The government provides free cell phones to the needy, the less fortunate, seniors, and the disabled through free line programs. This program was started in the year 1980. It was later upgraded and improved in 2005 to provide communication services to eligible American citizens.
Among the eligible citizens, are the seniors and the disabled. This is because they are more vulnerable. However, not all seniors and disabled acquire free cell phones from the government. The eligible individuals should be active members of any government federal program. They should also have less than 135 % income below the federal poverty level.
Why Free Cell Phone Is Necessary For Seniors And The Disabled Citizen
For free cellphones, the government considers only the disabled with limited income and the abandoned seniors above 65 years. They provide the phones along with free services. Below are the reasons why the government saw it necessary to provide a free phone to eligible seniors and the disabled.
- For personal safety – Seniors and disabled are the most vulnerable in society. Most of the seniors are abandoned and spend most part of their lives alone. This calls great need of a cellphone, particularly to ask help during an emergency. The disabled also need free cellphones for personal security. I mean, they find it hard to deal with day to day chores and activities. With help of a cellphone, an individual can reach out to family or friends for help.
- Medical safety – Rather than personal safety, Seniors and disabled also need cellphones for medical safety. As we all know, seniors are more prone to illness. They need a cellphone close to them all the time to call and ask for help during injury or illness attack. Same applies to the disabled. They go through illness or physical challenges that need doctors’ attention.
- For mental health – The seniors and disabled go through several physical and emotional challenges that are not fit for their mental health. Through cellphones, they can do some fun and recreational activities like social networking. This helps them to relax, calm stress and strengthen their mental health.
How To Get A Government Free Cell Phone For Senior Citizens
The government provides free cellphones to the eligible elderly that are 65 years of age and above. However, the terms, conditions, and services of these cellphones vary per the geographical location of the individual. To qualify, one must meet one of these requirements. There are two major requirements.
- An individual should have an annual income below the federal poverty level.
- An individual should be an active member of any government aid program.
Free cell phones are provided by different communication and phone providers. These providers are always in partnership with the government. For instance, the enTouch Wireless, the SafetyNet Wireless, and the SafeLink Wireless providers among others. Let’s understand the services and deals that these providers offer to eligible senior citizens.
1. Safetynet Wireless Provider
These providers offer free smartphones to all eligible seniors in America. They have different plans or deals. The basic plan offers free cellphones, 750 free voice call minutes, and 500 free text messages every month.
2. Safelink Wireless
This is one of the best-known providers of free cellphones for seniors. They have a special plan that provides free cellphones and 250 free voice minutes in a month.
3. Entouch Wireless Providers
These providers offer free cellphones to the senior with amazing deals that are similar to Safelink providers. However, their phones are specifically designed for the elderly that strain to hear.
Features Of Free Cell Phones For The Senior
Free cell phones for the senior and disabled are different from the normal free cell phone. I mean, phone providers always ensure that the elderly cell phone is designed with special features that are easy to use. These features are :
- Long term batteries : Cell Phones have long term batteries due to seniors easily forget to charge their phone regularly.
- Phone tracking : These phones are also designed with phone tracking system to help friends and family keep tracking the location of their senior. This is because they easily wander or get lost
- Health tracking : Most of senior cellphones also have health monitoring features to monitor and track their health conditions.
- Display features : The phones are also designed with special display features like large keypad numbers, icons and onscreen text for clear and easy vision.
How To Get A Government Free Cell Phones For The Disabled
Similar to the elderly, not all disabled qualify to benefit from free cellphones from the government. To qualify, an individual should meet one of the following requirements.
- Have an income below the federal poverty level.
- Be an active member of any government aid program like the supplemental nutrition assistance program.
- Be an active member of any social security program.
Let’s understand more about free cell phones for the disabled on social security programs.
Free Cell phone For Disabled On Social Security
There are two types of social security programs. The social security disability insurance program and the supplementary security income program.
1. The Supplementary Security Income Program
This is a federal program that is set aside to help not only the disabled but also the elderly. The program provides help to the disabled who have never worked before due to their disability state. It provides free cellphones to low-income disabled adults, low-income disabled children, and low-income seniors that are above 65 years of age. The members of this program are also eligible for other programs like the Medicaid federal program the food stamps program among others.
2. The Social Security Disability Insurance Program
Unlike the supplementary security income program, this program benefits only the disabled. It provides food, housing, clothing and free cellphones to the disabled who were working before but stopped because of their condition. To fill for this program, an applicant is required to fill an application form with all the correct personal details and relevant details on your previous employment.
As seen, the government has collaborated with telecommunication and phone providers to offer free cell phones and amazing deals to eligible seniors and disabled beneficiaries. These providers allow one phone per individual or per household. However, the elderly or disabled that live in nursing homes are allowed to have more than one free cellphone per household.