Thursday, February 29, 2024
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How to Get FREE Phone Service in Maine with Lifeline and the ACP

Receive FREE Government Phone Service As a Low-income Maine Resident

Did you know you can get FREE phone service in Maine with UNLIMITED* Data, Talk & Text on one of America’s largest 4G LTE/5G networks? You heard right! Low-income households in the Pine Tree State and individuals receiving government benefits can automatically qualify for FREE cell phone service every month.

It’s all thanks to the Lifeline Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), two federal initiatives that enable low-income households to access affordable phone and internet services.

In today’s world, whether it’s for work, study, doctor appointments, or keeping in touch with friends and family, staying connected is a vital necessity. However, for millions of underprivileged Americans, accessing these essential communication services is often a challenge.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that approximately 149, 571 Mainers lived in poverty during 20211. More recent studies that use public survey data from the Census Bureau estimate that there are roughly 238,710 ACP-eligible households currently in the state of Maine2.

That’s almost a quarter of a million people who could be enjoying FREE phone service with no monthly bills!

If you’re a Vacationland resident looking to cut out your phone bill, you’ll be happy to know that the Lifeline Program and the ACP can help you do just that. Follow along as we walk you through the history of these government programs, the benefits they provide, how to qualify, and what you need to do to apply.

What Is the Lifeline Program?

View of the U.S. flag and the Maine state flag flying in front of the Portland Head Light in Maine coastline.
FREE government phone service is available to Maine residents who qualify through income or government benefit programs like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, and more.

In 1984 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Lifeline Program to ensure universal access to communication services regardless of income. The program provides monthly discounts on phone or internet services to eligible low-income Americans in every state, commonwealth, territory, and Tribal lands3.

Per the FCC’s rules, qualifying households can receive up to one Lifeline discount, and this benefit cannot be transferred between people. The Lifeline Program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) which is responsible for assisting consumers with their applications, helping them understand the eligibility requirements, and recertifying participants every year.

Please note that all Lifeline applicants must use the National Verifier (NV) application system. This FCC-centralized system was established by the FCC to verify the eligibility of applicants and recertify participants annually.

You can typically access this system and apply for Lifeline benefits and FREE phone service through a participating Lifeline company like Q Link Wireless, America’s #1 Online Lifeline Phone Service Provider for more than 10 years. But more on that later!

What Are the Lifeline Program’s Benefits?

As we mentioned earlier, the Lifeline Program provides monthly discounts to eligible low-income Americans in every state and territory. Mainers are no exception! These discounts include:

  • Up to a $9.25 monthly discount for phone or internet service, or
  • Up to a $34.25 monthly discount for consumers living on Tribal lands.

Who Is Eligible for Lifeline in Maine?

Young, smiling Asian woman with an orange raincoat standing in front of a pier in Maine while using her cell phone.
Low-income Maine residents can qualify for Lifeline and get FREE monthly cell phone service with no bills, hidden fees, or contracts.

To qualify for the Lifeline Program in Maine, you must either have an annual household income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines4 or participate in certain government benefit programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or select Tribal Programs, just to name a few. You can find the full list of qualifying federal assistance programs for the Lifeline Program further down.

Lifeline Income Qualifications for Maine Residents

The income qualifications for the Lifeline Program are shown in the table below. The size of your household will determine the total amount of income that will qualify you for benefits and FREE cell phone service. Keep in mind that these guidelines are updated annually at the end of January. So make sure you’re looking at the most current guidelines!

2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines

Household Size5All 48 States, D.C., and Territories
1$19,683
2$26,622
3$33,561
4$40,500
5$47,439
6$54,378
7$61,317
8$68,256
For each extra person, add this amount:$6,939
*The Federal Poverty Guidelines are updated at the end of January.

What Is a Household in Maine?

Group of happy multiracial senior friends looking toward the center at a senior man using a tablet while sitting together on sofa.
Qualifying low-income residents of the Pine Tree State can receive up to one Lifeline discount per household.

While we’re on the subject of households, let’s define what a “household” actually is. According to USAC, a household is any group of people who live together and share their income and expenses regardless of their relationship.

Although the FCC provides only one Lifeline discount per household, multiple people who live at the same address can each receive a Lifeline benefit if they each qualify as their own household.

For example, roommates who live together at the same address or a group of seniors living in an assisted living facility can each be considered a household as long as they do not share money. A married couple or multi-generational family living in the same household who do share their income and provide financial support for each other will qualify as a single household.

Qualifying Government Benefit Programs for Lifeline

Another way to qualify for Lifeline discounts and FREE phone service is by participating in any of the following government benefit programs. You may have to show proof of your participation, usually in the form of an official government letter or document, and submit your information using the NV application system.

