Free Phone with Food Stamps Program – The SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is the federal government program to provide food-purchasing aid to poor American citizens. The U.S. Department of Agriculture supervises the program under the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which is also known as the Food Stamp program.
Besides that, the government offers low-income families free or discounted phone service through several assistance programs. Some of the most widespread are Lifeline Assistance and Affordable Connectivity Program. Being a Food stamps beneficiary, you may qualify for a free phone through these programs.
This article provides detailed information about eligibility, application, and how to get a free phone with the Food Stamps program.
How do I get a Free Phone with Food Stamps Program?
You can obtain a free phone by participating in Food Stamps programs and then qualify for Lifeline or ACP programs that provide free phone services to low-income people.
You can apply for a free phone through these programs if you already receive Food Stamps benefits.
What are Food Stamps Eligibility Criteria?
You can qualify for Food Stamps programs if you fulfill specific eligibility requirements, which are –
You are eligible for the Food Stamps program if your family’s monthly income is at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
You are qualified for Food Stamps if your working hours are 30-80 hours a week. Students, disabled people, caretakers of children under 6, and people in drug rehabilitation should work 30 hours a week, at least. Adults aged 18-49 who do not have dependents and are not pregnant must work 80 hours a month.
You can apply for the Food Stamps program if you are a low-income student.
A household may hold up to $2250 in a bank account as countable resources. If any family member is 60 or above or has a disability, you may have $3500 in countable resources. This requirement may differ from state to state, so you should check for your state.
Immigrant status eligibility
You can be Food Stamps eligible to get a free phone if you are a legal immigrant who has survived in the U.S. for five years or more and has received benefits or disability aid or has children under 18 years of age.
Housing is usually assumed affordable when it costs 30% or less of total household income.
Please take note that Food Stamps eligibility criteria vary for different states. So, you must check your state’s Food Stamps eligibility conditions. Besides the above-listed requirements, people participating in government assistance programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) automatically becomes eligible to apply for the Food Stamps program.
Documentation needed to apply for a Free Phone with Food Stamps Program
Once you know your eligibility to apply for Food Stamps, you must prove your qualification with certain valid documents confirming you meet the requirements.
Let’s look at the accepted list of eligibility documents you can use to prove your eligibility –
Proof of Income
You can deliver any of the following documents to prove your low-income status.
- Employer statement of salary
- Bank statement showing direct deposit
- Letter of Social Security
- pay stubs for the last 30 days
- Self-employment worksheet
- Child support
- Retirement letter
Proof of shelter
If you need to submit proof of shelter expenses, please provide any of the following –
- Mortgage statement
- Insurance statement
- Utility bills ( electric, gas, or water)
- Rental agreement
- Recent property taxes
- Renter’s, homeowner’s, or shelter verification form
Proof of medical expenses
If you are above 60 and must submit proof of your medical expenses, you can have the following –
- Unpaid medical bills
- Itemized pharmacy print-out for 90 days
- Medicare Part B&D Premiums
- Billing statements
Proof of identity
You may be required to prove your identity. For that, you can submit a copy of any single document listed below –
- U.S. Driver’s license
- Birth certificate
- State photo I.D.
- Social security card
How to apply for Food Stamps Program to get a Free Phone?
Please follow the guide below to apply for the Food Stamps program for a free phone.
- Open this link – mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-snap-benefits-food-stamps.
- Here, you will have to select how you would apply for the Food Stamps program online, via fax, mail, phone, or in person.
- Choose your preferred application method and apply accordingly.
Alternatively, you can look for an individual application process below.
The steps to an online application for Free Phone with Food Stamps program online are as follows –
- Visit this link – https://dtaconnect.eohhs.mass.gov/.
- Select “Apply SNAP.”
- Click on the “Get started” option.
- Your SNAP online application opens up.
- Please fill up the form and submit it.
You will receive a notification if you are approved.
Application by mail
- You can apply for Free Phone with Food Stamps Program via mail by downloading the SNAP application form available at https://www.mass.gov/lists/dta-documentsforms.
- If you are older or above 60, you should download the form for seniors at https://www.mass.gov/doc/english-snap-application-for-seniors-snap-app-seniors-0/download.
- In addition, you must download the DTA cover sheet at https://www.mass.gov/doc/dta-mailfax-cover-sheet/download.
- Take out the prints of the forms.
- Fill up the application forms for Food Stamps.
- Mail your application package to DTA Document Processing Center, P.O. Box 4406, Taunton, MA 02780.
Application via fax
To apply for a free phone with the Food Stamps program via fax, you can repeat the same procedure as above for application via mail.
Once you complete your application, please fax the form to DTA Document Processing Center at (617) 8878765.
Application in person
Please visit a local DTA office to apply for Food Stamps in person. The agent will guide you through the application process.
You can find the nearest DTA office at https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-transitional-assistance/locations?_page=1) or a community kiosk (find one at https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-transitional-assistance/locations?_page=1).
