If you’re a parent or caretaker on a limited income, then you probably want to know if free cell phones for kids are even possible. Well luckily under the Life Line and Link Up program it is.
There have been many serious debates regarding if cell phones are even needed by children. But most don’t argue about the fact that children are much more independent than they were 30-40 years ago. And frequently spend larger amounts of time outside the home during the school week in after school programs and other related activities.
Many argue that cell phones can also be distracting in classrooms. But make no mistake that a child’s safety often times require a mobile phone. Some research even points to the fact that more than half of all kids use their cell phone to primarily check in with or to call parents.
But mobile phones nor their monthly plans aren’t cheap. In fact, the average cell phone bill starts at around $55 dollars a month. So imagine having a family talk plan, trust me your monthly bill to include your child’s phone would not start at $55 dollars. So getting assistance when it comes to getting your child a mobile phone from the government, you may be able to rest easy knowing that there is help out there.
So if you are a parent or caretaker on government assistance, you could be eligible to get a free mobile phone for your child.
How Do I Get A Free Mobile Phone for My Child?
Well first it’s important to note that if you already receive a free mobile phone from the government, you will not be eligible for the phone. Under the Life Line program, there is only ONE government phone per household.
Assuming you don’t have a phone yourself, you or your child MUST receive ONE of the following:
- Free Lunch Program
- Section 8
- Food Stamps
- Income at or below 135% of the poverty level
Once you’ve determined you generally meet eligibility guidelines, give one of the below companies a call or go directly to their website and speak to their customer service agent.
Safe Link Wireless Customer Service Number: 1-800-Safelink
Budget Mobile Customer Service Number: 888- 777-4007
Assurance Wireless Customer Service Number: 888-898-4888
Some Important Things to Remember About Free Government Phone Programs
Of course there are some really important things to remember about these programs. I’ll highlight them below:
- You must re-apply yearly. That’s right; the Life Line and Link Up government programs for poor people are not for the rest of your life. Every year you must reapply and show eligibility. Should you not re-apply are your free mobile phone and services are suspended.
- You may be audited in this program at any time. Recently, the government added some fine tweaks to this program to ensure that no abuse or waste persisted.
- This program is often referred to as a Obama government phone initiative and it is not. The Life Line program actually came to be under Ronald Reagan, but at that time the focus was solely on wireline.
What is Included If I Decide to Get this Phone for My Kid
Should you qualify for a free mobile phone from the government, you’ll be happy know that first and foremost, you get a phone. Secondly, there are usually around 250 free minutes available to use, depending on the company that you go with.
Here are some of the other options:
- Free Customer Care Calling
- Three Way Calling
- Text Messaging (Some Restrictions Apply)
- Emergency Calling
As you can see you have quite a bit to think about when it comes to getting your child a free cell phone for kids. But, remember that times have changed and for many parents providing a cell phone to a child gives a parent that needed peace of mind.