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or Food Stamps)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension or Survivors Benefit Programs
  • FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP)
  • Tribal Specific Programs
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) General Assistance
    • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
    • Tribal Head Start (only households that meet the income qualifying standard)

Get FREE Phone Service in Maine With Lifeline Without Paying Bills

Mature woman sitting alone on a rock outdoors near a river with forested woodlands in the background while happily using her cell phone.
Maine residents who qualify for Lifeline can get FREE phone service every month with Q Link Wireless.

The first step to getting FREE wireless phone service in Maine is to sign up with a leading Lifeline service provider like Q Link Wireless. Once you qualify for the Lifeline Program, you can use your discount and enjoy UNLIMITED* Text, 1000 Minutes, and up to 4.5GB of Data for $0 every month.

If you’re worried about the reliability of your FREE cell service, don’t be! Lifeline and ACP providers such as Q Link Wireless partner with the major carriers and use their cellular networks, so you’ll have the same reliable nationwide 4G LTE/5G coverage in Maine, but at ZERO cost to you!

You can even keep the same phone and number that you know and love thanks to Q Link’s Bring Your Own Phone and Bring Your Own Number programs. However, if you need a new phone, Q Link Wireless can help you with that too.

With one of the largest selections of phones in the industry featuring affordable prices and financing options on iPhones, Android, Google Pixel, Motorola, and more, you’re practically guaranteed to find a phone that meets your needs for a price that won’t break the bank.

Shop Q Link’s Phones & Deals!

What Is the Affordable Connectivity Program?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of the Lifeline Program, it’s time to talk about the Affordable Connectivity Program, or ACP for short. This FCC program was originally known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program and started out as an initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic to help low-income Americans afford internet access and stay connected.

The EBB transitioned to the ACP after December 31, 2021, and its benefits were adjusted to better serve consumers in the long-term. The ACP is also administered by USAC and follows many of the same rules as the Lifeline Program under the guidance of the FCC.

What Are the ACP Program Benefits?

Smiling senior man and woman looking at a tablet while sitting outdoors on a park bench.
Mainers who qualify for ACP benefits can get FREE UNLIMITED* phone service, plus a New Tablet^ for a one-time co-payment of $10.01 with no monthly bills, hidden fees, or contracts.

Maine residents who qualify for the ACP can receive up to one ACP discount per household and must recertify annually if requested by the USAC. The discounts offered by the ACP are as follows:

  • Up to a $30 discount for monthly internet service, or
  • Up to a $75 monthly internet service discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands,
  • Plus, a one-time internet device discount of up to $100 for a computer, laptop, or tablet from a participating provider (requires a consumer co-payment between $10 to $50)

Can You Combine Lifeline and ACP Benefits?

Yes, you can have Lifeline and ACP benefits at the same time!

Although the two programs are similar, Lifeline and the ACP are not one thing. They are separate programs that provide discounts for phone and/or broadband internet service.

You can apply for these benefits with a leading ACP and Lifeline service provider like Q Link Wireless and use both discounts to get FREE cellular phone service with UNLIMITED* Data, Talk & Text every month on one of America’s largest 4G LTE/5G networks.

How Do You Qualify for ACP Benefits in Maine?

In order to be eligible for ACP discounts in Maine, you must meet one of two criteria. The first is having an annual household income that does not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines6. The second is being a participant in a specific government benefit program, like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, or even Lifeline.

ACP Income Qualifications for Maine Residents

Adult mixed-race woman showing her mobile phone to her toddler while sitting in a cozy dining room at home.
Eligibility for the ACP Program and FREE cell phone service is based on annual household income or participation in government programs like SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, WIC, Tribal Programs, and more.

To qualify for ACP benefits through income, your annual household income must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The table below describes the qualifying income thresholds per size of household for all 48 connecting states, Washington D.C., and territories.

Considering that 11.2% (roughly 149,571 people) of the total population in Maine in 2021 was living in poverty1, spreading ACP and Lifeline Program awareness can potentially change the lives of many low-income Mainers.

2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines

Household Size5All 48 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
For each extra person, add this amount:$10,280
*The Federal Poverty Guidelines are updated at the end of January.

ACP Qualifying Government Benefit Programs

You may qualify for ACP benefits in Maine if you or someone in your household receives assistance from any of the following government benefit programs:

  • Lifeline Program
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or Food Stamps)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
    • Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8 Vouchers)
    • Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)/Section 202/Section 811
    • Public Housing
    • Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives, or Native Hawaiians
  • Veterans Pension or Survivors Benefit Programs
  • Federal Pell Grant for the current award year
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch or Breakfast Program, or enrollment in a Community Eligibility Provision School
  • Tribal Specific Programs
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) General Assistance
    • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
    • Tribal Head Start (must meet the income qualifying standards)

Can Seniors Qualify for FREE Phone Service in Maine With Lifeline and ACP?

