Have you ever heard of a Samsung smartphone before? Of course, you have! Who hasn’t? After all, Samsung smartphones are widely considered some of the best smartphones in the world. In fact, many people believe that Samsung is the single best brand in terms of consumer electronics and smart devices. As such, all relatively recent Samsung cell phones are of excellent quality, including the Samsung Galaxy S9 phone. Anyone would be lucky to have this advanced and powerful device. But what about the people that cannot pay its price, which starts at around $135 but can end at over $800? Well, luckily, there are government assistance programs that cover such issues. In this article, we will learn all there is to know about a free Galaxy S9 government phone.
Is It Possible to Get a Free Galaxy S9 Government Phone?
Low-income people who are unable to purchase such a high-quality, reliable, and advanced smartphone and thus stay connected to loved ones, work, school, services, and the rest of the world, are, luckily, able to get free phones through government assistance programs and, sometimes, charities and NGOs. However, such institutions and programs tend to offer more basic devices. As such, there is no way that you can get an advanced phone model, such as Samsung Galaxy S9 through the government, right?
Wrong! You will be pleased to learn that while many assistance programs offer more basic devices, there are certain providers that also offer more recent and truly amazing phones, including Samsung Galaxy S9.
How Can I Get a Free Galaxy S9 Government Phone (2023)
You can get a free Galaxy S9 government phone through two government assistance programs – Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
Lifeline is the older, well-established assistance program that offers discounts on monthly phone and wireless services, as well as phones. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), on the other hand, is a new program that was launched during the pandemic when the need for a stable internet connection became painfully clear. It offers discounts on monthly internet services and a one-time discount on an internet-connected device. While these are two different programs, they are both managed by the FCC, available in all US states and territories, and are both related to wireless services (unlike Medicaid, for example, which covers health services). As such, many wireless companies all over the country participate in both programs and offer both Lifeline and ACP benefits to eligible low-income households. Such companies generally offer three types of plans – Lifeline Only, ACP Only, and Lifeline and ACP Combo plans. As the combo plans are funded both by Lifeline and ACP, they obviously offer the most benefits. In fact, while Lifeline Only and ACP Only plans offer limited services and basic devices, it is currently only possible to get a free Galaxy S9 government phone through a Lifeline and ACP Combo plan.
This means that in order to get the device, you must meet the eligibility criteria for both programs – Lifeline and ACP. Moreover, you must prove your eligibility for both programs and apply for both programs. Only if you become a subscriber of both Lifeline and ACP and if you find a company that offers a free Galaxy S9 government phone in your area, will you be able to receive the device.
Let’s break down the process of receiving a free Galaxy S9 government phone further in the following sections.
Step 1 of Receiving a Free Galaxy S9 Government Phone: Meeting the Eligibility Criteria (2023)
The first step toward receiving a free Galaxy S9 government phone is to meet the government assistance programs’ eligibility criteria. As mentioned before, to receive a device so advanced, you must qualify for both Lifeline and ACP. However, you can also get a less advanced device through just Lifeline or ACP.
You qualify for Lifeline if you meet any one of the following conditions:
- Your annual household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.
- You participate in any of the following government assistance programs:
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- A Tribal program
You qualify for ACP if you meet any one of the following conditions:
- Your annual household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
- You participate in any of the following government assistance programs:
- Any of the Lifeline-qualifying programs above
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program
- Your household received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
Moreover, to participate in any of the two programs you must:
- Be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor
- Be the only applicant in your household (because both benefits are generally limited to one benefit per household, however, exceptions apply)
- Be a resident of one of the states where your selected provider operates
Step 2 of Receiving a Free Galaxy S9 Government Phone: Proving the Eligibility (2023)
To ensure a smooth and efficient application process, it is important to provide the necessary proof documents that demonstrate your eligibility for Lifeline and/or ACP. Prepare clear (digital or physical – depending on your application process) copies of the following valid official documents in advance:
- Income-based eligibility: Have copies of documents such as a prior year’s tax return, paycheck stubs, current income statement from your employer, or verification of unemployment benefits.
- Program participation-based eligibility: Keep copies of your approval letter, benefit award/verification letter, or statement of benefits to prove your participation in qualifying programs.
- Age and identity verification: Have copies of valid identification documents, such as an ID card, birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, or Green card. If applicable, provide a court document for emancipation verification.
- Address verification: Keep copies of documents that display your address, such as an ID card, driver’s license, utility bill, or mortgage/lease statement.
During the application process, you will also be required to provide personal information, including your full name, date of birth, contact details, and Social Security Number.
