Many years ago, telecommunication and the internet were treated as a luxury. Nowadays, with the increasing importance of communication services, people can no longer afford to live without them, especially with the growing dependency on mobile phones. And though numerous options are available on the market, there's nothing more coveted than an iPhone.
iPhones are high-quality smartphones with minimalist designs and a straightforward interface. With their numerous features, such as good cameras, reliable smartphone capabilities, and ample storage space, iPhones can come with a hefty price tag. But did you know you could get them for free through the application process of certain programs?
With its partnership with smartphone plan providers and government phone initiatives, government assistance programs that provide free iPhones for eligible low-income families were introduced. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) launched the Lifeline program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to give discounts on wireless services and provide entry-level to mid-range phones for free. These are aimed at assisting eligible households based on annual income criteria.
To learn more about getting a free government iPhone 6, one of Apple's earlier high-performing mobile device models with decent battery life, check out the rest of the article below.
Eligibility And Required Documents For A Free Government iPhone 6
Lifeline and ACP offer free iPhone 6 units to low-income individuals, veterans, and senior citizens who meet their eligibility criteria. Here are some of the program requirements you must know:
For the Lifeline Program, you must meet one or more of these criteria:
- Must be enrolled in a government assistance program like Medicaid, Food Stamps, or Social Security
- Have a valid U.S. address and be a resident in the state where the provider is located
- Have a household income below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
For the ACP, you must meet at least one of these criteria:
- Have a household income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
- Participate in government assistance programs like Lifeline, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program
- Must be a recipient or have a family member who is a recipient of the Pell Grant within the current year
Aside from meeting the two criteria above, both programs require the following eligibility documents:
- Proof of Identity and Citizenship: Driver's license, government ID, military ID, Tribal ID, Social Security Number, birth certificate, or certification of US citizenship
- Proof of Income: Tax returns, income statements, paycheck stubs, unemployment or workers’ compensation statements of benefits, federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in general assistance, child support documents, and other similar documents
- Proof of Program Participation: Approval letter, benefit award letter, statement of benefits, and benefits verification letters
For eligible applicants, the application form is the next step:
Process For Obtaining A Free Government iPhone 6
The next thing to understand for individuals and households that meet the eligibility criteria is how obtaining a free government iPhone works. Here are the steps you must follow:
Step 1: To begin the application process, you must work on your program eligibility. Here, low-income residents can use the National Verifier Application System to check if they qualify for the Lifeline or ACP benefits.
Step 2: Once you have established your eligibility, it's time to prepare copies of the documents proving that you meet the program requirements. Make sure you prepare official, unexpired documents with accurate information to avoid problems with your application.
Step 3: Proceed with the online application by submitting your Lifeline or ACP application through their online system, mail, or directly with a service provider.
Step 4: Find an Apple store or a local phone service provider certified Lifeline or ACP partner to confirm your application. Complete the process to enjoy your monthly service discount and free iPhone 6 plan activation.
Step 5: Once your eligibility status is approved, you will receive a notification via email. After that, all that's left is to wait to receive your new iPhone 6 device.
Companies That Offer Free Government iPhones
To fully access Lifeline and ACP's free phones and avail of a reliable phone plan, eligible customers must process through providers. These carriers offer different types of phones, including government cell phone options, which means there is a mix of Android and iPhones. If you are particular about getting an iPhone 6 or a similar iPhone model, you should check the availability in these cellular companies:
SFone Wireless provides wireless data and broadband services to help low-income households, particularly those who suffered from the pandemic. Their services are available for people in Arkansas, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
To apply, you must be eligible for ACP. You may call their customer care hotline once you have the required documentation. In their program, you can expect an Apple iPhone 6, Apple iPhone 6S, or an Android phone.
Cintex Wireless is both a Lifeline and ACP service provider. They offer their services to Arkansas, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, and West Virginia residents. If you meet the eligibility guidelines, you can receive free minutes, texts, and data on your wireless plan, plus you will receive a free phone.
