Debbie's Deals: Low-income residents get free phone, free cell service through Lifeline program

Posted at 10:53 AM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2017-11-21 15:41:12-05

If you are living on a low income, you may qualify for a free cell phone and free cell phone service.

In 1984, the government created the Lifeline program to ensure that everyone had telephone service for emergencies. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened that subsidy to wireless providers.

To be eligible for the Lifeline program in Colorado, there are two ways to qualify:

  • Meet low income requirements of less than $16,281 for a one person household or $21,924 for a two person household. See the income requirements here.
  • Be on public assistance from Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Section 8/Federal Public Housing Assistance, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or the National School Free Lunch Program.

Learn more about qualifying for the program here.

There are about 40 companies in Colorado offering the Lifeline Assistance Program. The list includes:

Assurance Wireless, by Virgin Mobile, offers new customers who qualify for Lifeline Assistance a free phone, unlimited free texts each month and free monthly minutes.

Q Link Wireless offers a free cell phone with 350 free minutes each month and unlimited texting.

CenturyLink offers discounts on phone service and an Internet basics broadband plan. Learn more on CenturyLink's website.

I am not vouching for any of these companies, I am just providing the information. You'll need to do your own research on their offers and costumer service. You may have heard these called Obama phones, but the program was started long before Barack Obama became President.

If you see a deal, e-mail me Debbie (

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