Need a Smartphone? Lifeline Can Help!

How to see if you qualify for a free smartphone through Lifeline

What is Lifeline?
Lifeline is a federal program that provides phones, data, and minutes to households that qualify.

Do I qualify to receive a smartphone through Lifeline?
There are two ways to find out if you qualify for a smartphone through Lifeline. The first way you qualify is if your income is 135% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

The second way is if you receive support through any of the following programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit

You only need to meet one of those requirements to qualify. You also qualify if your child or dependent participates in the programs above as well. If you live on tribal lands, you can get Lifeline if your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if you (or someone in your household) participate in:

  • Any of the federal assistance programs listed above
  • 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

How to apply to Lifeline
After you have viewed the eligibility requirements for the Lifeline program, you must then apply to confirm that you qualify for the program.

  1. Apply online. You first must create an account. You will need your social security number to sign up.
  1. Apply through a local phone or internet provider. You can ask them for more details on how you can apply.
  1. Apply through the mail. You can print the application and send it in along with your proof qualification. The address is:  

    Lifeline Support Center 
    P.O. Box 9100 
    Wilkes-Barr, PA 1877 

If you need help applying for Lifeline, you can call the hotline at 866-757-1832 (TTY:711). The Link to Care WA Hotline has call representatives who will help you fill out an application. Once you have been approved for Lifeline, you will then need to choose a phone company that offers Lifeline and sign up for phone service with them. Once they sign you up, you will start getting your Lifeline benefit.  

The internet will help you stay connected to friends and family, local resources, and your healthcare team. Access to the internet in your hand helps you stay connected. The Lifeline program offers smartphones that connect to the internet.