free iphone 6 government phone

Get Free iPhone 6 Government phone

Have you been wanting to get your hands on the popular iPhone 6 but can’t afford it? You’ll be glad to know that there is actually a program that provides free iPhone 6s and other smartphones to eligible low-income individuals and families. Through the government phone program, you may be able to get a free iPhone 6 or even a newer model like the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6 Plus completely free of charge each year.

In this article, we will explore the government phone program that provides free iPhones 6’s and other details about eligibility requirements, how to apply, and more. By the end, you’ll know if you qualify to get a free iPhone 6 government phone and the application process. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What is the Free iPhone 6 Government Phone Program?

The government phone program, officially called the Lifeline Program, is a federal program that is funded by the Universal Service Fee, which is a small amount paid by phone and internet subscribers each month. The goal of this program is to help ensure low-income families and individuals have access to basic telecommunication services.

Through this program, qualifying low-income households can get a discount of $9.25 per month off the cost of phone or internet services. You can also get free phones through this benefit once every year. Most major carriers like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile participate in this program and provide free basic phones, or more advanced smartphones like the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S8 and others.

What is the Lifeline Phone Program?

To understand how to get a free government iPhone 6, we must first explain what the Lifeline program is. The Lifeline Assistance Program is a federal program funded through the Universal Service Fund, established by the FCC in 1985 to promote access to communication services for all Americans.

It works by providing a discount of $9.25 per month for phone or broadband internet service to eligible low-income households. Households may receive discounts on either phone or internet service, but not both. Participating providers are then reimbursed for that monthly discount amount from the Lifeline program fund.

In addition to the recurring monthly discount, the Lifeline program also offers eligible households a free cell phone or home phone units once per year to help ensure they stay connected. Most major telecom providers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and others participate in this federal program and provide free basic or smartphone options to qualifying customers.

Am I Eligible for a Free iPhone 6 Government Phone?

To qualify for Lifeline benefits that include a free iPhone 6 or other phone, households need to meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria each year:

Household income must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. For 2024, the income limit for a family of four is $38,280.

Participate in a qualifying public assistance program like Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), SSI, public housing assistance, veterans pension or Tribal specific programs like Bureau of Indian Affairs general assistance.

Live on qualifying tribal lands as a member of a federally recognized tribe or Alaska Native Corporation.

So in summary, if your household income is within the Federal Poverty Guidelines threshold or you participate in any of the qualifying assistance programs, you are likely eligible to get a free iPhone 6 or other smartphone from the Lifeline program.

You also have to prove your identity and US residence with a valid government ID, utility bill, or other documentation. Generally, only one benefit is provided per household regardless of number of eligible members.

What Phones Are Available Through the Program?

While the original intent of the Lifeline program was to provide basic landline phone service or very basic cellular phones, over the years carriers have upgraded the phone options available. Now many major carriers provide more advanced smartphones for free through this benefit once eligible customers are approved.

Some of the top smartphone models that may be available include:

As for the free phones themselves, most carriers offer a decent selection of popular basic to mid-range smartphones. Options commonly include various iPhone 6 models that have remained quite popular:

  • Apple iPhone 6 (16GB) – One of the most offered iPhones by carriers due to availability in recent years.
  • Apple iPhone 6s (16GB/32GB) – This newer model is still carried by some carriers like Assurance Wireless on Verizon.
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus (16GB/32GB) – The larger screened variant of iPhone 6 and 6s.
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s, A12 – Budget Samsung Android alternatives.
  • LG Stylo/Moto E – Other basic yet capable Android choices are often provided as free options.
  • iPhone/Android SE (2020) – Smaller but popular mid-range recent models.

Supplies and models offered may vary over time, but iPhone 6 series phones remain core options for those seeking an Apple device through Lifeline free phone programs. Check carrier websites to confirm current selections.

How to Apply for a Free Government Phone iPhone 6

Now that you know if you qualify based on income eligibility, here are the basic steps to apply for a free smartphone through the Lifeline program:

  1. Select a Participating Wireless Carrier – Determine the best provider for usage areas and include monthly minutes/data.
  2. Create an Account Online – Visit the carrier website to sign up and access their Lifeline application portal.
  3. Submit Verification Documents – Upload ID, income proof, or benefit program documents electronically.
  4. Complete the Lifeline Application – Provide contact details and accept program terms.
  5. Wait 1-2 Weeks for Application Review – Standard processing time to verify submitted materials.
  6. Obtain Lifeline Approval Notification – The carrier will contact you with acceptance into the program.
  7. Select Your Free Phone Model Online – Commonly an iPhone 6 or comparable Android option.
  8. Activate Service & Shipping Details – Phone ships for free usually within 5 business days of selection.
  9. Manage Your Lifeline Benefits Annually – Recertification with ongoing eligibility verification each year.

