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Get A Free Government iPhone - Apply Now!

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: May 14, 2024

The Lifeline and ACP programs offer eligible individuals a free government iPhone, such as the iPhone 11, for communication needs.[1]


The programs have been updated to include the latest iPhone models and broader eligibility criteria in response to economic challenges.[2]


You are eligible to receive the benefit if your household income stands at or is below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, depending on the state you live in.[3]


You can send and receive messages worldwide with SMS and various video applications connected to the internet.[4]


Reflecting the shift in communication technology as mobile phones became more important and landlines less common, the Lifeline program expanded to include mobile services by the early 2000s.[5]


Through Lifeline, you can get a $9.25 discount on your monthly plan if you meet the eligibility criteria.[6]


ACP enhances internet connectivity and includes a $30 monthly discount and a one-time $100 discount for equipment.[7]

The importance of a smartphone for a household cannot be emphasized any further. Today, every person should have one, or at least one in a family, because it’s the most efficient way to communicate. You can send messages and call people worldwide through SMS and various video applications connected to the internet.[4]

How The FREE Government iPhone Program Works

And if you want a device, you have thousands of options. Of course, one reigns supreme when it comes to this — the iPhone. It remains the most desirable for Americans, as it is straightforward, long-lasting, technologically advanced, and packed with features.

If you can’t afford an iPhone because of low household income, here’s some good news. You can apply for a free government iPhone with government assistance programs! Continue reading to find out how to qualify.

Distinguishing Features of Free Government iPhone Models

Apple's iPhones, provided through the Free Government Program, are renowned for their cutting-edge features and unparalleled user experience. The table below offers a detailed comparison of the benefits and unique offerings of each iPhone model, showcasing their superiority in the smartphone market.

iPhone ModelPerformanceCamera FeaturesDurability & DesignConnectivity & BatteryUnique Features
iPhone 11- A13 Bionic chip ensures smooth user experience.- Dual-camera system.
- Night mode.
- Ultra Wide lens.
- Water and dust resistance.- Fast-charge capable.
- Wireless charging.
- Spatial audio playback.
iPhone 12 & 12 Pro- A14 Bionic chip for enhanced performance.- Dual-camera system for iPhone 12.
- Triple-camera with LiDAR Scanner for 12 Pro.
- Ceramic Shield front cover.
- Aerospace-grade aluminum edges (12).
- Surgical-grade stainless steel (12 Pro).
- 5G connectivity.
- MagSafe technology for better wireless charging.
- HDR display with OLED (12).
- ProRAW and ProRes video recording (12 Pro).
iPhone 13 Series- A15 Bionic chip for superior performance and energy efficiency.- Dual-camera system with Cinematic Mode.
- Pro models have triple-camera with ProMotion technology.
- Ceramic Shield front cover.
- IP68 water and dust resistance.
- 5G connectivity.
- Improved battery life.
- Photographic Styles for personalized image toning.- ProRes video recording.

Comparative Benefits (Across All iPhones):

  • Ecosystem Integration: Seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem, including iPads, Macs, and Apple Watch.
  • Software Updates: Regular updates ensuring security and the latest features.
  • Resale Value: iPhones retain a higher resale value over time.
  • Privacy & Security: Features like Face ID, Touch ID, and regular security patches protect user data.
  • Brand Prestige: Owning an iPhone signifies a blend of luxury, style, and cutting-edge technology.

Fast Facts

The Lifeline Assistance Program, initiated by the FCC in the 1980s, originally aimed to provide landline services to low-income households. It has since evolved to include mobile services, reflecting the shift in communication preferences over the decades.

Latest Updates on the Free Government iPhone Program

The Free Government iPhone Program continually evolves to ensure beneficiaries access the latest technological advancements. Here's a breakdown of the newest iPhone models available through the program and how you can get your hands on them:

  1. iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro

Overview: Launched in 2020, these models have 5G capabilities for faster internet connectivity. Their dual-camera system and Ceramic Shield front cover make them functional and durable.

How to Access: Beneficiaries interested in the iPhone 12 series can apply through the Lifeline Assistance Program's official website. Ensure you meet the updated eligibility criteria, including a broader income bracket. Once approved, you can select the iPhone 12 or 12 Pro from the list of available smartphones.

  1. iPhone 13 Series

Overview: The iPhone 13 series, introduced in 2021, boasts the A15 Bionic chip, enhanced photographic capabilities, and a longer battery life. The ProMotion technology in the Pro models offers smoother visuals, elevating the user experience.

