Friday, September 29, 2023
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How to Qualify for Free Cell Phone Service with the ACP and Lifeline Programs in Texas

Did you know you can get Free Cell Phone Service in Texas using government programs? If your household makes below a certain income, or if you already receive government benefits, you’re already eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Lifeline Program in Texas. Both programs offer discounts on your monthly phone and internet service bills to make communication more affordable.

Get ACP and Lifeline Government Benefits in Texas

In the U.S., over 1,000 state and federal benefit programs help provide necessities to low-income communities. You may already be familiar with some government assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Medicaid, just to name a few.

Two programs on this list are particularly noteworthy, as they allow low-income households to stay connected to the world around them, but not many people know they exist. These programs are the ACP and Lifeline Program.

Understanding how to qualify for and use these free government programs will help you manage your finances and cut your phone service expenses entirely with the ACP and Lifeline programs in Texas.  

Both the ACP and Lifeline initiatives are governed by specific regulations and prerequisites that may differ depending on the state.

In this blog, we will explain both the Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline Program in detail, discuss eligibility criteria, and the application process for free cell phone service in Texas.

First, Let’s Learn More About the ACP in Texas

The Affordable Connectivity Program, or ACP, is a federal program that’s operated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The program provides qualifying low-income households a discount on their monthly broadband internet services.

The ACP replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program), which came about during the COVID-19 pandemic, to help families who were struggling to afford phone and internet service. This allowed millions of families to stay connected to their friends, family, jobs, schools, and emergency healthcare services.

As of May 2023, more than 18 million American households have enrolled in ACP, and nearly 1.4 million live in Texas.1

That may seem like a lot, but only 47% out of 38 million ACP/Lifeline-eligible households are taking advantage of the ACP and Lifeline services.

See just how important it is to spread the word?

Don’t get left behind.

You can apply for free phone service NOW.

The Benefits of the Affordable Connectivity Program in Texas Explained

The ACP offers low-income households a single monthly internet service discount and one internet device discount. Those who qualify for this program can also receive FREE cell phone service with UNLIMITED Data, Talk & Text from select carriers like Q Link Wireless.

Affordable Connectivity Program benefits in Texas include:

  • A discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service
  • A discount of up to $75 per month toward internet service for qualifying households on Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 on a qualifying internet device (requires a one-time co-payment of $10.01)

Who is Eligible for ACP Benefits in Texas?

You may be eligible for ACP benefits and FREE UNLIMITED cell phone service in Texas by having a certain income or by being already enrolled in a government benefit program. To qualify based on income, you must meet the low-income requirement, which you can see below.

Additionally, those already receiving benefits from government programs such as Medicaid or SNAP automatically qualify for the ACP in Texas.

Determining ACP Eligibility Through Household Income

You may be eligible to receive ACP discounts on your monthly internet service and free cell phone service if your household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Keep in mind these amounts change annually and are updated at the end of January every year.

2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines

Household Size48 Connecting States, D.C., and Territories
1$29,160
2$39,440
3$49,720
4$60,000
5$70,280
6$80,560
7$90,840
8$101,120
If more than 8, add this amount for each extra person:$10,280

What is a Household?

A household is defined as any group of individuals who live together and share money regardless of blood relation. For example, if you live with a friend or family member but you don’t share expenses, and you both pay your bills separately – you are considered your own household.

However, if you live with a friend or family member, share expenses, and pay the bills together, you’re both considered one household. Each household is allowed only one monthly service discount and one internet-connected device discount.

Determining Your ACP Eligibility in Texas Based on Federal Programs You Already Have

You can qualify for the ACP in Texas if you:

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year 
  • Participate in one of the following government assistance programs:  
    • The National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision 
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps) 
    • Medicaid 
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance 
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
    • WIC 
    • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits 
    • Lifeline Program 
    • Participate in one of these assistance programs and live on Qualifying Tribal lands
      • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) General Assistance  
      • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 
      • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) 
      • Tribal Head Start (income based) 

As you probably noticed in the list, being a current Lifeline program participant also makes you eligible for the ACP. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Lifeline, don’t worry, we’re going to cover all the basics.

Free Cell Phone Service with the Lifeline Program in Texas

The Lifeline Program was established in 1985 and is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), under the guidance of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The goal of the program is to help low-income Americans afford essential communications services.

You May Qualify for the Texas Lifeline Program 

To further assist eligible residents with affording telephone and broadband services, Texas implemented its own state-funded Lifeline program that works in combination with the federal Lifeline program: the Texas Lifeline Program (Texas Lifeline).

This means that eligible Texans can apply for both the state and federal Lifeline programs and combine both discounts to essentially reduce monthly phone bills by up to $12.75 or up to $37.75 for households on Tribal lands.  

Lifeline Discounts Explained

There are two main components to the Texas Lifeline discount:

  • State Discount: Up to $3.50 off your monthly telephone/broadband service bill.
  • Federal Discount: Up to $9.25 off your monthly telephone/broadband service bill, or up to $34.25 per month for eligible low-income households on Tribal lands, plus up to a $100 reduction on charges for first-time connections.

How to Qualify for Texas Lifeline Discounts

It’s important to note that eligibility requirements for the state and federal discounts have some overlap, but there are also several different requirements for each program. In order to qualify for both discounts, you must meet the criteria of both state and federal Lifeline programs.

Households can also qualify for the state and/or federal discount if a member meets any of the following criteria:

Qualifications for the Texas Lifeline State Discount

  • Total household income is at or below 150% of the poverty guidelines
  • Participates in one of the following government assistance programs:
    • The National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps)
    • Medicaid
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance
    • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Qualifications for the Texas Lifeline Federal Discount

  • Total household income is at or below 135% of the poverty guidelines
  • Participates in one of the following government assistance programs:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps)
    • Medicaid
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance
    • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Veterans Pension or Survivors Benefit

How to Apply for the Texas Lifeline Program and the ACP

Q Link Wireless provides low-income Texans with FREE cell phone service on one of America’s largest 4G/LTE 5G networks.

  • FREE Monthly Data
  • UNLIMITED Minutes
  • UNLIMITED Texting
  • No Contracts
  • No Hidden Fees
  • FREE Activation
  • No Credit Checks

Our nationwide coverage is made possible through partnerships with some of America’s leading wireless providers, which allows us to offer high-speed connections and reliable coverage at ZERO cost. You can also use your current phone and phone number with your FREE cell phone service.

If you want to upgrade your phone, we offer incredible smartphone deals to use with your FREE phone service starting as low as $15 with low-cost payment plans. Our shop carries a wide variety of affordable smartphone brands, including Samsung and iPhone.  

Check out Q Link Wireless’ phones and deals!

With Q Link Wireless, ACP, and Lifeline on your side, you can have FREE cell phone service in Texas and stay connected to what matters most. Apply today, see if you qualify, and don’t forget to spread the word!


Melissa Halle
Melissa Halle
Melissa Halle is a passionate writer and dedicated advocate for accessible communication and financial empowerment. With a decade of experience, her mission is to help individuals and families get FREE cell phone service while providing information on additional government benefits.

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