What Service Does SafeLink Offer?
SafeLink Wireless is a telecommunications service provider in Florida and a Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider. The company is owned by TracFone Wireless and it provides eligible customers with prepaid cell phones and services. Its phone and wireless services come with no contract and no monthly charges.
Depending on the state and availability, eligible SafeLink customers can apply for a Lifeline service plan, ACP service plan, or Lifeline + ACP plan, which offers unlimited monthly talk minutes, unlimited text, calls to Canada and Mexico, up to 25GB of monthly high-speed data, up to 5GB of hotspot data, and a free smartphone (or bring your own phone). The exact list of government assistance benefits offered by SafeLink Wireless depends on the area where you apply and availability.
SafeLink offers its Lifeline/ACP discounts to eligible residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Does SafeLink Wireless Offer Free Tablets?
You may have heard that in addition to the free cell phone and wireless services and new smartphones, SafeLink offers free tablets – is it true? Well, it depends.
SafeLink’s ACP-eligible customers in some areas (and on certain occasions) can also receive a free tablet. The offer depends on when you sign up, where you apply, and whether or not you are ACP-eligible, as discounts on tablets are only provided through the ACP program.
Nevertheless, this is not a common practice. Currently, SafeLink doesn’t promote offering free ACP tablets, however, they may do so in the future. Check the company’s offers at safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome.
If SafeLink Doesn’t Offer Free Tablets, Is There Any Other Way to Get Free Tablets?
The company may currently not be offering SafeLink free tablets, however, do not despair, as there are many other ways to receive a free tablet.
Get a Free Tablet Through Another Lifeline/ACP Provider
If you are unable to receive a SafeLink free tablet but still qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you can receive a free tablet from the government through another Lifeline/ACP provider that offers free tablets in your state of residence. ACP providers that offer free government tablets include AirTalk Wireless, StandUp Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Cintex Wireless, etc.
How to Qualify
In order to receive a free tablet from the government, you must meet the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program eligibility criteria.
The Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP is a government assistance program that offers discounts on monthly broadband service and some ACP providers also offer free connected devices (tablets, laptops, or desktop computers). Note that the ‘free device’ is not actually completely free of charge, as according to the FCC rules, a customer must pay a mandatory co-pay of more than $10 and less than $50 to receive the device. As such ‘free tablets’ from SafeLink or any other provider actually cost somewhere between $10 and $50.
A household qualifies for the ACP program if it meets at least one of the following eligibility criteria:
- The annual household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
- A household member participates in Lifeline.
- A household member participates in a qualifying federal or Tribal assistance program:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools
- 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
- A household received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
The person who applies must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.
Note: Most ACP providers also offer Lifeline discounts. However, customers can only receive a free tablet if they are ACP-eligible. Therefore, you must apply for an ACP plan or a Lifeline + ACP plan, as Lifeline Only Plans do not offer free tablets.
How to Apply
Once you have made sure that you qualify for the ACP program, you must follow these simple steps to apply:
- Collect the documentation that proves your eligibility (your low annual income, Lifeline participation, participation in another qualifying government assistance program, or the fact that your household received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year). You may also have to provide some documents that verify your personal information.
- Find an ACP provider that offers free tablets in your area. To see a list of ACP providers in your area, go to data.usac.org/publicreports/CompaniesNearMe/Download/Report, enter your ZIP code or city and state, and press ‘Search’.
- Once you find a suitable provider, visit its website and find its application form. Fill it out by providing all the required information and documentation. Submit the form and if approved, you will be notified via email.
Alternatively, you can apply at the ACP Support Center and then contact your selected provider.
Get a Free Tablet From a Charity or Non-Profit Organization
There are also certain charities and non-profit organizations that offer free tablets for low-income people in need. Such charities include Accelerated Schools Organization, Adaptive.Org, Causes, Computers for Learning, EveryoneOn, Komputers for Kids, Microsoft Registered Refurbished, On it Foundation, PCs for People, Smartriverside, The Salvation Army, World Computer Exchange, etc.
You can also check at your local church, school, or library.
There are also some other ways to receive a free tablet:
- By finding a carrier or retailer deal or special offer
- By becoming a reviewer or marketing agent
- By entering an online giveaway, etc.
What are the Benefits if I Qualify for the Lifeline and ACP Program?
The list of benefits that you will receive along with a free government tablet if you qualify for the Lifeline and ACP program depends on the provider, the state, availability, and plan. However, many Lifeline and ACP providers also offer:
- Free monthly cell phone and wireless services with:
- Unlimited text
- Limited or unlimited talk
- A certain amount of monthly data
- Perhaps a certain amount of hotspot data and international calls
- Other perks, such as voicemail, caller ID, 3-way calling, nationwide coverage
- A free cell phone (most Lifeline and Lifeline + ACP providers offer entry-level to mid-range Android smartphones, however, certain companies also offer basic flip phones and iPhones)
Which Brands of Tablets Does the Government Offer for Free?
The government offers several different brands of tablets. However, most of them have all the basic features and 4G connectivity. Free government tablet brands include:
- Fire HD
- Google Chromebook
SafeLink Free Tablet Related FAQs
Does SafeLink Offer Free Phones?
Yes, the company offers smartphones from the most trusted brands.
Does SafeLink Offer ACP?
Yes, SafeLink offers both Lifeline and ACP benefits.
Why Do People Need Tablets?
People need tablets to stay in touch with loved ones, work, school, healthcare and other services, for entertainment, etc.
What Is the Income Limit for Lifeline?
The income limit for Lifeline is 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Can I Get a Free Tablet With EBT?
EBT is a system used in the Food Stamps (SNAP) program. Participating in SNAP makes you Lifeline and ACP-eligible, as such you absolutely can get a free tablet with EBT.