If you have an EBT card, you can certainly get free food with it through the SNAP government assistance program. But is there anything else that you may be able to receive with the card? Is it possible to get, for example, a free iPad with EBT? Since iPads are some of the most popular and convenient smart devices in this day and age, it would certainly be amazing to get one with EBT at a huge discount. But is it possible? Let’s find out!
What is EBT and What Does it Have to Do With iPads?
EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer, which is an electronic system that allows recipients of government assistance programs to receive and manage their benefits electronically. It is commonly used for the program known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SNAP, also known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal assistance program in the United States that provides eligible low-income individuals and families with funds to purchase food. SNAP benefits are loaded onto an EBT card, which can be used to buy eligible food items at authorized retailers, including grocery stores and supermarkets. The purpose of SNAP is to help ensure that individuals and families have access to nutritious food, promoting their well-being and reducing hunger.
Now, you may be wondering what a card or program that offers free food for people struggling to afford it has to do with iPads. Well, directly, not much! Indirectly, however, plenty! After all, people who own an EBT card and therefore participate in the SNAP program automatically qualify for other assistance programs, one of which is known as the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and offers discounts on internet services and internet-connected devices. If you apply for ACP and get approved due to your SNAP (EBT) participation, you will be able to receive a discount of up to $30 a month on broadband services and a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a connected device, such as a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet (Android or iPad).
Note: While ACP discounted devices are commonly referred to as ‘free’, this is not actually the case, as according to government rules, you must pay a mandatory co-pay of between $10 and $50 to obtain the device.
List of iPads You Can Get With EBT in 2023
Through EBT you can qualify for ACP and with ACP, you may be able to receive a highly discounted desktop, laptop, or tablet. While most ACP providers offer tablets (or just discounted internet services), they tend to offer Android-powered devices, instead of iPads. Nevertheless, from some companies, it’s also possible to get a free iPad with EBT. Such companies currently offer the following iPad models:
- Apple iPad 3
- Apple iPad 6
- Apple iPad Air
- Apple iPad Air 2
- Apple iPad Mini
- Apple iPad Mini 2
- Apple iPad Mini 3
As government rules demand a mandatory co-pay, these devices’ prices range from $10.01 to $49.99.
How to Find and Choose an ACP Company That Offers Free iPads With EBT
Finding and choosing an ACP company that offers a free iPad with EBT is no lengthy process, as unfortunately, there are very few ACP companies that provide customers with such devices. Currently, the only companies that have confirmed to offer iPads through ACP are:
- AirTalk Wireless (see its offer and apply at https://airtalkwireless.com/)
- Cintex Wireless (see its offer and apply at https://cintexwireless.com/)
- NewPhone Wireless (see its offer and apply at https://newphone.com/)
However, other providers, such as Q Link Wireless, enTouch, StandUp, or Easy Wireless may also offer such devices but don’t reveal their offers in advance.
To see if any of these companies operate in your area, visit https://cnm.universalservice.org/, enter your location, choose the ACP program and press search. Review the generated list of all the ACP companies in your area.
Process of Getting a Free iPad With EBT
To receive a free iPad with EBT, you must follow these steps. They may be quite simple, however, they are also quite unbendable, as such, make sure to read them carefully and in more detail in the following sections:
- Step 1: Become an EBT owner by applying for SNAP.
- Step 2: Apply for ACP. As a SNAP participant, you will easily get approved.
- Step 3: Find an ACP company that offers free iPads with EBT and apply for its services.
- Step 4: Receive and enjoy the free iPad with EBT and other benefits.
How to Apply for SNAP and Receive an EBT Card?
Check if You Qualify for SNAP/EBT
To be eligible for SNAP/EBT benefits, you must meet the following key requirements:
- Income: Your total monthly income should be equal to or less than 130% of the federal poverty level, based on your household size.
- Resources: The total value of your household’s assets should not exceed $2,500 (or $3,750 for households with an elderly or disabled member).
- Citizenship: You must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or a qualified alien to qualify for SNAP benefits.
- Residency: You need to reside in the state where you are applying for benefits.
- Work requirements: If you are an able-bodied adult aged 18 to 49 without dependents, you must meet specific work requirements or qualify for an exemption.
Provide Eligibility Proof
To verify the details on your SNAP application, you can submit different documents like identification (e.g., driver’s license, state ID), proof of income, records of dependent care expenses, rent receipts or mortgage payments, utility bills, and medical bills (for individuals aged 60 or receiving disability benefits).
Apply for SNAP/EBT
To access SNAP/EBT benefits, you have the option to either reach out to your local SNAP office or apply conveniently online through your state’s SNAP website. It’s important to gather the necessary documentation to verify your income, citizenship status, and residency beforehand. Keep in mind that the specific requirements and application procedures may differ across states, so it’s advisable to consult your local SNAP office for precise guidance.
While you can acquire a SNAP application at any Social Security office if all household members receive SSI payments, other applicants, including those solely receiving Social Security benefits, must directly submit their applications to the local SNAP office. The USDA SNAP state directory website or the toll-free SNAP information line at 1-800-221-5689 can assist you in locating your local SNAP office or applying online. Subsequently, you will undergo an interview, typically conducted via phone.
Once your application is submitted, the SNAP office will process it and evaluate your eligibility for benefits. The determination process generally takes up to 30 days, with expedited service available for qualifying individuals. If you haven’t received a response within 30 days, it is recommended to contact the SNAP office for further assistance. Once you receive a confirmation letter or a similar official verification of your participation in SNAP, make sure to save it, as you will likely need it during the ACP application process.
How to Apply for ACP?
Check if You Qualify for ACP
Has your SNAP application been approved and are you now an EBT card owner and user? If so, you surely qualify for ACP.
However, you can also qualify based on your participation in another government assistance program (such as Medicaid, Lifeline, SSI, WIC, FPHA, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, School Breakfast Program, a Tribal assistance program, or Federal Pell Grant) or based on your income (if for annual household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines).
Moreover, regardless of whether you qualify based on the fact that you participate in another government assistance program or your income, you must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor to apply. Note that ACP is only available for 1 person per eligible household and that you can only choose an ACP provider that operates in your area.
Provide Eligibility Proof
SNAP/EBT participants (as well as participants of other qualifying government assistance programs) can prove their eligibility by providing a copy of the approval letter, benefit award letter, benefit verification letter, or statement of benefits during the application process.
Applicants who qualify based on income can prove their eligibility by proving a copy of paycheck stubs, a current income statement, or a prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return.
All applicants may also be required to verify their identity, age, physical address, emancipation, SSN, etc.
Apply for ACP
The simplest way to apply for ACP after confirming your eligibility and preparing proof documentation is online. Do so by visiting https://getinternet.gov/apply?id=acp&awsl=link-from-how-to-apply, logging in or creating an account if necessary, and completing the application form by providing all the required information and digital documentation copies.
Alternatively, you can apply via mail. To do so, print out an application at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf and a Household Worksheet at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf. Complete the forms, add documentation copies, and send to ACP Support Center, PO Box 9100, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773.
Once the National Verifier has reached its decision, you will be notified via email. You can then proceed to the next step as an ACP participant.
What Other Benefits Can I Receive Through ACP and SNAP/EBT?
In addition to the (almost) free iPad with EBT, which will enable you to stay in touch with loved ones, work, school, healthcare providers, and more, you will also receive the following benefits:
- Free or discounted food and groceries through SNAP/EBT
- Free or discounted monthly internet services through ACP
- As SNAP/EBT participants also qualify for Lifeline, you may also receive free phone/wireless services and a free smartphone