Application by phone
If you wish to apply for Free Phone with Food Stamps Program by phone, please get in touch with the DTA Assistance Line at (877) 382-2363 and press 7 to apply for the Food Stamps program.
You can even request a representative to guide you through the process.
The DTA Assistance Line can assist you Monday-Friday, from 8:15 am-4:45 pm.
How to apply for Lifeline and ACP via Food Stamps Program to get a Free Phone
Once you apply for the Food Stamps program and get selected, you can apply for your state’s Lifeline or ACP program to get a free phone with Food Stamps Program.
You can apply for the Lifeline or ACP program online through the National Verifier.
The steps to apply for both programs are as follows.
- Visit this link – https://nationalverifier.servicenowservices.com/lifeline. It will take you to the homepage of the National Verifier.
- Enter your state by clicking on the drop-down icon.
- Click on the “Get Started” option.
- You will be redirected to your state’s Lifeline or ACP application form.
- Fill up the application with the relevant details.
- Attach the eligibility documents.
- Finally, submit your application form.
If your application is approved, you will be given 90 days to register yourself with one of the Lifeline or ACP providers in your state to get its services and a free phone.
If you already receive a Food Stamps benefit, you don’t need to apply for the program. Your Food Stamps eligibility qualifies you to directly apply for the Lifeline or ACP program for a free phone.
Is it promising to get a Free Phone with Food Stamp programs?
Free phones with a Food Stamps program have pros and cons, and whether it is worth getting one depends on what programs and providers you get a free phone from.
Some phone companies may offer their services for free to low-income people participating in Food Stamps. In contrast, some may offer only discounted services to eligible people on Food Stamps. Sometimes, you have to pay some charges associated with your service plan.
It is a good idea to check with your provider to see what services they offer to the households on Food Stamps through the Lifeline and ACP programs. In addition, it is important to learn each option’s advantages and disadvantages before getting on the plan.
What are the pros and cons of Free Phones with Food Stamps?
There are several advantages and disadvantages of free phones with Food Stamps. These include –
Pros of free phones with Food Stamps –
- As a Food Stamps participant, you can get a free phone that you cannot afford as a low-income citizen. The phone will keep you connected with the world and resources.
- With a free phone, you get several other benefits like unlimited talk and text, monthly data, hotspots, etc.
- If approved for Lifeline benefits, you can choose a participating wireless service provider in your state and their plan that best suits your purpose.
- The free phone you receive via the Lifeline or ACP programs can be a lifesaver during an emergency.
- A free phone can help you save extra money on your monthly expenses.
Cons of the free phone with Food Stamps –
- You may be required to pay some charges for your service plans with some providers.
- As the phone company offers a limited variety of phones as free phones via the Lifeline and ACP program, you have a limited selection of phones and plans.
- You will require to reapply for the Lifeline or ACP by which you are approved for the free phone each year to continue the discounts on your service.
Food Stamps and EBT cards pay for iPhones or Samsung Galaxy devices
If you are a Food Stamps beneficiary with EBT cards, you can get a free phone from Samsung or Apple or a free tablet with your EBT card through government programs.
Regardless, most free phones and tablets may be slightly older models. Any family on Food Stamps can get some type of cell phone, including iPhones, or Ipads, or Samsung Galaxy devices.
Moreover, you can use your EBT card to purchase these devices from the participating service provider, and the provider will discount your device since you are a government program beneficiary.
However, this discount is limited to specific phone and iPhone models. Anyone on Food Stamps with an EBT card is automatically qualified for a free government-paid phone or tablet, and the two types of commonly furnished free phones will be Samsung and an Apple iPhone.
Please note that the free iPhone or iPad offered to eligible households on Food Stamps will be refurbished Apple or free Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets. The participating phone companies generally do not provide the latest and most expensive models since the government provides a limited subsidy to these providers to help low-income.
What providers provide a Free Phone with Food Stamps Program?
Many wireless providers participate in Lifeline and ACP programs to help low-income people access phone services and offer free phones.
Here is a list of wireless providers that offer a free phone with Food Stamps –
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best free phone program?
Lifeline Assistance and ACP are the best programs that offer free phone services to eligible people.
Can I qualify for the Lifeline program as a Food Stamps beneficiary?
Yes. Since you receive Food Stamps benefits, you can apply for the Lifeline program.
What benefits do I get if I qualify for a lifeline program with Food Stamps?
If you qualify for Lifeline, you will get a discount on monthly telephone services, broadband internet services, or bundled voice-broadband packages purchased from Lifeline participating wireless providers. In addition, you can get a free phone with several benefits like unlimited talk, text, monthly internet, hotspot, etc.
Can I get a free cell phone plan as a Food Stamps beneficiary?
Yes. Participating in an assistance program like SNAP (Food Stamps) may qualify for a free cell phone plan through the Lifeline and ACP programs.
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