You’ve most likely heard of the Lifeline Assistance program before, right? It is a government program that offers discounted telecommunication services to households with low income (less than 135% of the U.S. poverty guideline) or the ones that have a household member participating in a governmental program (SNAP, Medicaid, Section 8, SSI, NSLP, Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefit).
There are also some wireless companies that added their additional offers to the general Lifeline Assistance program discount. With many of them, you can get a completely free monthly plan and even a free government phone or even a smartphone in some cases.
While Lifeline is a well-known government assistance program that was established in the 1980s, in 2021, a new government assistance program was launched. It is called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and it offers discounts on monthly broadband services. Some ACP providers also offer discounts on internet-connected devices. With this new program, many former Lifeline providers now also participate in the ACP and thus offer free government smartphones and other devices. Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about free government phones and plans in Florida.
What is the Process to Get a Free Phone in Florida
While nowadays there are numerous ways for people to receive free phones, including by finding an attractive carrier deal, becoming a reviewer or marketing agent, entering an online giveaway, opting for a refurbished device, etc., receiving both a free government phone and monthly service plan is still only available for low-income households that are unable to pay for those services and devices themselves. As such, you can also get a free government phone and plan in Florida (or any other state) through the Lifeline Assistance program or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
In order to do so, you must follow the following instructions:
- First, make sure that your household is Lifeline/ACP-eligible. See the government assistance programs’ eligibility criteria in the next section.
- Qualifying for a government assistance program is not enough. You must also be able to prove your eligibility. To do so, you must provide certain unexpired, official documents that can serve as your eligibility proof.
- Then, you must apply for the Lifeline/ACP assistance program.
- Once your application gets approved, find a Lifeline/ACP provider that offers a free government phone and plans in Florida and subscribe to their services.
- If approved, enjoy your free government phone and plans and other benefits.
See the details on how to do all of the above in the following sections.
How to Qualify for Lifeline and ACP to Receive a Free Government Phone in Florida
Lifeline and ACP offer free monthly phone, wireless, and internet services and discounts on phones and other internet-connected devices. As such, many people would love to participate and receive these benefits. However, as the funds are limited, only eligible low-income households can enroll. Lifeline and ACP eligibility criteria are slightly different, however, being Lifeline-eligible automatically makes you ACP-eligible as well. See the Lifeline/ACP eligibility criteria below.
Lifeline Eligibility Criteria
According to the FCC rules, a household is Lifeline eligible if it meets one of the following eligibility criteria:
- Income-based Eligibility: A household is Lifeline-eligible if its annual income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.
- Program Participation-based Eligibility: A household is Lifeline-eligible if a member of the household participates in one of the following government assistance programs (federal or Tribal):
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
ACP Eligibility Criteria
According to the FCC rules, a household is ACP-eligible if it meets one of the following eligibility criteria:
- If a household member participates in Lifeline.
- If a household member participates in any of the Lifeline-qualifying government assistance programs listed above.
- If the annual household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
- If a household member participates in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
- If a household participates in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools.
- If a household has received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
In order to apply for a government assistance program, you must also be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.
What Documents are Required When Applying for Lifeline and ACP to Receive a Free Government Phone in Florida
In order for households that do not qualify for Lifeline/ACP and are actually able to purchase phones and services themselves not to abuse the government assistance programs, applicants must prove their eligibility. To do so, you may be asked to submit certain unexpired, official documents that prove your provided information and eligibility. In order to make sure that your application process runs as smoothly as possible, prepare one of the documents listed under each of the following sections:
Qualifying Assistance Program Participation Proof
To prove your participation in a qualifying assistance program, provide a copy of an official document that includes your full legal name, the name of the program, 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
- School documentation
Household Income Proof
To prove your low household income, provide a copy of an official document that includes your full legal name and your annual income, such as:
- Prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return
- Current income statement from your employer
- Paycheck stubs
- 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
To verify your identity, provide a copy of an official document that includes your full legal name and date of birth, such as:
- A valid government, military, state, or Tribal ID
- Birth Certificate
- S. Driver’s license
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization
- Permanent Resident Card or Green Card
- Government assistance program document
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) document (does not need to include the date of birth)
To verify your address, provide a copy of an official document that includes your full legal name and physical address, such as:
- A valid government, state, or Tribal ID
- Driver’s license
- Utility bill
- Mortgage or lease statement
- Most recent W-2 or tax return
Applicants may also be requested to provide proof of emancipation (emancipated minors only), their Social Security Number, proof of life, etc.