YES! As long as you meet the requirements for annual household income or participate in a qualifying government program like Medicaid, SSI, Veterans Pension, or Seniors Benefit, you can get FREE cell phone service in Maine as a senior using your Lifeline and ACP benefits. This government assistance is provided to all eligible low-income Americans to help individuals and families stay connected to what matters most.

Get FREE Phone Service in Maine With ACP & Lifeline Benefits

Young woman with lilac hair using her phone in an urban city street setting.
ACP and Lifeline-approved Mainers can get FREE UNLIMITED* cell phone service on one of the nation’s largest 4G LTE/5G networks with no monthly bills.

If you’re looking for the best FREE cell phone service in Maine and want to eliminate your monthly phone bill, look no further than Q Link Wireless. There is no credit check required and you won’t pay any monthly bills or be tried to a contract with your FREE cellular phone service.

Can You Have Lifeline and ACP at the Same Time?

YES! You might have noticed that having Lifeline benefits is one of the ways you can qualify for the ACP. That’s because Lifeline and ACP work in unison to provide you with affordable connectivity. When you combine your Lifeline and ACP benefits and apply them to your mobile service with Q Link Wireless, you can walk away with FREE cell phone service and get UNLIMITED* Data, Talk & Text every month.

Can You Get a New Android Tablet with ACP?

YES! With Q Link Wireless and ACP, you have the power to take your entertainment on the go. Simply use your $100 internet device ACP discount to get a NEW Android Tablet^ for a one-time co-payment of $10.01. Q Link’s Scepter 8 Tablet^ provides an immersive viewing experience thanks to its sizable screen and gives you the flexibility to take your work or favorite media wherever you go.

Is My FREE Phone Service on a Reliable Network?

YES! With Q Link’s newly upgraded 4G LTE/5G network, you’ll enjoy greater nationwide coverage and faster speeds throughout and beyond the Pine Tree State, plus access to over 10 million FREE Wi-Fi locations. This makes Q Link’s next offer even better. Because when you sign up for FREE phone service, you also get 2 months of Amazon Prime FREE† as a bonus.

Find out if you qualify for FREE government phone service in Maine in just a few minutes!

Don’t wait any longer to upgrade your connectivity and sign up for FREE wireless phone service today and see if you qualify.


More Commonly Asked Questions

Is Q Link Wireless Legit?

Yes! With an offer like FREE UNLIMITED* cell phone service where you have NO monthly bills, NO hidden fees, and NO contracts, you might think there’s more to it. But the truth is that Q Link and its FREE phone service offer are 100% legitimate – and it’s all possible thanks to Lifeline and the ACP.

Can You Transfer Your Phone Number to Q Link Wireless?

Yes! Q Link’s Bring Your Own Number program makes it possible to keep the phone number you know and love. You can enjoy your FREE phone service worry-free, knowing that you’ll be paying one less bill while staying connected to the people and things that matter.

Can You Keep Your Phone With Q Link Wireless?

In most cases, yes! Q Link’s Bring Your Own Phone program makes it easy to check your phone’s compatibility with Q Link Wireless’ 4G LTE/5G network. You can check if your phone is compatible and whether or not its “unlocked” by accessing the Bring Your Own Phone Help Center section.

Group of multi-racial and multi-generational women having fun outdoors while looking at a cellphone and enjoying their FREE phone service with 4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage.

Disclaimers

*UNLIMITED Data & Talk is an offer funded by the ACP. See Terms & Conditions. Must qualify.

^ACP discounted device offer is subject to product availability. Customers will be notified of device shipment and must contribute a co-payment of $10.01. Tablet offer varies by state. ACP Terms & Conditions apply.

†Offer subject to change. Cancel anytime by visiting ‘Manage Prime Membership’ in ‘Your Account’ on Amazon.com and adjusting your membership settings. Amazon.com, Inc. and its affiliates are not sponsors of this promotion. Amazon Prime Access is $6.99/month after the 2-month promotional period if you opt-in for autorenewal. You are eligible for Prime Access (a discounted Amazon Prime membership) if you are an EBT cardholder or qualify for select government assistance or discounts. Amazon, Amazon Prime, and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Offer requires a Q Link Wireless account showing active usage at least once a month.

References:

1. U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service; “U.S. Poverty” – https://data.ers.usda.gov/reports.aspx?ID=17826

2. EducationSuperHighway; “ACP Enrollment Dashboard” – https://www.educationsuperhighway.org/no-home-left-offline/acp-data/

3. Eligible Tribal Lands for Lifeline and the ACP – https://www.lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/get-lifeline/fcc_tribal_lands_map.pdf

4. 2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines for Lifeline – https://www.lifelinesupport.org/do-i-qualify/

5. What is a Household? – https://www.lifelinesupport.org/what-is-a-household/

6. 2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines for ACP – https://www.usac.org/about/affordable-connectivity-program/application-and-eligibility-resources/how-to-prove-income/  

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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