Free Cell Phones for Veterans

My dad is a war veteran who has now retired.  He currently lives off of Social Security and VA benefits.  It is quite hard for him to meet his monthly expenses.  He has had to scrimp and save every penny and even though life is still tough financially speaking.  I told him to eliminate all the extra expenses that are not necessary in his life such as cable TV and a cell phone.  He said that he could get rid of the cable TV but the cell phone was necessary.  He might need to make emergency calls to family and friends.  I had to agree with him on having the cell phone.  If he didn’t have one, I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with him.  But, the cell phone plan he had was still rather expensive.  He was paying about $50 per month.  I decided to do some research to find out if there were cheaper alternatives.

After doing some research, I was able to find out about the free cell phones for veterans program.  Since my dad was retired and collecting only from Social Security and VA, he was able to qualify for the program due to his income level.  The program is funded by Lifeline which is a government subsidy program and is paid for through the Universal Service Fund.  To get the free cell phone, my dad had to fill out an application through Safelink Wireless or Assurance Wireless.  Both are cell phone service providers.  Not only would they give him a free phone, but he would also get about 250 free minutes per month for calling and texting.  To get into this program, my dad had to send them proof of his income.  He used his previous year’s tax return but you could also use your pay stubs for the last three months.  Luckily for my dad, he lives in a state where this Lifeline program is available.  Apparently, this program is only currently available in 38 states.  You can check if it’s available in your state by going to Safelink Wireless or Assurance Wireless and then entering your address.  My dad would also have to show proof of his income every year if he wanted to stay on this program.

In my research for free cell phones for retired soldiers, I also came upon a non-profit organization called Cell Phones for Soldiers.  This organization aims to provide free communication services for active duty military members and veterans.  It started in 2004 and has provided about 181 million minutes of free talk time.  This program is supported by donations from others which include old cell phones and phone cards.  You can check them out at their website for more information on how to apply for a free phone.

I’m glad I was able to find a free alternative cell phone plan for my dad.  That has allowed him to save $50 per month which he uses to buy food.  This program can certainly help a lot of people that are like my dad.