How to Access: To get the iPhone 13 through the program, visit the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) portal. After verifying your eligibility, which now encompasses participants in additional government assistance programs, you can opt for any model within the iPhone 13 series.

  1. Program Enhancements

The government's collaboration with carriers has expanded, ensuring a more extensive distribution network. This means beneficiaries can now access their free iPhones from a wider range of service providers.

The eligibility criteria have been revised to be more inclusive, especially considering the economic challenges many have faced due to recent global events.

  1. Future Outlook

The program's trajectory indicates a commitment to incorporating even newer iPhone models in the coming years. This dedication ensures that beneficiaries are always at the forefront of technological advancements, bridging the digital divide effectively.

How the Free Government iPhone Program Started

How the Free Government iPhone Program Started

Significant milestones have marked the evolution of communication in the US. Among them, the free government iPhone program stands out, reflecting the nation's commitment to bridging the digital divide and ensuring connectivity for all.

Origins of the Lifeline Assistance Program

The free government iPhone program traces back to the Lifeline Assistance Program, launched by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the 1980s.[1] Initially aimed at providing landline phone services to low-income households, the program aimed to ensure affordable communication for all Americans.

Adapting to the Cellular Age

By the early 2000s, the Lifeline program evolved as cellular technology gained prominence and landlines began to wane. It expanded to include mobile services, reflecting the changing communication landscape and the growing importance of mobile phones.[5]

State-Specific Initiatives

Several states recognized the program's significance and tailored it to their unique needs. California introduced the California LifeLine Program, offering discounted communication services to its diverse population. Meanwhile, Texas, with its vast rural expanses, leveraged the program to bridge the digital divide, ensuring connectivity even in remote areas.

The Smartphone Revolution

The rise of smartphones marked another pivotal moment for the program. Understanding the multifaceted advantages of smartphones, especially iPhones, the initiative broadened its scope. This expansion ensured beneficiaries had more than just basic communication; they had a gateway to the vast world of information.

How The Free Government iPhone Program Works

If you want access to free government iPhones, there are two programs you must know about — the Lifeline Assistance Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Through these programs, carriers can provide their customers with free smartphones, and if you’re lucky, an Apple iPhone 11.

Lifeline Program

Lifeline is a federal program by the FCC to provide low-income households and individuals access to more affordable phone and internet services. Through Lifeline, you can get a $9.25 discount on your monthly plan if you meet the eligibility criteria.[6] Furthermore, if you live on Tribal lands, your discount can be up to $34.25. Aside from that, you get free phones from your service provider, depending on model availability.

Affordable Connectivity Program 

On the other hand, the Affordable Connectivity Program is a more modernized version of a government program on communications, focusing mainly on internet connectivity over wireless access. Its purpose is to give discounts on monthly high-speed internet connections while ensuring access to tablets, laptops, smartphones, and others.

These two government programs have their own rules and guidelines, and you first have to complete and be successful in your application to get your new phone. You can process your application through their websites or head straight to a service provider in your city or state.

After applying, you can quickly get your device from the carrier. However, you cannot guarantee that an iPhone 11 will be the one provided for you. In some cases, you’ll be able to take your pick amongst the older iPhone models, like the iPhone 6 or iPhone 7, that the carrier still has in stock.

Fast Facts

The iPhone 11, powered by the A13 Bionic chip, offers a seamless user experience, advanced camera features, and is known for its water and dust resistance, making it one of the top choices among free government phone beneficiaries.

Qualifying For A Free Government iPhone

Qualifying For A Free Government iPhone

In order to enjoy the benefit of free iPhones from Lifeline or ACP, you must make sure you qualify for its eligibility criteria. Regarding the Lifeline program, you are eligible to receive the benefit if your household income stands at or is below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, depending on the state you live in.[3] If you don’t meet this requirement, you may still be eligible if you are a participant in a government assistance program like


  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)

For those residing on Tribal lands, you may also get a free iPhone if you take part in these services:

Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
  • Tribal Head Start

On the other hand, for the ACP, your income must stand at or be below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If you don’t meet this criterion, participating in the programs mentioned above or being a Lifeline program recipient allows you to qualify for the benefit.

What You Need To Do To Get A Free Government iPhone

In your application for Lifeline or ACP, you have to provide proof that you meet the eligibility requirements through personal documents and eligibility documents.[2] Here are the things you have to prepare and submit:

Personal Documents

You should submit official documents that contain your full name, address, and date of birth. Some of the examples you can use are:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • U.S driver’s license
  • Government-issued, Tribal, state, or military ID
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization
  • Green card or permanent resident card
  • Utility bill
  • Most recent tax or W-2 return
  • Lease or mortgage statement

Eligibility Documents

Eligibility documents refer to those showing you are earning a low income or participating in a government assistance program.

