What Services Does TruConnect Offer
TruConnect is a popular American nationwide wireless service provider. It is a California-based MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that provides cell phone service with access to T-Mobile’s nationwide network.
TruConnect participates in two government assistance programs, Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and thus offers free cell phone services and free mobile phones to eligible low-income customers. The Lifeline and ACP provider offers free and discounted cell phone plans, tablets, broadband services, mobile and hotspot devices, responsive customer support service, and other reliable services.
Lifeline and ACP-eligible customers can sign up for a Lifeline plan, ACP plan, or a Lifeline + ACP plan that includes free monthly talk, text, data, international calls, and other perks. Qualifying households can also receive a TruConnect free phone or hotspot. In addition, ACP subscribers may even be able to receive a free or discounted ACP tablet.
Why Does TruConnect Offer Free Cell Phone Services?
TruConnect participates in two government assistance programs called the Lifeline assistance program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Like all Lifeline and ACP participants, TruConnect receives funds and financial support from the government, which allows it to offer free cell phone and broadband services and connected devices to eligible low-income families.
Lifeline is a government assistance program that was established in the 1980s when the government realized that phone services are no longer a luxury but a necessity. At that point, they decided to launch an assistance program that would help make communications services more affordable for low-income families. The program offers eligible non-Tribal households a discount on monthly phone, broadband, or bundled services of up to $9.25 and up to $34.25 to eligible households living on Tribal lands. In addition, numerous Lifeline providers also offer free government phones.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a brand new assistance program that has recently replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), which was designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACP offers a discount of up to $30 (or $75 for eligible Tribal households) on monthly internet services and certain providers also offer a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase an internet-connected device (tablet, laptop, or desktop computer) if the customer contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
What is the Process of Getting a TruConnect Free Phone
Receiving a TruConnect free phone and other Lifeline/ACP benefits sure sounds great. However, it requires you to go through a strict process, which enables the government to make sure that you really qualify and that you need free services and devices but are unable to pay for them.
First, you must check the government’s strict eligibility criteria (listed in the following section) and make sure that you meet them.
Secondly, you must prove your eligibility. You can do so by providing some official documents that contain all the required information. See the list of documents in the section ‘What Documents Are Required When Applying for Lifeline to Get a TruConnect Free Phone?’.
Next, you can apply for the Lifeline/ACP program. See how in the section ‘How to Apply for Lifeline/ACP?’.
Finally, if your application gets approved, you can apply for a TruConnect free phone. Learn how in the section ‘How to Apply for a TruConnect Free Phone?’.
How to Qualify for Lifeline and Get a TruConnect Free Phone?
Only qualifying households can apply for and receive government assistance benefits. The Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program eligibility criteria are determined by the FCC.
According to the government rules a household is Lifeline-eligible if it meets one of the following eligibility criteria:
- The annual household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- A household member participates in one of the following qualifying Federal or Tribal assistance programs:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veteran and Survivors Pension Benefit
- 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)
A household is ACP-eligible if a member participates in Lifeline or meets any of the Lifeline eligibility criteria listed above. In addition, a household also qualifies for the ACP if:
- The annual household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- A household member participates in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- The 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
- The household received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
Moreover, to apply for any government assistance program, you must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.
What Documents are Required When Applying for Lifeline to Get a TruConnect Free Phone?
It’s not enough to qualify for a government assistance program, you must also prove your eligibility. When applying you will be able to do so by providing certain unexpired official documents that contain all the required information and verify your information.
The documentation that you may be required to provide depends on your eligibility criteria. In addition, you may be asked to verify your personal information.
- Submit an official document that includes your first and last name and income to prove your annual household income. For example:
- Prior year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
- Current income statement from your employer or paycheck stubs
- Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation statement of benefits
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
- Divorce decree
- Child support award, etc.
- Submit an official document that includes your first and last name, the name of the qualifying government assistance program, the name of the establishment that issued the document, and an issue date within the last 12 months or a future expiration date to prove your participation in a qualifying government assistance program. For example:
- Benefit award letter
- Approval letter
- Statement of benefits
- Benefit verification letter
- If asked to verify your identity or age, submit an official document that includes your first and last name and date of birth. For example:
- A valid 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
- If asked to verify your address, submit an official document that includes your first and last name and physical address. For example:
- A valid government, state, or Tribal ID
- Driver’s license
- Utility bill
- Mortgage or lease statement
- Most recent W-2 or tax return
In addition, emancipated minors must also prove their emancipation status by providing a court document or a certificate of emancipation.
How to Apply for Lifeline/ACP?
There are three ways to apply for Lifeline/ACP – online, via mail, or directly at your selected provider.
To apply for the Lifeline/ACP program online, go to nv.fcc.gov/lifeline (Lifeline) or nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&amp;ebbp=true (ACP). If asked, choose your state or territory and press ‘Get started’. You may be required to log in or create a new account. You will then be redirected to the online application form. Complete it by providing the necessary information and documentation. At the end of each page, press ‘Next’, and in the end, submit your application.