How to Apply for Lifeline and ACP to Receive a Free Government Phone in Florida
If you are eligible, there are several options on how to apply. By far the simplest and the fastest is to choose one of the wireless providers that take part in the Lifeline Assistance program (the best options are provided below) and apply through their website. This process normally takes no more than 5 minutes.
Visit the Free Government Cell Phone Companies or visit the wireless provider’s website and look for the ‘Lifeline/ACP program’ or ‘free government phone’. They all have either “Apply” or “Enroll” or some similar button, which you must click on. Normally, you will have to enter your zip code so they will specify your application according to your state. Simply follow the instruction to complete the process.
Another option is to apply by standard mail, where you can send a filled-out application (http://www.floridaopc.gov/Documents/PDF/Lifeline_english.pdf) along with all the copies of required documents to the wireless provider’s address or their local representative. If you prefer, you can do the same in person, by visiting a local wireless provider’s representative.
Before you apply at the provider, you may be required to apply at the Lifeline/ACP support center. You can do so online or via mail.
To apply online, you must visit https://nv.fcc.gov/lifeline (for Lifeline) and https://nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&amp;ebbp=true (for ACP). Complete both online application forms by providing all the required information and digital copies of proof documentation. Submit your application and if approved, you will be notified.
To apply by mail, print out the application forms, which are available at https://www.lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/get-lifeline/LI_Application_NVstates.pdf (for Lifeline) and https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf (for ACP). When applying for ACP, it is also advisable to print out a Household Worksheet, which is available at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf. Complete all of these forms, add the supporting documentation and send the papers to Lifeline/ACP Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
Use each wireless provider’s information provided below to decide what the best option for you is.
What are the Lifeline/ACP Restriction Rules?
As both Lifeline and the ACP are government assistance programs, both come with a list of rules and restrictions, which must be followed:
- Lifeline and ACP benefits are only available for eligible low-income households.
- Lifeline and ACP benefits are only available for 1 person per eligible household.
- Lifeline and ACP benefits cannot be transferred to other households or household members, even if eligible.
- A household can only receive Lifeline and ACP benefits from one provider at a time, however, they can switch providers at any time.
- In order to continue receiving the benefits, you must use them at least once a month.
- In order to continue receiving the benefits, you must reapply once a year.
- In case you are no longer eligible, make sure to notify your provider within 30 days.
Free Government Lifeline Phone Companies in Florida
In this section, we will take a look at the wireless companies that provide Lifeline assistance. We will first consider those that can provide you with FREE deals and even a free Florida government phone.
As we’ve mentioned above, in general, the Lifeline program includes a monthly discount applied to your telecommunication services ($7.25 – $9.25; depending on service), however, there are companies that also offer ACP benefits, additional free support – generous deals and even free government phones.
Access Wireless in Florida
Access Wireless has very good nationwide coverage, offers free long-distance calls, and offers international calling availability. To apply, visit https://www.accesswireless.com/lifeline/Availability, enter your zip code, click the “Learn More” button, and on the next page click on the “ENROLL” button.
Access Wireless Lifeline Plan:
Access Wireless provides customers with a free monthly allotment of 250 minutes, unlimited text messages, and 3GB of free data each month.
The free package includes Free voicemail, Caller ID & Call Waiting, Free domestic long-distance, Nationwide coverage, and an Exclusive Wireless Rewards program.
Access Wireless ACP Plan:
Access Wireless also offers an ACP Only plan that offers unlimited minutes, unlimited text messages, unlimited data, and 10 GB of high-speed data a month.
Access Wireless Lifeline + ACP Plan:
If you qualify for both government assistance programs, you can apply for the combo plan that offers unlimited talk, unlimited text, unlimited data (up to 15 GB of high-speed data), and hotspot data.
You may also receive a mobile phone free of charge. Once you are an approved customer, you also have an option to upgrade your phone and add it to your plan.
Access Wireless Customer care:
If you have any additional questions about the Access Wireless Lifeline/ACP plan or regarding their devices use the online form (link below) or call the phone number that applies to your position (new or existing customer).
