A person or household is eligible if they meet one (or more) of the following criteria:
- Has an income below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Participates in certain federal assistance programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs.
A person who is Lifeline-eligible is also ACP eligible, as the two Lifeline criteria as the same. However, you can also be ACP-eligible if you have:
To be ACP-eligible, you must meet the FCC’s criteria, which is universal for all ACP providers. A person or household is eligible if they meet one (or more) of the following criteria:
- Has an income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Participates in certain federal assistance programs, such as Lifeline or any of the Lifeline qualifying programs listed above, WIC, or Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program.
- Received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
Documents Required to Get a Free iPhone With Food Stamps
To get a free iPhone with Food Stamps, you will have to prove your SNAP, Lifeline, and/or ACP eligibility.
To do so, you will have to provide personal information, such as your full legal name, address, date of birth, contact information, SSN, etc. In addition, you will have to provide clear copies of certain valid official documents that prove your eligibility. Acceptable documents include:
- A document that verifies your identity and Social Security Number (SSN).
- A document that verifies your age, such as a valid ID, passport, birth certificate, etc.
- A document that proves your residency, such as a rent receipt, lease agreement, utility bill, or mortgage statement.
- A document that shows your earnings and the number of hours worked, such as pay stubs or a letter from your employer detailing your gross income and work hours.
- A document that verifies any additional sources of income you have, such as workers’ compensation, Veterans’ benefits, pension, child support, or alimony. Acceptable documents include benefit/award letters, payment records, or checks.
- A document that confirms your noncitizen status, such as a Permanent Resident Card, Employment Authorization Card, or any relevant immigration document.
- A document that proves that you participate in a government assistance program or that you have received a Federal Pell Grant, such as an approval letter, benefit award letter, benefit verification letter, or statement of benefits.
Application Process for a Free iPhone With Food Stamps in 2023
To get a free iPhone with Food Stamps, you must apply for Food Stamps (SNAP), Lifeline, and/or ACP.
To apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), you can either contact your local SNAP office or apply online through your state’s SNAP website. It’s important to gather the required documents beforehand to verify your income, citizenship status, and residency. Different states may have specific requirements, so it’s best to consult your local SNAP office for accurate guidance. If all household members receive SSI payments, you can get an application at any Social Security office. Otherwise, submit your application directly to the local SNAP office. You can find your local office or apply online through the USDA SNAP state directory website or by calling the SNAP information line. The application will be processed, and eligibility will be determined within 30 days. If you don’t receive a response within 30 days, contact the SNAP office for assistance. Keep the confirmation letter or verification of your SNAP participation for the ACP application process.
To apply for Lifeline, you should first do so through the National Verifier and then through the provider. Apply for the National Verifier online by visiting https://getinternet.gov/apply?id=nv_home, logging in or creating a new account if prompted, and completing the application form with all the required information and documentation copies. Alternatively, you can apply via mail. To do so, print out the application form at https://www.lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/get-lifeline/LI_Application_NVstates.pdf, fill it out, add the documentation copies, and send the document to Lifeline Support Center, P.O. Box 9100, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773. To apply through a company, you must find one, visit its website, and fill out the application form.
To apply for ACP, you have three options. First, you can apply online through the National Verifier website at https://getinternet.gov/apply?id=acp&awsl=link-from-how-to-apply, where you can create an account and complete the application. Immediate approval is possible with this method. Second, you can apply by mail by printing the application form at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf and the Household Worksheet at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf., completing them, and sending them along with proof documentation to the ACP Support Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773. Lastly, you can contact your internet company to inquire about their participation in the ACP or use the online tool to find a participating company near you. These companies can guide you through their own application process.
What Things to Remember While Applying for a Free iPhone With Food Stamp in 2023
When applying for a free iPhone with Food Stamp, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for both the Food Stamp program and the specific program offering the free iPhone. Typically, participation in the Food Stamp program is a requirement.
- Documentation: Prepare the necessary documentation to prove your eligibility. This may include official identification, proof of income, residency, and Food Stamp participation.
- Application Process: Familiarize yourself with the application process and requirements. Determine whether you need to apply online, through a specific provider, or via another method outlined in the application instructions.
- Verification: Be ready for potential verification processes. You may need to provide additional documentation or undergo an interview to confirm your eligibility.
