What Type of Phone is the Best for Seniors?
Are you looking for the best phone for your senior self or your senior loved one and can’t seem to decide what type of phone to choose? Well, nowadays, there are so many different types of phones with very different features and abilities that it must indeed be difficult to decide.
Naturally, the newer the phone, the more advanced features it offers. Newer phone models tend to be more powerful, faster, and more packed with amazing apps and options. As such, many cell phone users opt for the latest iPhones or Android smartphones.
However, when it comes to elderly users, the simpler – the better. Of course, there are certain unusually tech-savvy seniors that master all kinds of high-tech devices, however, the average senior person tends to feel confused and overwhelmed by the countless apps and features that come with an advanced smartphone. As such, many seniors prefer to have a simple flip phone with basic features that enable them to place and take phone calls, send and receive text messages, and perhaps take a few pictures of their grandchildren.
Is It Possible to Get a Free Flip Phone for Seniors?
Not only are many seniors reluctant to use high-tech phones, but many of them also struggle financially. As such, receiving a free flip phone for seniors would be an amazing deal for lots of seniors! However, is it possible to receive a free flip phone for seniors?
Luckily, the answer is yes! In fact, there are several ways in which seniors can get a free flip phone, especially those who come from low-income families. Read more in the next section.
What are the Ways to Get Free Flip Phones for Seniors?
Now, what exactly are the ways to receive free flip phones for seniors?
Low-income senior citizens have two main options:
- They can receive a free flip phone from the government,
- Or they can receive a free flip phone from a non-profit organization.
While these two options are only available for seniors with a limited budget, there are also some other methods to receive a free flip phone that are available for all people, regardless of the age or resources:
- Carrier deals. Many carriers offer free or discount flip phones and other mobile devices when you switch to their services, add a line, buy a qualifying plan, trade in an old device, buy one and get one free, etc.
- Retail discounts. Retail stores often offer amazing promotional offers, especially around major holidays.
- Opt for refurbished devices. There are many websites and stores that offer refurbished and used flip phones completely free of charge.
What Types of Phones Does the Government Offer for Free?
Wireless providers that participate in the Lifeline government assistance program generally offer entry-level to mid-range Android smartphones to eligible customers. However, in addition to Android smartphones, some providers also offer:
Unfortunately, many Lifeline providers do not disclose the exact phone brand, model, or type eligible customers may receive in advance. However, we did some research and discovered the best Lifeline providers that offer free flip phones for seniors.
What is the Process to Get a Free Flip Phone for Seniors From the Government?
If a person is eligible, the process to receive a free flip phone for seniors from the government is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is to follow these steps:
- Step 1: Check if you qualify for the Lifeline government assistance program.
- Step 2: Collect the documents that can prove your eligibility.
- Step 3: Apply for the Lifeline program and wait for approval.
- Step 4: Find the best cell phone provider in your area, preferably one that offers free flip phones for seniors. Apply for its services.
You can see exactly how to do all of these steps in the following four chapters.
How to Qualify for the Lifeline Program and Receive a Free Flip Phone?
Lifeline is a government assistance program designed to help make communications services more affordable for low-income people. While the program isn’t aimed directly toward senior citizens, many elderly people qualify – especially the ones that struggle financially and/or already receive some other government benefits.
The Lifeline program provides eligible customers with a monthly discount on phone, broadband, or bundled services of up to $9.25 (or $34.25 for eligible households on Tribal lands). In addition, numerous Lifeline providers also give out free government phones.
To qualify for the Lifeline program, a household or a household member must meet at least one of the following FCC-determined eligibility criteria:
- The annual household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- A household member participates in one or more of the following government aid programs:
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Food Stamps)
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- A household member 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)
In addition, the person who applies must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor and a resident of one of the states where the selected Lifeline provider offers its services.
What Documents Do I Need When Applying for the Lifeline Program?
When a senior (or any other person for that matter) applies for the Lifeline program, the person must prove their eligibility. The Lifeline support center as well as the selected Lifeline provider will try to very certain information on their own, however, if unsuccessful, you will be required to present certain official, unexpired documents that prove your eligibility.
