Free Government Mobile Phone Program Information

The Lifeline Assistance program, sometimes called the free government mobile phone program, offers a way for low-income households to receive free cell phone coverage. What started as a landline program in 1985 has expanded to include cell phone service and is even transitioning to include broadband service.


Many households can qualify for this program through government assistance programs, and yours may as well.


Here’s an overview of the Lifeline Assistance program and what it takes to qualify.

Program History

The Lifeline Assistance program began in 1985 under President Ronald Reagan. The program’s mission was to provide landline telephone service to low-income households. In 2008, the program expanded to include mobile service and earned the nickname the Obama phone program, though the first cell phones were issued under President Bush.


The Lifeline Assistance program is funded by the federal Universal Service Fund, which is managed by the FCC and helps to enforce communication regulations in the United States.


We are affiliated with Assurance Wireless, a branch of the federal Lifeline Assistance program that is carried by Virgin Mobile. Virgin Mobile operates through Sprint Wireless to provide nationwide coverage. Our program allows us to issue free smartphones with free monthly data and minutes and free unlimited texting.

How to Qualify

The Lifeline Assistance program offers one wireless device or landline connection per household — a household is defined as one group of people who live together and share finances, such as a family or a romantic couple who is unmarried.


If you fall below a certain percentage of the poverty line or if you are a receiving assistance from government programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, and SSI, you qualify for the Lifeline Assistance program. To learn more about whether you qualify, visit the Assurance Wireless website.


In today’s increasingly connected world, a cell phone is a necessity, but coverage can be difficult to afford. If you are struggling with payments for your cellular service, investigate the Lifeline Assistance program.