Free cell phones provide people in need with ways to stay in touch with important services, work, family, and friends. Since 1985, the US government has provided a way for individuals to receive free cell phones from the Lifeline program. While this is a federally mandated program, eligibility requirements and service companies can vary from state to state. Each person must qualify for free cell phones and service, through receiving Medicaid, Supplement Security Income, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Federal Public Housing Assistance. States may also provide additional ways for low income applicants to qualify. While there are basic features each company must offer, plans can vary measurably by company and state. The top three free cell phone companies include Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless and Assist Wireless.

Top 3 Free Cell Phone Companies

  • Safelink Wireless
  • Assurance Wireless
  • Assist Wireless

Safelink Wireless

Safelink Wireless is a Tracfone company providing free cell phones to those who are unemployed, low income, or disabled. Applicants can determine eligibility online, starting with entering a zip code. Those who qualify for the program are given a free Android phone with unlimited talking and texting and 500MB of free data every month. Recipients can also take advantage of free voicemail, caller ID, three-way calling, 411 calling, 911 access, and free calls to customer care. SafeLink gives customers a choice between using their current phones with the free services or applying to receive new equipment. To remain eligible for these benefits, users must keep their phones on, use the phone at least once every 30 days, and certify eligibility every year.


  • Determine eligibility through an online form.
  • Unlimited talk and text.
  • P00MB of free data each month.

Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless is part of the Sprint network, offering a range of plans for those who qualify for service. Customers receive Android smartphones with 350 free Voice Minutes, unlimited free texts and 500MB free data added automatically each month. Those who are enrolled with Assurance Wireless can choose to add money for additional minutes, data, or international calling. Customers also get voicemail, call waiting, caller ID, 911 access, free calls to customer care, and unlimited calling to 211 all included. Phones provided by Assurance Wireless comes with a one-year warranty and will be replaced with a similar device if needed. Customers can apply and check the status of their applications online through the website.


  • Can apply online or over the phone.
  • Unlimited talk and text.
  • Can purchase additional minutes and data.

Assist Wireless

Assist Wireless makes it easy for applicants to enroll in Lifeline services through their website. They offer online applications through their website, along with a customer service phone number and live chat. The basic Lifeline plan offered through Assist Wireless is 500 talk and text each month. No data is provided. Customers can purchase data as needed for low prices; 100MB is $4.00. Should phones break or become lost, Assist Wireless will replace them for free. This company also allows qualified customers to bring their own phones. These phones must be compatible with T-Mobile or Sprint networks, and customers will receive a $15 account credit or 1GB of free data on the Lifeline program.


  • 500 talk and text each month.
  • No free data provided.
  • Rewards offered for those who bring their own phones.