Depending on your eligibility, you may be required to prove your:
- Household income. To do so, you must provide an official document that contains your full legal name and household income, such as:
- Current income statement from your employer or a paycheck stub
- Prior year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation statement of benefits
- Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
- Divorce decree
- Child support award
- Program participation. To do so, you must provide an official document that contains your full legal name, the program name, the name of the establishment that issued the document, and an issue date within the last year or a future expiration date, such as:
- Benefit award letter
- Approval letter
- Statement of benefits
- Benefit verification letter
- Identity or age. To do so, you must provide an official document that contains your full legal name and your date of birth, such as:
- A government, military, state, or Tribal ID
- Birth Certificate
- Driver’s license
- Government assistance program document
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization
- Permanent Resident Card or Green Card
- Address. To do so, you must provide an official document that contains your full legal name and physical address, such as:
- Utility bill
- Mortgage or lease statement
- Most recent W-2 or tax return
- Driver’s license
- A valid government, state, or Tribal ID
Additionally, emancipated minors must prove their emancipation status with a court document or certificate, and customers may also be asked to provide the last 4 digits of their social security number or full Tribal ID.
How to Apply for the Lifeline Program?
You can apply for the Lifeline program online or via mail.
To apply online
- Visit nv.fcc.gov/lifeline.
- Select your state of residence and press ‘Get Started’.
- When redirected to the official Lifeline online application form, make sure to fill it out by providing all the required personal information and documentation. At the end of each page press ‘Next’ and at the end of the application form press ‘Submit’.
To apply via mail
- Print out a Lifeline application form in English at lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/get-lifeline/LI_Application_NVstates.pdf.
- Complete the application form by providing all the required information.
- Add the documentation that proves your eligibility.
- Send the documentation to Lifeline Support Center, PO Box 7082, London, KY 40742.
Once you apply at the Lifeline support center, you will also be required to apply at the provider. However, you must first choose the best Lifeline provider that offers free flip phones for seniors. Read more in the following section.
Which Providers Offer Flip Phones for Seniors Under the Lifeline Program?
While most Lifeline providers offer entry-level to mid-range Android smartphones, these providers also offer free flip phones for seniors.
AirTalk Wireless is an excellent Lifeline provider that offers Android smartphones, iPhones, as well as free flip phones for seniors.
To apply and receive a free unlimited monthly plan and a free government phone, go to airtalkwireless.com and press ‘Apply Now’. Start your application by entering your ZIP code in the provided box and press ‘Apply now’ once more. If their services are available in your area, you will be redirected to your state’s offer page. Review it, select the plan, and press ‘Apply Now’. Fill out the online application form and submit it. If approved, you will be notified via email.
Cintex Wireless is AirTalk’s affiliate company and a Lifeline provider that also offers many kinds of free government devices, including Android smartphones, Apple iPhones, and free flip phones for seniors.
To apply, visit cintexwireless.com and press ‘Apply Now’. You will be required to enter your ZIP code. If their services are available in your area, you will be redirected to your state offer, where you can select a plan and proceed. Fill out the application form and submit it when done.
enTouch Wireless is a popular nationwide Lifeline provider that normally provides eligible Lifeline customers with a 5.5-inch smartphone from a trusted brand. However, as flip phones are generally much more affordable than smartphones, you can simply ask them during the application process to provide you with a flip phone instead.
To apply, go to entouchwireless.com and press the ‘Enroll Today’ button that is located at the top right corner. Choose your state at the pop-up window, then choose your plan, and when redirected to the online application form, make sure to fill it out by providing all the required personal information and proof documentation.
NewPhone is a Lifeline provider that offers a large selection of free government phones, including Android smartphones, iPhones, and free flip phones for seniors.
NewPhone Wireless is another affiliate company of AirTalk and Cintex. As such its application process is basically the same. To begin, go to newphone.com, press ‘Apply Now’, and follow the instructions.
SafeLink Wireless is another large Lifeline provider that offers its government discounts in many U.S. states. While the company normally offers free smartphones, you can also ask them to offer you a free flip phone instead.
To sign up, go to safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome, enter your ZIP code in the provided box, and press ‘Start’. If their services are available in your area, you will immediately be redirected to the company’s online application form. Fill it out by providing all the required information and documentation.
