How to Get SafeLink Free Government Phone in 2022

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What Services Does SafeLink Wireless Offer When You Join?

SafeLink Wireless is a prepaid cell phone and service provider and a Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider by TracFone Wireless. It offers free and discounted services to eligible households. The company’s services are non-transferable and limited to one person per qualifying household.

Lifeline-eligible households can receive free monthly cell phone service with:

  • Free minutes
  • Free text messages
  • A certain amount of free data
  • Voicemail, caller ID, 3-way calling, 911 access, 411 directory assistance at no additional cost
  • Nationwide coverage on TracFone’s network, which uses network towers from all major U.S. carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Affordable Connectivity Program-eligible households can receive:

  • Additional monthly data
  • Additional hotspot data
  • Unlimited talk and text to Canada and Mexico
  • Lifeline + ACP-eligible households will also receive a free GSM smartphone or SIM card (if you decide to bring your own device)

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In Which States Does SafeLink Wireless Offer Free Services?

SafeLink Wireless offers free services for both Lifeline and ACP-eligible customers, however, as most customers are both Lifeline and ACP-eligible (due to the programs’ similar eligibility criteria), the company also offers a Lifeline + ACP government-funded assistance program, which is the most popular, as it offers most benefits.

Safelink Wireless offers Lifeline + ACP services and SafeLink free phones to eligible customers in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

How to Qualify SafeLink Lifeline and ACP for Free Government Phone?

As mentioned before, SafeLink offers Lifeline services, ACP services, and a combined assistance program that offers both types of services. Both Lifeline and ACP are government assistance programs by the FCC, as such, to qualify and receive a SafeLink free phone, a household must meet strict eligibility criteria, which is universal for all Lifeline/ACP providers. See the eligibility criteria below.

In addition, to qualify, you must be a resident of one of the states where SafeLink offers its services. See the list of qualifying states in the previous section.

Lifeline Eligibility for SafeLink Free Phone

A household is Lifeline-eligible if any of the household members meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • A household member participates in a qualifying government assistance program, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or Medicaid, or if any household member participates in a qualifying Tribal assistance program, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard).
  • A household’s annual income is 135% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Affordable Connectivity Eligibility for SafeLink Free Phone

A household is ACP-eligible if any of the household members meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • A household automatically qualifies for the ACP program, if a household member receives Lifeline benefits or is qualified to participate in the federal Lifeline program.
  • A household member participates in a qualifying government assistance program, such as a Lifeline-qualifying program like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, Medicaid, or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). A household also qualifies if a household member participates in a Lifeline-qualifying Tribal assistance program, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard).
  • A household has received approval for benefits under the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program.
  • A household received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
  • A household’s annual income is 200% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

What Documents are Required When Applying for SafeLink Lifeline and ACP?

As receiving free or discounted services and phones from the government through a Lifeline and ACP provider depends fully on the customer’s eligibility, proving that you qualify is of utmost importance. Therefore, during the application process, you may be asked to provide certain documents that prove your eligibility. Depending on your eligibility criteria, you may be asked to provide some of the following proofs:

To prove your qualifying government assistance program participation, you may be asked to submit an official document that includes your (or the dependent’s) full legal name, the name of the qualifying assistance program, the name of the establishment that issued the document, and an issue date within the last 12 months or a future expiration date. Acceptable documentation includes:

  • A program approval letter
  • Statement of benefits
  • Benefit award letter
  • Benefit verification letter
  • School documentation

To prove your household income, you may be asked to submit an official document that includes your (or your dependent’s) full legal name and annual household income.

Acceptable documents include:

  • Current income statement from your employers or a paycheck stub
  • A Social Security statement of benefits
  • Prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return
  • Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits
  • Retirement/pension statement of benefits
  • Veterans Administration statement of benefits
  • Divorce decree
  • Child support award

During the application process, you may also be requested to verify your identity, address, or age. To do so, you may need to submit an official, unexpired document that includes your (or your dependent’s) full legal name, date of birth, and/or physical address.