Step 3 of Receiving a Free Galaxy S9 Government Phone: Applying for Lifeline and ACP (2023)
The next step is to complete your application. Depending on the Lifeline/ACP company, they may either handle the eligibility verification themselves or require you to apply through the National Verifier. It is recommended to start by applying through the National Verifier and then proceed with the provider’s application.
For the National Verifier online application, visit the following links:
- Lifeline: https://getinternet.gov/apply?id=nv_home
- ACP: https://getinternet.gov/apply?id=acp&awsl=link-from-how-to-apply
Complete the application forms by providing all the necessary information and required documentation. Submit the form at the end.
If you prefer to apply via mail, please note that it may be less secure and time-consuming. If you still choose this method, visit the following links for instructions and note that this method includes printing out the relevant forms, completing them, adding physical copies of your proof documentation, and sending the papers to Lifeline/ACP Support Center, PO Box 9100, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773. See the detailed instructions at:
- Lifeline: https://www.lifelinesupport.org/get-started/
- ACP: https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/how-to-apply/
Alternatively, you can apply through a provider. Begin by finding a provider offering the free Galaxy S9 government phone in your area (see how in the next section). Once you find a provider, visit its website, enter your ZIP code, choose a plan (Lifeline and ACP Combo), and complete the online application by providing all the required information and documentation copies. Submit the application.
Step 4 of Receiving a Free Galaxy S9 Government Phone: Finding a Provider in Your Area
To find a free Galaxy S9 government phone provider in your area, visit https://cnm.universalservice.org/, enter your location, select the program, and click on the Search button. Review the list of providers in your area and inquire about the availability of the free Galaxy S9. Note that most Lifeline and ACP providers don’t announce which phone models they are offering in advance as their offer depends on availability, plan, state, and other factors. As such, you probably won’t be able to find information about whether or not this phone model is available online. Instead, you will likely have to contact each company’s customer support service and ask the representative about the currently available devices.
List of Free Galaxy S9 Government Phone Providers in 2023
As mentioned before, it is hard to provide a definitive list of all free Galaxy S9 government phone providers, since most of them won’t reveal which devices they offer in advance. However, there are three affiliated companies owned by HTH Communications that have confirmed to offer this phone model:
- AirTalk Wireless:AirTalk Wireless is a Lifeline and ACP company that operates in many US states and offers both Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus to eligible Lifeline and ACP customers. The company also offers free monthly talk minutes, texts, and high-speed data and ACP subscribers can purchase a highly discounted tablet. You can see the company’s offer and enroll at https://airtalkwireless.com/.
- Cintex Wireless:Cintex is an affiliated Lifeline and ACP company that also offers various different smartphone models in various different states. In addition to a high-quality device, Cintex also offers free voice minutes, text messages, high-speed data, and the option to purchase a tablet in exchange for a small one-time fee. You can see the offer and apply at https://cintexwireless.com/.
- NewPhone Wireless: NewPhone offers high-quality smartphones (including the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus models) to eligible customers through its Lifeline and ACP Combo plan. It only operates in Louisiana and Wyoming. Customers can also purchase a tablet and receive a free monthly wireless plan that includes free talk minutes, texts, and data. Begin your application journey at https://newphone.com/.
Free Galaxy S9 Government Phone – What to Expect After the Application Process?
After applying, the National Verifier and your provider will review the application and either reject or approve it. They will notify you via email in a matter of days. If your application got rejected, you can ask to review it and reapply in case you made any mistakes. If, on the other hand, your application got approved, the company will send you a free Galaxy S9 government phone (or another great smartphone model, depending on availability) within a few days via mail.
How to Compare the Free Galaxy S9 Government Phone to Other Smartphones?
Samsung Galaxy S9 is currently one of the very best phone models provided by Lifeline and ACP assistance providers. Most other Lifeline and ACP phone models are older and less advanced. Other comparable smartphones provided through Lifeline and ACP include the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy A52, Google Pixel 4XL, Motorola G Stylus 2020, One Plus 7T, and Apple iPhone 8.
However, when compared to other smartphones offered by commercial providers, a Galaxy S9 government phone is not the most recent device with the most recent features and it comes with some Lifeline and ACP restrictions (e.g. you must reapply yearly, use your benefits regularly, and accept the fact that there is limited availability and that you might need to settle with another device). Still, the device is very advanced and powerful. Plus, it is free of charge and unlike the costly commercially-provided phones, it comes with a free monthly wireless plan that will also be able to enjoy.