TruConnect is a nationwide Lifeline and ACP provider that also usually provides eligible customers with free Android phones, however, if you wish, you can contact the company and ask them to offer you a free flip phone for seniors instead.
To enroll, visit truconnect.com, enter your ZIP code and email address, and press ‘Enroll Now’. Follow the on-screen prompts to fill out the application form and submit it.
Which Flip Phones Does the Government Offer for Free for the Seniors
This flip phone model is currently available at AirTalk, NewPhone, and Cintex Wireless. This is a basic flip phone with Android OS, a 2MP camera with video capabilities, a 2.8-inch LCD display, 1 GN of internal memory and 8 GB of RAM, a 1500 mAh battery, and more. It has a large senior-friendly keypad with large buttons and fonts, great audio quality, simple navigation, 4G LTE connectivity, and a conveniently portable design.
Alcatel Go Flip 4
This flip phone model is currently available at NewPhone Wireless. It comes with a 2.8-inch LCD display, a 2MP rear camera with video ability, 4 GB of ROM, 512 MB of RAM, an 1850 mAh battery, and more. It has a bright and colorful display, large fonts, large buttons, a simple interface, hearing aid compatibility, and other features that senior users would surely appreciate.
Jitterbug is a popular mobile phone brand that produces phones especially for elderly people. With a dedicated emergency button, it actually doubles as a medical alert device. The phone has a bright display, large buttons, clear speakers, a magnifier, a flashlight, a dual 8MP camera, Alexa compatibility, and other senior-friendly features. It is also hearing aid-compatible and easy to use.
Kyocera DuraXE Epic
This is a very sturdy and durable device. If your senior friend is kind of clumsy, he or she would love this water and drop-proof device. The phone comes with SOS features, noise cancellation, customizable large buttons, high-quality speakers, a long-lasting battery, ample storage room (16 GB), a 5MP camera with autofocus and flash, 4G compatibility, and more senior-relevant options.
Nokia 2720 V Flip
A senior citizen may also like this flip phone from Nokia, which offers Google Assistant capabilities, long battery life, a dedicated SOS button, hearing aid compatibility, a large screen, large buttons, an intuitive interface, and more. It allows the user to make calls, send text messages, browse the internet, and even use some apps.
Other senior-friendly flip phones include:
- Consumer Cellular Link II
- LG Exalt LTE
- Coolpad SNAP
- Cingular Flip iV
- Alcatel GO Flip 3
- Kazuna eTalk
- Alcatel Go FlipV
- TLC Flip Pro
- Orbic Journey V
- Schok Classic Flip Phone
Apart From the Government, Which Charity Provides Free Phones for Seniors?
In case you are unable to get a free flip phone for seniors from the government, don’t worry! You can still get one from a charity or non-profit organization. Try your luck at the following organizations:
- 1 Million Project
- 911 Cell Phone Bank
- Charity Mobile
- Medic Mobile
- Recycling for Charities
- Second Wave Recycling
- Secure the Call
- Veterans Advantage
How to Choose the Best Phone for Seniors
If you are looking for the best phone for seniors, make sure the device includes the following senior-friendly features:
- Large and bright screen
- Large buttons
- Hearing aid compatibility
- Dedicated emergency buttons
- Long battery life
- High-quality speakers with high volume
- Voice-to-text compatibility
- Affordable price
- Simple navigation
- Simple, portable, and durable design
Free Flip Phones Related FAQs
Why Do Seniors Choose a Flip Phone?
Many seniors prefer a flip phone because of its small and durable design, simple features, long battery life, physical keypad with large buttons, etc.
Why Are Seniors Considered in the Lifeline Support Program?
Not all seniors are Lifeline-eligible, however, many of them are due to low income and participation in other government aid programs.
What Is a Lifeline Program?
It is a government assistance program designed to help make communications services more affordable.
Can Seniors Get a Free iPhone?
Yes, certain Lifeline providers also offer free iPhones.
Can Seniors Get a Free Tablet?
Seniors who qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) can get an ACP free tablet.
Can Seniors Get a Free Touchscreen Phone?
Yes, most Lifeline phones are touchscreens.