To apply for a Cintex Wireless benefit, you must provide personal information and other documentation. Directly visit their website and provide your email and zip code. Then, wait for the confirmation letter.
Cintex Wireless gives out Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6S to successful applicants. In some cases, they may also provide Samsung Galaxy S7, Motorola E5, LG M150, and similar mid-range Android smartphones.
AirTalk Wireless is a nationwide partner for Lifeline and ACP. Their program is available for applicant residents from California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
After checking for Lifeline and ACP eligibility, interested applicants must complete the form and prompts at the AirTalk wireless website. Successful customers will be able to receive their smartphones within a matter of days.
With AirTalk Wireless, you might receive an Apple iPhone 8, 7, 7 Plus, 6, 6S, and 6S Plus, depending on availability.
Terms And Conditions Of The Free Government iPhone 6 Program
When signing up for the government cell phone programs for the free iPhone 6, you should make sure to follow through with the following terms and conditions:
- Must provide your Social Security number to enjoy access to the free cell phone offers
- Must have a clean criminal record
- Must provide accurate and valid information
- Households shouldn’t have more than one discounted service to avoid penalties
- Must recertify or ensure you still meet the requirements to avoid your device being removed from the discounts
- Must initiate enrollment with a partner provider to receive ACP benefits on top of your Lifeline discount
What If I Don't Qualify For Any Of These Programs?
If you are declined in these government programs, there are other ways to get free cell phones or potentially a faster internet service. Here are some options you may consider:
- Switch your current service. Some carriers like T-Mobile and Verizon offer a free iPhone 11, iPhone SE or iPhone 12 if you switch your mobile or data plan to their company.
- Enter giveaways. Social media and websites are abundantly filled with giveaways. Influencers or small businesses usually sponsor these giveaways, so you can surely find some offering iPhones as prizes. However, be vigilant to scams and follow guidelines meticulously.
- Consider purchasing a refurbished or second-hand iPhone. If you want an iPhone but have fewer funds, you can shop for used or refurbished phones. There are numerous online and physical platforms you can check out, but again, be sure to check for legitimacy.
- Become a beta tester or product reviewer. You may also try to be a tester or reviewer for iPhones. These people receive the phones, test out new features, and give feedback to the company for improvement.
- Work for tech companies. Some jobs, especially in the tech industry, provide free iPhones for their employees.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are interested in the benefits of the free iPhone 6 program and want to reduce your monthly phone bills, there might be questions you have in mind. Here are some of the frequently asked questions on this benefit and the essential info that will help you:
If your free government iPhone 6 gets lost, damaged, or stolen, you have a few options depending on the company and its policy. Depending on the damage, some will provide you with a free replacement phone, while others will suspend the account to avoid extra charges. They may also have a standard fee for a phone replacement. What's important is to call the provider immediately and ask them what you should do next.
Since the iPhone 6 is a little outdated compared to other models, you may be interested in upgrading your phone. Lifeline and ACP providers often allow phone upgrades, but you should know that this is not free of charge.
The Lifeline and ACP programs are expected to continue for several years as long as they receive funding from the federal government.
Consumers who receive discounts from the program will remain eligible if they meet the annual recertification requirements. However, if they receive Lifeline and ACP for free, they must use the service at least once every 30 days to stay connected.
Under Lifeline and ACP guidelines, a household can only be granted one discounted phone, regardless of the model.
The free government iPhone 6 programs are a great way to obtain smartphones, especially if you are in need. These make technology accessible to everyone, especially those looking to stay connected with family and friends through faster internet service. Starting the process is straightforward, so head on to the Lifeline and ACP websites and apply. If you want a better iPhone model, check out our blog on how to obtain a free iPhone 7.
While the iPhone 6 keeps you in the loop, imagine upgrading to something even better. Learn about the process to obtain a free government iPhone 12 in our detailed guide. Stay ahead and stay connected with the latest tech! For further assistance, you can also contact the customer service of your chosen provider.
Check out this Gov Relations blog if you wish to learn more about how to receive financial assistance in the form of a free laptop from the government.