While the oldest senior citizens may not be very tech-savvy and may be completely confused by a tablet and its functions, younger seniors are getting more and more familiar with modern technology. They use smartphones and computers and are familiar with touchscreen, apps, and the countless amazing features that the latest smart devices offer. These seniors would likely adore the simplicity, reliability, and practicality of a tablet.
Tablets combine the best features of smartphones and laptops. They are large enough to watch videos, read, and write, yet small enough to put into your purse, bag, or even pocket. Unfortunately, though, not all seniors can afford to buy this convenient device. As such, let’s explore how to get a free tablet for seniors.
Why May Seniors Need a Tablet?
Seniors may benefit from having a tablet for a variety of reasons:
- Staying connected: A tablet can help seniors stay connected with their friends and family, especially if they live far away or are unable to visit in person. Seniors can use a tablet to make video calls, send emails, or even connect through social media platforms.
- Entertainment: A tablet can provide a variety of entertainment options, such as watching movies, reading books, or playing games. This can help seniors stay engaged and mentally stimulated.
- Health: A tablet can provide access to health-related resources, such as medication reminders, health-tracking apps, and telemedicine services. This can help seniors manage their health more effectively and receive medical care without having to leave their homes.
- Learning: A tablet can be a valuable tool for learning and education, whether it’s through online courses, language learning apps, or simply browsing educational websites.
- Convenience: Tablets are portable and easy to use, making them a convenient device for seniors to use for various tasks such as shopping, banking, or paying bills.
Overall, a tablet can provide seniors with a way to stay connected, entertained, healthy, and engaged with the world around them.
How to Get a Free Tablet for Seniors
There are several ways for seniors to potentially obtain a free tablet:
- Government assistance programs: Some government assistance programs, such as the Affordable Connectivity Program (sometimes in combination with Lifeline), may provide free or discounted tablets to seniors who meet certain eligibility requirements.
- Non-profit organizations may provide free or low-cost tablets to seniors in need.
- Tech companies may offer free tablets to seniors through promotional deals.
- Community programs may offer tablets for people in need.
It’s important to note that eligibility requirements and availability of free tablets may vary depending on location and the organization offering the program. It’s always best to check with multiple sources and do your own research to find the best options available to you.
How to Get a Free Tablet for Seniors Through the Government
During the pandemic, the need for a reliable internet connection and an internet-connected device became painfully obvious. Suddenly, we had to rely on these services and devices for almost everything: socializing, work, education, entertainment, shopping, healthcare, and more. It was then that the government decided to launch a new government assistance program that would offer discounts on monthly broadband services and connected devices (tablets, laptops, or desktop computers).
At first, the program was known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), but it has since been renewed into the new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
Many former Lifeline providers now also participate in the ACP program and offer (through the ACP program or a combination of ACP and Lifeline) a discount of up to $30 a month (or $75 for eligible Tribal families) on internet services and a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a device (usually a tablet) with a mandatory fee of more than $10 and less than $50.
To get a free tablet for seniors through the ACP or an ACP-Lifeline combination, you must:
Qualify for ACP/Lifeline
To be apply for Lifeline, you may qualify if your annual household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty level or if you participate in SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, FPHA, or a Tribal assistance program.
To be eligible for ACP, you may qualify if your annual household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, if you participate in Lifeline, any of the Lifeline-qualifying programs listed above, WIC, or Free and Reduced Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, or if your household received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
Meeting any one of the listed conditions is sufficient to qualify for Lifeline and ACP, provided the applicant is at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor and is a resident of one of the states where the selected provider operates.
Unfortunately, simply being a senior citizen doesn’t qualify you for Lifeline or ACP, however, many seniors meet one of the above-mentioned eligibility criteria anyway.
Prove your ACP/Lifeline eligibility
You can prove your ACP/Lifeline eligibility by providing copies of some acceptable valid and official documents, such as:
- Proof of participation in one of the ACP/Lifeline-qualifying programs (such as Medicaid or SNAP), such as a benefit award letter, approval letter, statement of benefits, etc.
- Documentation of income, such as a tax return, recent pay stub, current income statement, unemployment statement of benefits, etc.
- Documentation of receiving a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
- Documentation that verifies your identity, age, address, emancipation status, etc.
Depending on how you apply (online or via mail), you must prepare digital or physical copies.
Apply for ACP/Lifeline through the National Verifier
You can apply for the two government assistance programs online at https://nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&ebbp=true&awsl=link-from-how-to-apply. Simply complete the application form by providing all the required information and digital documentation and submit it.
Alternatively, you can apply via mail. This process will take longer, however, some applicants (especially seniors) may be more comfortable doing things this way. To do so, you must print out an application form (find the Lifeline application form at https://www.lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/get-lifeline/LI_Application_NVstates.pdf and the ACP application form at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf). Then, you should also add a Household Worksheet (available at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf) and physical copies of your proof documentation. Finally, send the papers to Lifeline/ACP Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742. If approved, you will be notified via a provided contact mean.
Find a government provider that offers free tablets
Some of the best ACP/Lifeline companies that offer free government tablets include AirTalk Wireless, Cintex Wireless, Easy Wireless, Excess Telecom, Go Technology Management, Maxsip Telecom, Moolah Wireless, My Tablet ACP, NewPhone Wireless, Q Link Wireless, StandUp Wireless, Stimulus, and TruConnect.
That being said, you can find which provider is available in your area by visiting https://cnm.universalservice.org/, entering your ZIP code or city and state, selecting the ACP program, and pressing Search. The system will provide you with a list of all the ACP companies in your area and note which ones offer discounts on devices. If you find any of the above-mentioned companies (or another company that offers discounted devices), simply visit its website by clicking on its name, find its application form, and apply for the free tablet.
If approved, you will also receive a discount on monthly internet services and through Lifeline, you can receive a discount on monthly phone services and a free smartphone.
How to Get a Free Tablet for Seniors Through a Non-Profit Organization
Some non-profit organizations may provide free or low-cost tablets to seniors in need. You can check with local non-profits in your area or search online for organizations that may be able to help.
Try your luck by contacting some of the following organizations:
- Alliance for Technology
- Computers With Causes
- Everyone On
- Human I-T
- Komputers for Kids
- Microsoft Registered Refurbishers
- National Cristina Foundation
- PCs for People
- Smart Riverside
- The Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse
- The On It Foundation
- World Computer Exchange
How to Get a Free Tablet for Seniors Through Tech Companies
Some tech companies may offer free tablets to seniors who sign up for certain services. You can check with tech companies in your area or visit their websites to see if they offer any programs for seniors.
Companies that occasionally run promotional deals on tablets include:
- Best Buy
- Tablet manufacturers, such as Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, and Microsoft
It’s important to note that these promotions may be time-limited and may not always be available, so it’s always a good idea to check with the company’s website or with retailers to see if any current deals are available.
How to Get a Free Tablet for Seniors Through Community Programs
Some community programs, such as senior centers, churches, or libraries, may offer free tablets for seniors to use for a limited time or certain activities. You can check with your local community programs to see if they offer any tablet programs for seniors. The internet is a great tool for finding such community programs in your area.
What Kind of a Free Tablet for Seniors Can I Expect to Receive
ACP/Lifeline companies, non-profit organizations, and charities generally don’t reveal which tablet model a customer can receive in advance, as the model depends on availability, plane, state, etc. However, the few companies that do reveal this information currently offer the following tablet models:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S
- Apple iPad Air 2
- Apple iPad Mini 3
- Alcatel Joy Tab 2
- Apple iPad 3
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 4
- KonnectONE Moxee Tablet, etc.