Learn How to Get a Free Government Cell Phone and Phone Service

Assurance Wireless | Free Government Cell Phones

Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance cellular phone carrier brought to you by Virgin Mobile USA, which is a subsidiary of Sprint Nextel. This program offers eligible low income customers a free cellular phone and 250 free local and nationwide long distance voice minutes a month. Users can opt to pay more to increase the number of minutes up to 1,000 minutes a month and/or add additional features such as text messaging services. In order to qualify for the program you must first submit an application and meet certain requirements. Below you will find everything you need to know about applying and filling out the Assurance Wireless application.

While the Assurance Wireless program sounds too good to be true. It is absolutely true! There are no catches and this is not a scam. Free means absolutely 100% free! There are no credit checks, no deposits, no service or activation fees, and no contracts. Assurance Wireless even pays to mail you your free government phone. Not convinced? Please visit our “Is Assurance Wireless a Scam Page?” for additional information.

When the first consumer cell phones were first introduced over two decades ago, they were viewed as a luxury item that only the rich could afford. Over time, advances in cell phone technology lowered the costs of cell phones and increased their functionality. Unfortunately, while there was huge drop in the price of cell phone services over the same period of time, the cost of buying a cell phone and monthly service charges kept cell phones out of the hands of the people who need them the most: people living on a low income, the homeless, and the unemployed.

This all changed when over five years ago when changes were made to the Lifeline Assistance program, which expanded coverage from just land line service to cell phone service.

Assurance Wireless offers free government cell phones and free cell phone service to qualifying applicants. The government phone and service can be provided to users for free due in part to a subsidy received from the US Federal Government.  As part of this program, Assurance Wireless receives a $25 subsidy from the government mandated Link Up program and $10 per month per subscriber from the Lifeline program, which covers the cost of the 250 free cell phone minutes every month. Assurance Wireless covers the cost of advertising. Virgin Mobile’s ultimate goal is to retain Assurance Wireless users as paying subscribers once they are back on their feet.

Assurance Wireless Program Eligibility

At this point you must be thinking how can you apply for the Assurance Wireless program? In order to apply for the program, you should first check your eligibility for the program and if service is available in your state.

Assurance Wireless offers free cell phones in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Unfortunately, if you do not live in one of these states you do not qualify for Assurance Wireless. That being said, you should check back here regularly, because Assurance Wireless is constantly expanding this program to new states. You can click here to check updated program availability in your state.

Eligibility varies somewhat from state to state where it is is offered. In most states, there are two ways you can qualify for service: (1) government program-based criteria; and (2) income-based criteria. All states use government program-based criteria and most use income-based eligibility criteria. You need only qualify under one of the two methods shown below.

Government Program Based Eligibility

You may qualify for Assurance Wireless service if you are enrolled in a government assistance program. The qualifying government assistance programs vary by state, but there is a good chance you qualify for Assurance Wireless service if you are enrolled in Food Stamps/SNAP, Social Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Section 8, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), National School Free Lunch Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or other government assistance programs.

In most instances, you will not have to provide supporting documentation that you are enrolled in a government assistance program. In these cases, you will have to swear under penalty of perjury that you are enrolled in a government assistance program. Perjury is a serious matter and if you lie on your Assurance Wireless application you can face civil and criminal charges.

Income Based Program Eligibility

In most states that Assurance Wireless provides service, you can also qualify under income-based guidelines. States are free to establish their own income guidelines for Assurance Wireless eligibility. However, most states opt to use 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (please check your state’s criteria to be certain! You can check specific state eligibility criteria here).

If your total household income is at or below 135% (or 150% for Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Texas. Multiply the figures below by 1.11 to get 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for these states) you may qualify for free cell phone service. The table below shows 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2012.

Below you will find the 135% figures for the Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2012. In order to calculate the 150% figures for Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas multiple the numbers below by 1.11.

Size of
Family Unit
48 Contiguous
States and D.C.
Alaska Hawaii
1 $15,080 $18,860 $17,361
2 20,426 25,452 23,504
3 25,772 32,225 29,646
4 31,118 38,907 35,789
5 36,464 45,590 41,931
6 41,810 52,272 48,074
7 47,156 58,955 54,216
8 52,502 65,637 60,359
For each additional
person, add
5,346 6,683 6,143

Remember, the income guidelines above are federal guidelines and may not apply to your state (your state may actually be higher!). Also, income guidelines can change at anytime. Check here for state specific information.

If your Assurance Wireless application is based on income eligibility, you most likely will have to provide a copy of your state or federal income tax return from last year or three consecutive months of your most current pay stubs, Social Security benefit statements, Veteran Administration benefits statements, retirement benefits statement, divorce decree or child support document, or unemployment/workers Compensation benefits statement.

The only other requirements for Assurance Wireless free cell phone service are:

Only one Lifeline wireless or land line account is allowed per household. You must swear under penalty of perjury that everything you stated in your application is true and accurate. You must swear that you are not currently enrolled in any other Lifeline Assistance program (for example: you or a household member is not currently enrolled in Reachout Wireless, Safelink Wireless, or have a Lifeline subsidized home phone). If you are enrolled in another Lifeline program, you must first cancel service with your current Lifeline service provider before signing up for Assurance Wireless phone service. The Federal Communication Commission has recently begun cracking down on Lifeline service fraud and sent out tens of thousands of letters to customers suspected of fraud. These people may face fines and even jail time for defrauding the Lifeline program. Don’t let this happen to you.

The address you provide for your phone service must be your place of residence. Unfortunately, Assurance Wireless will not mail cell phones to PO boxes. You must have a valid US home address in order to qualify for service. People who are homeless may have trouble applying for the Assurance Wireless program. If you are homeless please call 1-888-898-4888 and ask what steps an applicant who has no home address must take to apply. It may be possible to use a shelter’s address for your application or an aid agencies’ mailing address. Ask any of these questions before you apply.

Your phone service must be in the name of the qualified customer and is non-transferable. So you cannot give or sell your cell phone service contract to anyone else.

If you meet these eligibility requirements, you must submit an Application, which can be downloaded here. The application must be completely filled out, printed, and mailed to:

Assurance Wireless
PO Box 686
Parsipanny, NJ 07054

You can also FAX the completed application to this number: 1-877-732-3018.

If you have any trouble printing out the application, you can call 1-888-898-4888 to speak to a customer service representative who can assist you with your application.

The Assurance Wireless Application itself is very quick and easy to fill out. Many applicants are rejected, because they do not completely fill out the Assurance Wireless application. Make sure you fill in all of the fields requested or your application may be declined.

Ready to apply for Assurance Wireless service? Click the link below to learn what your state’s specific eligibility criteria are:

State Specific Eligibility Criteria

Get a Free Cell Phone From Assurance Wireless