Most major carrier application processes are now fully online for easy enrollment. Be prepared with eligible documents before starting your free phone request.

Which Carriers Participate in Lifeline?

Many major wireless carriers participate in the Lifeline program to help low-income customers access communication services. Some of the major providers offering free phones through this benefit include:

  • Verizon Wireless – One of the largest carriers offering free basic and smartphones through their Assurance Wireless Lifeline program.
  • AT&T – Provides free basic phones and advanced LTE smartphones to those approved for Lifeline.
  • T-Mobile – Offers free 4G Android and iPhone models through their own Assurance brand as a Lifeline participant.
  • TracFone – A prepaid wireless company that owns brands like Straight Talk, Safelink and TracFone.
  • Comcast – Participates by providing internet and voice options through their low-cost Internet Essentials program.
  • CenturyLink – DSL internet provider that offers home phone service and broadband discounts through Lifeline.

Be sure to check with your preferred carrier’s website for details on their Lifeline program participation and current free phone models offered. All major networks are involved to some degree nationwide.

Features of Free iPhone 6 Government Phone

FeatureiPhone 6siPhone 6s Plus
Display Size4.7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD5.5-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD
Resolution1334 x 750 pixels (326 ppi)1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Operating SystemiOS 9 (upgradeable to iOS 15)iOS 9 (upgradeable to iOS 15)
ProcessorApple A9 dual-core 64-bitApple A9 dual-core 64-bit
Storage16GB/64GB/128GB16GB/64GB/128GB
Rear Camera12MP with f/2.2 aperture12MP with f/2.2 aperture
Front Camera5MP with f/2.2 aperture5MP with f/2.2 aperture
BatteryRechargeable lithium-ion (1715 mAh)Rechargeable lithium-ion (2750 mAh)
DurabilityIP67 water and dust resistantIP67 water and dust resistant
SensorsTouch ID, 3-axis gyro, barometerTouch ID, 3-axis gyro, barometer
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE/4G, NFCWi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE/4G, NFC
Dimensions138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
Weight143g192g
ColorsSilver, Gold, Space Gray, Rose GoldSilver, Gold, Space Gray, Rose Gold
Benefits & Potential Drawbacks of a Free iPhone 6

For many low-income households, taking advantage of the Lifeline program’s annual free smartphone option can be hugely beneficial in our increasingly digital world. However, it’s also important to be aware of some potential limitations or drawbacks to consider.

Benefits of Receiving a Free Government iPhone 6

  • Saves Hundreds on Phone Costs: An iPhone 6 retails for around $250-350 even when used. This offers significant savings vs. paying full price out of pocket.
  • Stays connected: A smartphone provides access to important resources like healthcare providers, job search tools, education & more – important for opportunity & well-being.
  • Popular Device: The iPhone 6 remains a capable popular device many years later thanks to strong performance & app compatibility even post-iOS updates.
  • Monthly bill help: The $9.25 monthly Lifeline discount helps subsidize the cost of plans & services from participating wireless carriers.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider:

  • One Phone per Year: Households are limited to just one eligible device replacement through Lifeline every 12 months. unplanned damage/loss isn’t covered.
  • Device Age: The iPhone 6 is now an older model, so performance and features won’t match the latest devices. Carriers choose from available existing stock.
  • Limited storage: Free iPhone 6 options commonly offer just 16GB storage capacity, which fills up quickly without cloud storage subscriptions.
  • Carrier Plan Limits: While discounted, Lifeline wireless plans focus on basic minutes/texts/data and may not align with heavier usage demands.
  • No Upgrade Path: There’s no option to trade in or upgrade the Lifeline phones to newer models like those subsidized by carriers on installment plans.

Overall, for those who qualify financially, the benefits of connectivity and savings generally outweigh the limitations. But it’s important to manage expectations on device age and lack of upgrade options over time. For basic usage, a complimentary iPhone 6 remains very useful.

How Do I Compare The Free Government IPhone 6 With Other Smartphones?

  • Specs – The iPhone 6 was released in 2014, so its specs like the A8 processor and 1GB RAM are dated compared to newer $200-400 phones. Storage is limited at 16GB.
  • Display – The 4.7″ screen is on the smaller side now. Resolution is lower than newer phones at 1334×750. Expect less sharpness.
  • Camera – The 8MP rear camera takes passable pictures but won’t compare to newer phones with higher megapixel cameras and better lenses/sensors.
  • Software Updates – iOS updates have allowed it to keep working, but iPhone 6 is nearing end of official support. Newer models get updates longer.
  • Battery Life – Expect average at best battery, as the aging hardware uses more power. Newer phones often last 1.5-2x as long per charge.
  • Durability – The iPhone 6 had bending issues. Newer budget phones often have stronger gorilla glass and frames now.
  • Price – It’s free, which is a huge bonus, but paying $200-300 could get a newer model with improved specs in each area.