- Online contact form: https://www.accesswireless.com/contact-us
- Phone support (available during working hours: Monday – Friday: 8 am – Midnight EST, Saturday: 9 am – Midnight EST, Sunday: 10 am – 7 pm EST):
- New Customers: 1-888-900-5899
- Existing Customers: 1-866-594-3644
- Address: Access Wireless / i-Wireless LLC, 1 Levee Way Newport, Kentucky 41071 United States
- Find a local store: https://www.accesswireless.com/buy-cards
Access Wireless Phones:
You may also receive a mobile phone free of charge. Once you are an approved customer, you have the option to upgrade your phone and add to your plan, of course at an additional charge.
There is no exact info available on what type of phones come for free. Some of the phones available include ZTE Flash, Samsung Transform (Ultra), Coolpad Quato II, ZTE Force, and Alcatel Revolve.
Assurance Wireless in Florida
Assurance Wireless is a federal Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile. They offer great coverage and offer very generous deals to those who qualify. You can visit to find out more about Assurance Wireless Free Phone
To apply, visit https://www.assurancewireless.com/, enter your zip code, and then click on the “APPLY NOW” button on the next page.
Assurance Wireless Lifeline Plan:
Assurance Wireless offers FREE 4.5 GB of data, FREE UNLIMITED texts, and FREE 1000 voice minutes each month.
Assurance Wireless Lifeline + ACP Plan:
Assurance Wireless also offers a plan that combines both Lifeline and the ACP benefit. This plan offers free unlimited minutes, free unlimited texts, free unlimited data, free 10 GB of monthly mobile hotspot data, and a free Android smartphone.
Assurance Wireless plans also include:
- No Annual Contract
- Nationwide Sprint® Network Coverage
- Voicemail Account, Call Waiting, and Caller ID
- 911 Access
- FREE Unlimited Calling to 211
- Calls to Customer Care are FREE
- Low International Rates to over 200 Countries
On top of that, you will also get a free android smartphone. You cannot choose a device yourself, you get the one selected by the wireless provider based on their policy and current availability.
Assurance Wireless Customer care:
If you have any additional questions about Assurance Wireless, you can get in touch with their customer support by phone or by email.
If you decide to apply by standard mail, use the address below or find a local Assurance Wireless provider and address your application there.
Email: [email protected]
Address: Assurance Wireless, P.O. Box 5040, Charleston, IL 61920-9907
Assurance Wireless Phones:
None of the Lifeline assistance wireless providers that offer free government phones don’t give you the option of choosing a specific device yourself and Assurance Wireless is no exception.
It is highly possible that you will receive one of the following models. For those of you, who want a more performing device, you can always upgrade. Call 1-888-321-5880 for more information.
- ZTE PrestigeTM 2
- Coolpad Illumnia
- ANS WikoTM Life
- ZTE QuestTM Plus
- ALCATEL ONETOUCH CinchTM
Safelink Wireless in Florida
SafeLink Wireless is provided by TracFone Wireless, Inc. It is solely intended for those eligible for Lifeline/ACP Assistance. Using the same coverage as TracFone, they really offer top-notch service nationwide. You can visit to find out more about Safelink WirelessFree Phone and Visit https://www.safelinkwireless.com, enter your zip code and click the “START” button.
SafeLink’s Lifeline and ACP plans depend on whether or not you wish to receive a new phone or bring your own device. If you decide to use your own phone, you can choose from the following plans:
SafeLink Wireless Lifeline Plan:
SafeLink Wireless’ Lifeline FREE plan includes 350 minutes, unlimited texts, and 4.5 GB of data with a free SIM card.
SafeLink Wireless ACP Plan:
SafeLink Wireless’ ACP FREE plan includes unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, calls to Canada and Mexico, and 10 GB of data, including 5 GB of hotspot data with a free SIM card.
SafeLink Wireless Lifeline + ACP Plan:
This FREE plan includes unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 25 GB of monthly high-speed data, up to 5 GB of hotspot data, and a free SIM card.
If you decide to receive a free phone, you can enroll in the following plan:
SafeLink Wireless Lifeline + ACP Plan:
This FREE plan includes unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 25 GB of monthly high-speed data, up to 5 GB of hotspot data, and a free phone.