Acceptable documents include:

  • A valid government, military, state, or Tribal ID
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • S. Driver’s license
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization
  • Permanent Resident Card or Green Card
  • Utility bill
  • Mortgage or lease statement
  • Most recent W-2 or tax return

To participate in the government assistance program, you must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor. In case you are the latter, you will also be required to provide an official document that shows your emancipated minor status, such as a court document or a certificate of emancipation.

How to Apply to SafeLink Lifeline and ACP for a Free Government Phone?

Applying to SafeLink’s Lifeline and ACP government assistance program and receiving a SafeLink free phone is simple. The application process differs slightly between new and existing customers. See the steps below.

How to Apply if I am a New Customer?

If you are a new customer, you can apply for SafeLink Lifeline + ACP and receive a SafeLink free phone by following these instructions:

  • Visit safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome.
  • Enter your ZIP code in the provided box on top of the page.
  • Press ‘Start’.
  • You will be redirected to the company’s online application form. To complete the form, you will have to provide your personal information, address, eligibility proof, etc. You will also have the opportunity to choose to bring your own phone or to receive a new SafeLink free phone. Review and submit your application.
  • If your application gets approved, you will receive a notification email within a couple of days. Also expect to receive your new SafeLink free phone within a few days, depending on availability.

What to Do if I am an Existing Customer?

If you are an existing customer, you can apply for SafeLink Lifeline + ACP and receive a SafeLink free phone by following these instructions:

  • Visit: safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome.
  • Press ‘Check your service status’. Once you do, you will be able to log into your existing SafeLink account with your enrollment number or with your personal information. Once logged in, you will see whether or not your service is active. If not, you can proceed to the next step.
  • Go back to the main website and press ‘Verify your re-certification status’. Once again, you will be required to log into your account and then, verify your re-certification status.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to apply for a SafeLink free phone.
  • If your application gets approved, you will receive a notification email within a couple of days. Also expect to receive your new SafeLink free phone within a few days, depending on availability.

What are the SafeLink Lifeline and ACP Plans That You Can Get With a SafeLink Free Government Phone?

The SafeLink Lifeline and ACP plan that eligible customers can receive in addition to the SafeLink free phone depends on your location.

Generally, SafeLink’s Lifeline and ACP program offers the following benefits:

  • A free monthly service with:
    • Unlimited (or limited, depending on the area) talk minutes
    • Unlimited text messages
    • Unlimited calls to Canada and Mexico
    • 25 GB of high-speed data (video streams at up to 480p)
    • Up to 5 GB of hotspot data
  • A free smartphone (or SIM card if you decide to bring your own phone)

To the exact list of benefits that are offered to eligible customers in your state of residence, follow these steps:

  • Go to safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome.
  • Press the ‘See Offers’ button next to ‘See our offers in your area’.
  • Provide your ZIP code.
  • Choose between using your own phone and receiving a free phone. Press ‘View plan offers’ under either one of those two choices.
  • See the exact SafeLink Lifeline and ACP service plan available in your area below.

You can also see the service plan benefits in your area by visiting safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/zipcode a d entering your ZIP code. In this case, you will also have to choose to use your own phone or to receive a new one. Once you make your choice you will see the plan features available in your area.

Which Phones Do You Get for Government Free From SafeLink?

SafeLink Lifeline and ACP-eligible customers can receive a free smartphone. The exact smartphone brand and model that you may receive is unknown in advance, as it depends on the availability and may vary depending on inventory. However, the provided free touch screen smartphone will be Wi-Fi and data compatible.

According to customer reports, you can receive a Motorola, LG, Nokia, or Kyocera smartphone if eligible.

Which Other Phones are Compatible With SafeLink?

Instead of receiving a new SafeLink free phone, you can also choose to bring your own phone during the application process. In this case, you will only receive a new SIM card (in addition to the free Lifeline and ACP service).