Apply Via Mail
To apply for the Lifeline/ACP program via mail, print out a Lifeline application at lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/get-lifeline/LI_Application_NVstates.pdf and ACP application at affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf. If applying for the ACP program, you should also include a Household Worksheet, which can be found at affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf. Complete the forms, add the copies of your proof documentation and send the package to Lifeline/ACP Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
See how to apply at your selected provider (assuming that your selected provider is TruConnect since you wish to receive a TruConnect free phone) in the next section.
How to Apply for a TruConnect Free Phone?
TruConnect offers both free monthly cell phone and wireless services and free phones to eligible low-income customers through their Lifeline and Lifeline + ACP combination program. Note that customers who qualify for both Lifeline and ACP (all Lifeline subscribers can automatically qualify for the ACP) will receive more benefits, more monthly data, and possibly a better mobile device.
Apply for TruConnect’s Lifeline program:
- Go to truconnect.com/lifeline.
- Enter your ZIP code and email address to the provided boxes and press ‘Apply Now’.
- Follow the instructions to fill out the online application form. Make sure to provide all the required information and proof documentation.
- Submit the application. If approved, you will be notified via email. You will soon receive a TruConnect free phone and other benefits.
Apply for TruConnect’s Lifeline + ACP program:
- Go to truconnect.com.
- Enter your ZIP code and email address to the provided boxes and press ‘Enroll Now’.
- Follow the instruction to fill out the online application form. Make sure to provide all the required information and proof documentation.
- Submit the application. If approved, you will be notified via email. You will soon receive a TruConnect free phone and other benefits.
To apply, you must be Lifeline/ACP-eligible, be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor, and be a resident of one of the states where TruConnect offers its free services. TruConnect’s Lifeline (and ACP) services are available in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
What are the Benefits Available After Qualifying for TruConnect’s Lifeline/ACP?
The list of benefits that you will receive if you qualify for TruConnect’s government assistance program depends on the plan you qualify for and the state you live in. Nevertheless, TruConnect’s benefit recipients can expect to receive the following perks:
- Free monthly phone and wireless services with:
- Free unlimited talk
- Free unlimited text
- A certain amount of monthly data (depending on the state)
- Free international calls to select countries
- Additional features, including caller ID, 3-way calling, call waiting, etc.
- An Android TruConnect free phone (the phone model depends on availability) or Wi-Fi hotspot
- A discount on an Android tablet with LTE connectivity (for ACP subscribers only)
Which Free TruConnect Lifeline/ACP Plans Can You Get in Addition to the TruConnect Free Phone?
TruConnect offers several Lifeline and ACP plans. Which plans are available and what exactly they offer depends on the state of residence. You can only apply for the plans that are available in your area.
- Lifeline-Only Plan. This plan is free of charge and available in all the states where TruConnect offers its free services (see the list above). It comes with unlimited talk, text, 4.5 to 6 GB of monthly data, and an Android smartphone.
- California Lifeline + ACP Plan. This plan is free of charge and only available in California. It comes with unlimited talk, text, international calling to select countries, at least 14 GB of 4G data (ACP adds at least 8 GB to your basic Lifeline plan) with Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and a free Google Play Certified Android phone or LTE-enabled hotspot device.
- Non-California Lifeline + ACP Plan. This plan is free of charge and available in all other TruConnect states except California. It comes with unlimited talk, text, international calling to select countries, at least 12.5 GB of 4G data (ACP adds at least 8 GB to your basic Lifeline plan) with Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and a free Google Play Certified Android phone or LTE-enabled hotspot device.
- Stand-alone ACP Plan. This plan is free of charge and available in all the states where TruConnect offers its free services (see the list above). It comes with at least 8 GB of 4G data, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and your choice of a hotspot device or an Android smartphone.
Which Phones Does TruConnect Offer for Free?
Most Lifeline/ACP providers do not reveal which phone brands and models they offer to eligible customers for free in advance, as the offer depends on several factors, such as location and availability, and TruConnect is no exception. As such, unfortunately, there is no way to know which TruConnect free phone model you may receive in advance. Nevertheless, the company clearly states that each eligible customer will receive a Google Play Certified LTE Android smartphone.
In addition to the TruConnect free phones, the company also offers discounted mobile phones for sale. The only cell phones that are currently for sale at TruConnect are:
- Cloud Mobile Stratus C5 Grey for $80. This smartphone comes with a 5.5-inch LCD touchscreen, 16 GB of storage, 1 GB of RAM, a 5 MP rear camera, and a 2 MP front camera. It runs on Android 8.1 Oreo OS and is powered by a 1.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor.
- Cloud Mobile Mist Flip for $50. This flip phone offers a 2.4-inch inner and a 1.77-inch outer display, 4 GB of storage, 512 MB of RAM, a .3 MP VGA camera, and Bluetooth, GPS, FM, and Wi-Fi connectivity. It runs on Android 8.1 Oreo OS and is powered by an MTK 6731 Quad-Core Processor.