So in summary, while fully functional, the free iPhone 6 lags behind budget $200-400 Android and Apple phones in processing power, camera quality, display specs and longevity. But for a totally free option, it’s still quite serviceable for many users’ needs.

How Long Will It Take To Get A Free Government iPhone 6?

Here are the typical timelines for getting a free government iPhone 6 through the Lifeline program:

  • Application Processing Time: 1-2 weeks on average. This is how long it usually takes the carrier to verify your eligibility documents are valid once you submit your Lifeline application online.
  • Approval Notification: Once your application is processed and approved, you’ll receive a notification from the carrier, usually via email or in your account portal. This approval notice often comes within a few days after the processing period ends.
  • Phone Selection: After approval, you’ll need to log back into your account to select the free iPhone 6 model you want. Phone selection is typically available immediately upon receiving approval.
  • Order Processing: Once a phone is selected, it usually takes 1-3 business days for the carrier to process the order and arrange shipping. During this time, any setup or activation may also occur on their end.
  • Shipping Time: Most major Lifeline carriers offer free standard 5-7 day shipping for approved smartphones. Some rural areas may take slightly longer. Expedited shipping is not usually an option.
  • Activation: Upon receiving the phone, you typically just need to turn it on and follow basic setup prompts. The device will already be activated with your Lifeline included minutes through the approved carrier.

So in summary, the total estimated time for the entire process from initial application to receiving your activated free government iPhone 6 can varry on the basis of carier slection and availabilty of phone. However, it takes 2-4 weeks. Processing times can vary slightly depending on application volumes or other factors, but most complete within 1 month or less.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Free iPhone 6 Government Phone

Here are some common questions asked about getting a free iPhone 6 through the Lifeline government phone program:

Q: Can I get a newer iPhone like iPhone 6s or iPhone 7 for free instead of iPhone 6?

A: Possibly. While iPhone 6 is more common, some carriers offer newer models depending on availability. The selection may depend on your eligibility date too.

Q: Do I have to go somewhere to pick up the phone or will it be shipped?

A: In most cases, the free smartphone like iPhone 6 will be shipped directly to your home address once approved with no need to go to a store.

Q: How long will it take to get approved and receive the phone after applying?

A: Standard approval takes 1-2 weeks but it can be faster or longer sometimes. Phones are usually shipped within 1-2 days of approval via standard shipping.

Q: Will I have to pay for phone service each month too or is that also free?

A: No, as part of Lifeline benefits, you also receive a $9.25 monthly credit for phone or internet service with a participating provider.

Q: Can I change carriers later on or do I have to stay with the one I chose initially?

A: You can change participating Lifeline carriers once per year. Just make sure to recertify your eligibility when changing providers.

Q: Besides iPhone, what are some other free phones available through this program?

A: Common models include Samsung Galaxy, LG, Alcatel, Moto G & Moto E smartphones. availability can vary by carrier and location.

Q: Can I upgrade phones annually even if still eligible?

A: No, the free phone benefit is only provided once per year based on service effective date, not necessarily calendar year.

Q: Do I have to use a certain carrier or plan included minutes?

A: No, approved households can utilize any major carrier and choose plans that best suit usage needs within available free minutes/data each month.

Q: How do prepaid wireless carriers like TracFone participate?

A: TracFone and others provide access to free basic phones and service through brands like Assurance Wireless, Safelink Wireless and Clear Talk Wireless instead of individual account options.

Q: What if I move or have a change in income/program eligibility?

A: Notify your Lifeline carrier of any updates as this could impact benefits. Failure to recertify eligibility annually can result in suspension of monthly and phone replacement assistance.

Q: Can Lifeline help with broadband internet access too?

A: Yes, in addition to phone discounts many providers like Comcast offer high-speed Internet access at discounted rates through the Lifeline program or similar low-income connectivity assistance initiatives.

Wrapping Up

With the rising costs of living, Lifeline is an invaluable program helping maintain communication access for households most in need. By understanding eligibility requirements, annual recertification responsibilities, major carrier partners offering free phones and plan options, more Americans can gain awareness of this beneficial service.

I hope this helps explain how to get a free iPhone 6 or other smartphones through the government Lifeline phone program if you qualify. Please reach out with any other questions!

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