The free plan also includes:
- Nationwide Calling
- Ability to Connect to Wi-Fi
- Caller ID
- 3 Way Calling
- Free Domestic Roaming
- Free 911
- 411 Directory Assistance
SafeLink Wireless Customer care:
- Customer Support Hours: Monday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. EST, Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST
- Phone support: 1-800-723-3546
- Address: SafeLink Wireless PO Box 220009, Milwaukie, OR 97269-0009
Find a local dealer: https://www.safelink.com/wps/portal/home/retailers
SafeLink Wireless Phones:
SafeLink Currently doesn’t offer a government free phone to any Lifeline applicant within the state of Florida, as they only offer a so-called Use your own Phone plan.
You do have the option of upgrading/purchasing a mobile phone of any rank if you prefer to do so.
Lifeline Discount Companies in Florida
Herein we will take a look at the companies that follow the general Lifeline Assistance program, which means they only offer the Lifeline general discount ($9.25 per month for monthly telephone service – wireline or wireless – or broadband or bundled service).
CenturyLink is not a wireless provider, however, they do offer internet, tv, and home phone services. Thus, their offers might be suitable for those of you looking for home phones or internet services.
To apply and learn more, visit https://www.centurylink.com/aboutus/community/community-development/lifeline.html.
CenturyLink Lifeline Plan:
Standard Lifeline – provides federal monthly support of $9.25. In some states, additional monthly support is also available
Tribal Lifeline – offers a deeper monthly discount as well as installation assistance through the Link-Up program to qualifying customers who live on federally-recognized Tribal lands.
Eligible customers can also receive an ACP discount on monthly internet services, which can be applied to any internet or data plan.
CenturyLink Customer care:
There are several options on how to get in touch with CenturyLink customer support. Choose the one that best suits you.
- Phone (7 am – 9 pm (ET) Monday–Friday): 866-642-0444
- Facebook Messenger (Monday – Friday 7 am — Midnight CT, Weekends 9 am — 7 pm CT): http://m.me/CenturyLink
- Twitter (Monday – Friday 7 am — Midnight CT, Weekends 9 am — 7 pm CT): https://twitter.com/messages/compose?recipient_id=22149608
- Online support: https://www.centurylink.com/home/help/contact.html
CenturyLink is suitable for those looking for Home Phones. They do not offer mobile phones. You can select a home phone alone, or include it in a bundle. Visit https://www.centurylink.com/home/phone/ for more information.
You definitely know T-Mobile as they are one of the largest international wireless providers. They enable Florida citizens to use Lifeline assistance discounts on their services.
To apply, you must go print out and fill in the Lifeline National Verifier Application Form: https://www.t-mobile.com/content/dam/t-mobile/assets/pdf/2019-National-Verifier-Application.pdf.
T-Mobile Lifeline Plan:
T-Mobile offers those who qualify a standard $9.25 monthly discount.
More details are available at https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/lifeline-program.
T-Mobile Customer care:
Addresses: T-Mobile Customer Relations, PO Box 37380, Albuquerque, NM 87176-7380
Local stores: https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/lifeline-program
T-Mobile ACP Plan:
T-Mobile also offers ACP-eligible customers a discount on monthly internet services of up to $30 per month or $75 a month for eligible Tribal households.
More details are available at https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/lifeline-program.
Local stores: https://www.t-mobile.com/store-locator
As mentioned above, T-Mobile doesn’t offer a free government phone since they only follow the general Lifeline assistance program. However, as a customer, you have an option to purchase any of their phones. They offer a full range of basic phones and smartphones.
To view available models and their current prices visit https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phones.
Can I Switch Lifeline Providers in Florida?
Yes, you can switch your Lifeline/ACP provider at any time, however, you can only receive the benefits from one provider at a time.
Can I Have Two Lifeline Phones?
No, both Lifeline/ACP services and devices are limited to one per eligible household.
Why Should Florida Residents Get Free Cell Phone Service?
Cell phone services have become a basic need, as we all rely on cell phones and phone services for all kinds of professional, leisure, and emergency activities. Florida residents who are unable to afford those services should enroll in a government assistance program, which will enable them to contact work, school, loved ones, healthcare, entertainment, emergency services, and much more.
There might not be as many Lifeline/ACP Assistance program providers in Florida as there are in some other states, however, the information above should be sufficient to help you choose among the ones available. If you are looking for a FREE plan and a FREE government phone, Access Wireless and Assurance Wireless are the wireless providers you should turn to.