- TruConnect also currently offers a Sunshine Elite Tablet for $10.01.
See and purchase TruConnect’s devices at truconnect.com/devices.
Which Other Phones are Compatible With TruConnect?
In case you already have a phone you are fully satisfied with and don’t need a TruConnect free phone, you can also bring your own (carrier unlocked and compatible) phone to TruConnect. Some of the phone models that are compatible with TruConnect are:
- Alcatel Go Flip 3 GSMApple iPhone 11
- Apple iPhone 12 (mini, Pro, Pro Max)
- Apple iPhone SE
- Apple iPhone XR
- BLU C6L 2020 GSM
- BLU G50 Plus GSM
- Google Pixel 4a 5G
- Google Pixel 5 5G
- LG Aristo 3 Plus GSM
- LG K51 GSM
- LG Stylo 6
- Motorola G Power (2021)
- Motorola G Stylus
- Motorola Moto E6
- Motorola RAZR 5G
- Nokia 5.4 GSM
- Nokia 8.3 5G
- NUU F4L Flip Phone GSM
- OnePlus 8 Pro 5G GSM
- Samsung Galaxy A51 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A71 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ GSM
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
What if the TruConnect Free Government Phone Doesn’t Work?
TruConnect free phones are of high quality, therefore malfunctions are unlikely. However, in the event that your TruConnect free phone doesn’t work properly, you must contact the provider’s customer care service at once. One of the company’s agents will explain your replacement and pricing options.
TruConnect free phones come without a warranty, as such, the company isn’t responsible for any loss, theft, damage, or destruction of the device. However, if the phone starts malfunctioning without any misuse, water damage, or other physical abuse within 90 days of first use, you can return it at your own cost within 10 days of the expiration of the 90-day period, TruConnect will send you the same or a comparable replacement phone at its own cost.
How to Recertify for the TruConnect Lifeline/ACP Program?
Once you apply for Lifeline/ACP, you will only receive the benefits for 1 year. Afterward, you will have to renew your service. The Lifeline/ACP renewal process depends on your state of residence.
To renew your California Lifeline/ACP service, you must follow these simple steps:
- The California Lifeline administration will automatically send you a renewal form (which includes your PIN) via mail 105 days prior to your anniversary date.
- Use your PIN to renew your service by phone (call the California Lifeline administration at 877-858-7463 from your Lifeline phone and follow the voice prompts), online (by filling out the renewal application at californialifeline.com/en/login), or via mail (by completing a form and sending it along with your PIN to California LifeLine Administrator, P.O. Box 8417, Westminster, CA 92684-8417).
To renew your Texas Lifeline/ACP service, go to truconnect.com/lifeline/renew, select Texas, and press ‘Renew Now’. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the renewal form.
To renew your Lifeline/ACP service from another state, go to truconnect.com/lifeline/renew, select ‘Other State’, and press ‘Renew Now’. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the renewal form.
TruConnect Free Phone Related FAQs
Why Choose TruConnect?
If you are looking for a Lifeline/ACP provider, TruConnect is a good choice. It offers services in many U.S. states, access to a nationwide network, free monthly services with ample amounts of data, and both a smartphone and a discounted tablet for eligible customers.
Is TruConnect Free Phone Good?
TruConnect offers Google Play Certified LTE Android smartphones, therefore, it is safe to say that TruConnect free phones are good.
Under Which Government Program Does TruConnect Provide Free Phones?
TruConnect offers free phones under both Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Can I Upgrade a TruConnect Free Phone?
Yes, you may be able to upgrade your phone. To do so, contact the company’s customer service or visit one of their retail stores.
Can Seniors Get TruConnect Free Phones?
Yes, however, seniors must also meet the Lifeline/ACP eligibility criteria listed above.
Can I Change Lifeline My Provider?
Yes, you can change your provider at any time, however, you can only receive services from one provider at a time.
What Network Does TruConnect Use?
TruConnect is an MVNO that uses T-Mobile’s nationwide network.
How to Check My TruConnect Eligibility Status?
You can see the eligibility criteria above. After submitting an application form, you can also check your application status by signing into your account at my.truconnect.com.
How Many Days After the Application Will I Get a TruConnect Free Government Phone?
It depends on the state and availability, however, you should receive it within a few days.
If I Am Lifeline Eligible, Will I Get Free Internet From TruConnect?
Yes, all plans include a certain amount of free monthly data.
Does TruConnect Offer Free iPhones Under Lifeline or ACP?
No, it only offers free Android phones.
Does TruConnect Charge Any Cost for Phone?
No, their Lifeline/ACP phones for eligible customers are completely free of charge.
Can I Get a Free Tablet From TruConnect?
Yes, TruConnect is one of those ACP providers that also offer discounts on tablets. Note that the device is not actually free of charge. Instead, you must pay $10.01.
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