Income-related documents you can submit in your application include:

  • Current income statement from your employer
  • Paycheck stub
  • Divorce decree
  • Child support award
  • Veterans Administration statement of benefits
  • Tribal or Federal notice letter of participation in General Assistance

You may also submit your proof that you participate in SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, and other government programs, like:

  • Benefit verification letter
  • Approval letter
  • Benefit award letter
  • Statement of benefits

Learn more about benefits available for low-income families through exploring government relations. Check out our free resources today, like our guide to free government internet service programs!

Steps to Secure Your Free Government iPhone via Postal Application

1. Applying Through the ACP Route

Begin by downloading the official ACP application form from the following link: ACP Official Application Form.

For those opting for the ACP route, download and complete the Household Worksheet available here: ACP Household Worksheet.

2. Opting for the Lifeline Program

If you're leaning towards the Lifeline program, access and download the application form here: Lifeline Application Form.

3. Print and Complete the Application

Once downloaded, print out the relevant form.

Fill in the necessary details and attach copies of both personal and qualifying documents.

4. Mail Your Application

After ensuring all details are correctly filled, mail your application to the following address:

  • USAC Lifeline Support Center
  • P.O. Box 9110
  • Wilkes-Barre, PA 1877

Application Through a Network Carrier

For those who prefer a more direct approach, applying through a participating service provider is an excellent option.

Steps to Follow:

  • Identify a service provider in your state that's part of the Lifeline or ACP initiative.
  • Navigate to the official website of your chosen carrier.
  • Input your ZIP code in the designated area.
  • Look for "Begin Application," "Start Now," or similar prompts.
  • An application form will appear for you to fill out.
  • Provide the necessary details and attach digital copies of your qualifying documents.
  • Once everything is in order, hit the "Submit" or "Send" button.

The carrier's team will then review your application. Successful applicants will be notified, paving the way to receive their free government iPhone.

Experience unparalleled communication with a Free Government iPhone from Gov Relations. Dive into a world of endless connectivity possibilities.

What Beneficiaries Are Saying: Testimonials on the Free Government iPhone Program

  • Maria from California:
    "Receiving a free iPhone through the government program was a game-changer for me. As a single mother, it allowed me to stay connected with my children's school and access essential online resources without the financial burden."
  • Derrick from Texas:
    "Living in a rural area, communication was always a challenge. The free government phone not only ensured I stayed connected with my family but also opened doors to online job opportunities I never knew existed."
  • Lila from Florida:
    "Being a senior citizen on a fixed income, affording a smartphone seemed impossible. Thanks to the program, I now video call my grandchildren and have instant access to medical information, enhancing my quality of life."

These testimonials highlight the transformative impact of the free government iPhone program on individuals from diverse backgrounds and circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Free Government iPhone Program?

The Free Government iPhone Program is an initiative under the Lifeline Assistance Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that provides eligible individuals with iPhones, ensuring access to modern communication tools.

2. Am I eligible for a free iPhone 11 through this program?

Eligibility criteria include participation in certain federal assistance programs or income below a specific threshold. You can check your eligibility on the official Lifeline or ACP websites.

3. How does the iPhone 11 compare to other phones the program offers?

The iPhone 11 stands out due to its powerful A13 Bionic chip, advanced camera features, water and dust resistance, and integration with the Apple ecosystem. While other phones provide basic functionalities, the iPhone 11 offers a premium experience.

4. Can I choose a different iPhone model other than the iPhone 11?

Yes, the program has expanded to include newer models like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series. Availability might vary based on stock and specific program partnerships.

5. What must I do if I face issues with my free iPhone 11?

If you encounter any problems, you can contact the service provider that issued the phone. Additionally, Apple offers a range of support options, including online resources and in-store assistance at Apple Stores.

Start Applying For A Free iPhone Today

If you meet the qualifications for the free government iPhone program, you should take advantage of the opportunity and begin the application process immediately. The benefits can help you and your family, especially if you need access to public services and a way to protect your family during emergencies. You can start by going to the Lifeline and ACP websites to submit your application form and complete the process.

Discover how to qualify for a free government iPhone and take advantage of this amazing opportunity! If you have any questions or need assistance with the qualification process, we’re here to help. Leave a comment below, and our team will provide the necessary guidance to get your hands on the latest iPhone 11 through government programs.

Ready to upgrade your tech? Discover the step-by-step process in our latest blog post on how to secure a free government iPhone. Stay connected on a budget!

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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