How to Join the SafeLink Free Phone Program?
SafeLink Wireless is a popular phone and wireless provider that offers Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits and discounts to eligible low-income customers. Qualifying customers can receive both a free monthly phone and wireless plan, as well as a free phone.
However, not all Americans can join the SafeLink free phone program. In fact, in order to apply, you must follow these strict steps:
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility
Only qualifying customers can apply. See the Lifeline and ACP eligibility criteria below.
To receive SafeLink’s Lifeline benefits, you must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Your annual household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The guideline depends on the state and the household size.
- You or any other member of your household participate in a Lifeline-qualifying government assistance program, such as:
- 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)
To receive SafeLink’s ACP benefits, you must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Your annual household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- You or any other member of your household participate in Lifeline.
- You or any other member of your household participate in any of the Lifeline-qualifying government assistance programs listed below.
- You or any other member of your household participate in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools.
- Your household received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
Other Government Assistance Program Requirements
In order to participate in any of these two government assistance programs, you must also:
- Be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.
- Be the only applicant in your household (only one Lifeline and ACP benefit is available per household).
- Be a resident of one of the states where SafeLink offers its services – 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.
Step 2: Collect the Proof Documentation
During your application, you will be required to prove your eligibility by providing copies of certain valid official documents that contain all the crucial information. Make sure to make clear copies and do not submit original documents. Also, try to prepare the copies in advance to ensure a fast and smooth application process.
- If you qualify based on your income, you must provide an official document that includes your full name and income, such as:
- Current income statement from your employer or paycheck stubs
- Prior year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation statement of benefits
- Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
- Divorce decree or child support award, etc.
- If you qualify based on your program participation or Pell Grant, you must provide an official document that includes your full name, the name of the program, the name of the establishment that issued the document, and an issue date within the last 12 months or a future expiration date, such as:
- Approval letter
- Benefit award letter
- Benefit verification letter
- Statement of benefits
- School documentation
Additionally, you may need to:
- Verify your identity
- Verify your age
- Verify your address or provide a duplicate address
- Provide your SSN or proof of life
- Verify your emancipated minor status (if you are an emancipated minor)
Step 3: Apply for ACP or Lifeline
Lastly, you can go ahead and apply for SafeLink’s ACP or Lifeline program. To do so, follow the steps below:
- First, go to safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome.
- Enter your ZIP code in the provided box and press ‘Start’.
- If the company offers its services in your area, you will be redirected to its online application form.
- Fill out the application form by providing all the personal information, address, device information, eligibility proof, and more.
- Submit the application.
- Depending on your eligibility, you may qualify for SafeLink’s Lifeline Plan, ACP Plan, or Lifeline + ACP Plan (which is the most valuable plan).
- If your application gets approved, you will be notified via email. Expect to receive your SafeLink free phone in a matter of days and the free services in the next billing month.
Before you apply through SafeLink directly, you may also be required to apply through the National Verifier first. To do so, follow these instructions:
Applying for Lifeline
To do so online, visit nv.fcc.gov/lifeline. If prompted, choose your state or territory and press ‘Get started’. You may be asked to log in or create a new account. When redirected to the online application form, complete it by providing the necessary information and required documentation. At the end of each page, press ‘Next’, and at the end, submit your application.
You can also apply for Lifeline/ACP at the support center via mail. To do so, print out a Lifeline application at lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/get-lifeline/LI_Application_NVstates.pdf. Complete the form, add the copies of your proof documentation and send the package to Lifeline Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
Applying for ACP
To do so online, visit nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&amp;ebbp=true. When redirected to the online application form, fill it out by providing the necessary information and submitting the required documentation.
You can also apply for ACP at the support center via mail. To do so, print out an ACP application at affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf. It is also advisable that you also include a Household Worksheet, which can be found at affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf. Fill out the forms, add the copies of your proof documentation and send the package to ACP Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
What Kind of Phones Does SafeLink Send to You When You Join
Now that you have applied for a SafeLink free phone, let’s discuss what kind of a phone does SafeLink send you if you qualify.
Just like most other Lifeline and ACP providers, SafeLink does not fully disclose which phone brands and models are available to eligible customers, as their offer depends on the customer’s plan, state of residence, and availability.
Nevertheless, we do know the following details about SafeLink free government phones:
- You will receive a free smartphone.
- The device will come with Wi-Fi and data compatibility.
- The device will probably have Android OS.
- According to customer reports, you may expect to receive a Motorola, Nokia, LG, or Kyocera smartphone.
How Long Does It Take for a SafeLink Phone to Be Delivered?
How long it may take for a SafeLink phone to be delivered to you depends on when your application will get approved. It may take just a few minutes or up to a few days, depending on whether or not all of your information and documentation is verifiable.
After your application gets approved, the company will process your order for shipment within 1 to 3 business days. The exact time of delivery also depends on where you live and when you order the package (the delivery companies are busier during holidays).
How Do I Know if SafeLink is Sending Me a Phone?
You will know whether or not you will get a free phone in addition to the free services in advance. In fact, you can check your options in advance by visiting safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/planFeatures, providing your ZIP code, and choosing whether or not you wish to receive a free smartphone or if you prefer to bring your own device. Then check out the plans that will best fit your needs.
What Other Benefits Will You Get When You Join SafeLink?
SafeLink’s Lifeline and ACP benefits don’t end at a free smartphone. In fact, getting a free smartphone is not even mandatory at all. Instead, you can decide to use your own device (which must be carrier-unlocked and compatible with SafeLink’s services), in which case plan upgrades are available.
Depending on whether you decide to bring your own device or get a new one, you can get Lifeline, ACP, or Lifeline + ACP plans with different benefits in all areas.
The exact amount of free talk, monthly data, and hotspot data depend on the plan you choose, however, you can expect to receive a free plan with:
- Limited or unlimited monthly minutes
- Unlimited monthly texts
- Up to 25GB of monthly high-speed data
- Up to 5GB of hotspot data
- Calls to Canada and Mexico
Can I Replace My SafeLink Phone if the Phone is Lost, Stolen, or Broken?
All SafeLink phones come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, which covers all the malfunctions that were not caused by the phone’s abuse.
If your phone is not working or is damaged due to your misuse, you may not receive a replacement phone for free.
SafeLink may even replace your phone if the device gets lost or stolen. However, you may have to pay a small fee.
Generally, the company only offers one replacement phone for free. The second time, you will be required to purchase it at full price.
Does SafeLink Offer Free Phone Upgrades?
SafeLink allows customers to upgrade their free phones. To do so, you must simply visit safelinkupgrades.com/upgrade and press ‘Shop Phones’ under ‘Need Upgrade?’. Then, follow the on-screen prompts, select a phone that best fits your needs and place the order. The upgrade phone does, however, not come free of charge.
Are TracFone and SafeLink the Same?
SafeLink is a phone and wireless provider that is owned by TracFone. Even though TracFone is SafeLink’s owner, these are two separate companies that offer different benefits and operate in different areas. The application systems are different as well.