If you wish to bring your own phone, you must make sure the device is unlocked and compatible with SafeLink’s services. Luckily, most GSM smartphones are compatible. Some SafeLink compatible phone models include:

  • Alcatel 3V
  • Alcatel Go Flip 3
  • Alcatel MyFlip 2
  • Alcatel TCL A3
  • Alcatel TCL A3X
  • Alcatel Volta
  • Apple iPhone 11
  • Apple iPhone 12
  • Apple iPhone 12 mini
  • Apple iPhone 13
  • Apple iPhone 13 mini
  • Apple iPhone XR
  • BLU View 3
  • Google Pixel 3
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G
  • Google Pixel 5 5G
  • Google Pixel 5a 5G
  • LG Aristo 4 Plus
  • LG K40
  • Microsoft Surface Duo
  • Motorola E5 Play
  • Motorola E5 Plus
  • Motorola Edge (2021) 5G
  • Motorola Edge 5G
  • Motorola G Fast
  • Motorola G Play (2011)
  • Motorola G Power
  • Motorola G Power (2021)
  • Motorola G Stylus
  • Motorola G Stylus (2021)
  • Motorola G Stylus 5G
  • Motorola G7 Play
  • Motorola One Ace 5G
  • Motorola RAZR 5G
  • Nokia 6300 4G
  • Nokia 8.3 5G
  • Nokia G300 5G
  • Nokia XR20
  • NUU F4L Flip Phone
  • OnePlus 8 5G
  • OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
  • OnePlus Nord 100
  • OnePlus Nord 200 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy A01
  • Samsung Galaxy A03s
  • Samsung Galaxy A11
  • Samsung Galaxy A12
  • Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy A71 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G
  • TCL 10 Pro
  • TCL 10L

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How to Activate / Unlock This Phone After Getting a SafeLink Free Phone?

If you have a new SafeLink free phone, you have to follow some quick and simple steps to activate the device and start using your free services.

  • First, go to safelinkupgrades.com/upgrade/collectmin.
  • Enter your phone number in the provided box and press ‘Continue.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to activate your phone.
  • Once activated, you will receive a confirmation text.

If you wish to take your SafeLink free phone to another service provider, you can do so once the device is unlocked.

To unlock a locked SafeLink phone, the device must meet the unlock eligibility criteria. For example, all the payments must be made, the phone cannot be flagged as lost, stolen, or involved in any kind of suspicious activity, etc.

You can unlock your SafeLink phone by contacting the company’s customer service. Ask them if your phone is eligible to be unlocked and if so, the representative will walk you through the entire process.

SafeLink Free Government Phone Related FAQs

Does SafeLink Replace a Free Phone if Not Working or Damaged?

If your phone is not working or is damaged due to your misuse, you may not receive a replacement phone for free. However, if the device is malfunctioning due to the manufacturer’s fault, you can replace the device free of charge. SafeLink may even replace your phone if the device gets lost or stolen. However, generally, the company only offers one replacement phone for free. The second time, you will have to pay for it.

Does SafeLink Offer Bring Your Own Phone Program?

Yes. If you already have a phone in good working condition, you can keep it. You can obtain the SafeLink BYOP service by visiting safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome, entering your ZIP code, beginning the application process, and choosing to bring your own device. Find out more about the SafeLink BYOP program at support.safelinkwireless.com/expresshelp/keep-your-own-smartphone-questions.

How to Know if Your Phone Is Compatible With SafeLink?

To check if your phone is compatible with the SafeLink services, text the word ‘BYOP’ to 611611.

Can I Upgrade My SafeLink Free Phone?

Yes, you can upgrade your SafeLink free phone. To do so, visit safelinkupgrades.com/upgrade and press ‘Shop Phones’ under ‘Need Upgrade?’. Then, follow the instructions, select a device that best fits your needs and place the order.

Does SafeLink Give Free iPhones?

Generally, SafeLink doesn’t offer free iPhones, but free Android smartphones instead. However, there are many upgrade iPhones available at SafeLink.

Does SafeLink Give Free Tablets?

No. While some ACP providers offer free tablets to eligible customers, SafeLink currently only offers free smartphones. However, that may change in the future.

Are TracFone and SafeLink the Same Thing?

No. TracFone Wireless is an American prepaid, no-contract mobile phone provider and SafeLink is TracFone’s subsidiary brand that only offers services for Lifeline and ACP-eligible customers.