- Timeframe: Understand that the application process may take some time. Be patient and follow up if you haven’t received a response within a reasonable period.
- Program Details: Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the program offering the free iPhone. Understand any obligations or restrictions associated with the device. Also, make sure that the provider offers good network coverage in your area and other benefits that fit your needs.
By keeping these considerations in mind, you can navigate the application process for a free iPhone with Food Stamp more effectively.
If I Don’t Get a Free iPhone with The Food Stamp or SNAP Program, How Else Can I Get a Free iPhone?
In case you participate in the SNAP or Food Stamps program or are otherwise Lifeline or ACP-eligible (see the eligibility criteria in the section ‘How to Get a Free iPhone With the Food Stamp (SNAP) Program?’), your best bet to receive a free iPhone is through a Lifeline or ACP provider. Lifeline and ACP providers that offer free iPhones are AirTalk Wireless, Cintex Wireless, and NewPhone Wireless, however, these providers do not offer their services in all U.S. states.
So, is there any other way to get a free iPhone for those who don’t live in qualifying states or are not Lifeline or ACP-eligible? The answer is yes! There are still many other ways to get a free iPhone. However, as nowadays there are tons of scams online, you have to make sure to choose a legit way to get a free iPhone.
Here are all the ways to get a free iPhone without a scam:
1. Get a carrier deal for a free iPhone
One of the simplest ways to receive an iPhone for free is by searching for carrier cell phone offers and deals. Most major carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint offer promotional deals for free iPhones (as well as free Android smartphones) on a regular basis.
However, the thing about carrier deals is that they don’t actually offer phones completely free of charge. You can only get a free phone in exchange for signing a 24-month (or sometimes more) contract. So, you actually get the iPhone for a loan and you are required to pay it off in 24 months in low monthly installments. In case you can afford to pay the low monthly installments but not the full price of the phone upfront, this may be a great option for you. This way, the only thing you will be required to pay upfront is a small ($30 to $50) activation fee and even this fee may be waived by the carrier company during promotion periods. Before you sign up, make sure you will be able to pay for the monthly installments and the plan.
Carrier companies also often offer ‘buy one, get one free’ promotions. If you have a friend or family member, who is currently looking to buy a phone, you can ask them to get this deal with you. If both of you sign up, you might be able to get cheaper fees.
Carrier deals for free phones change often, therefore you must check frequently to find an offer that fits your needs.
2. Get a free iPhone by becoming a free marketing agent
Apple often gives out free iPhones for marketing purposes. For example, users who have a large social media following (preferably on Instagram or Facebook) may be able to receive a free iPhone in exchange for a number of social media promotions, which may get Apple new customers. In case you have a vast social media following, contact Apple and you might be able to make a deal.
3. Get a free iPhone by becoming a reviewer
You may also be able to get a free iPhone if you apply as an iPhone reviewer. You can apply and receive a device to review from product testing. Simply sign up and provide your personal information. If your application gets approved, you will be notified. You will be asked to fill out an offer-based questionnaire. You will have to review the product in 500 words or more and perhaps include a few photos and a video reviewing the product. In case you are selected as the best reviewer, you will receive a brand new Apple iPhone completely free of charge.
4. Get a free iPhone by entering a giveaway contest
Another way to get a free iPhone is by entering a giveaway contest or a competition in which the winner gets a free iPhone. Many iPhone giveaways can be found online, but you have to be careful not to enter a contest that is a scam, as the personal information you will be required to provide may be in danger. Make sure to review their home page and their terms and conditions. In case you find a legit page, you can register and follow the on-screen prompts. If you win, you will receive an email confirmation and a phone and you may get asked to post about the giveaway on your social media.
5. Get a free iPhone via Amazon Vine
Finally, you can get a free iPhone via Amazon Vine, a program that rewards people for making honest reviews of their products by giving them a free iPhone. Simply create an Amazon account and provide an honest product review. In case the review gets noticed by the right people, you may be asked to review their mobile devices in exchange for a free iPhone.
In addition to ways to get a free iPhone, there are also several ways to get a big discount on an iPhone, including:
- Carrier deals for discounted iPhones.
- Store discounts and deals on iPhones.
- Buying a refurbished iPhone, which is considerably cheaper than a new one.
- Buying a used or second-hand iPhone on online sites like Swappa, Amazon Renewed, eBay, Apple Refurbished Store, etc.