Free Government Phones

AT&T Discounted Lifeline Plans

Like many other telecommunications providers, AT&T participates in the Lifeline free/discount phone government program, but they do not offer free cell phones. What they offer instead is a discount on home phone lines. The discounts and qualifications vary by state and whether or not you live on Tribal lands.


Currently, AT&T only offers Lifeline discounts in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas (discontinued effective June, 2019), Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virgin Islands, and Wisconsin.

What AT&T Offers Lifeline Customers

Below is a summary of AT&T's Lifeline benefits for some of the states in which they offer service. Although AT&T offers lifeline services in the states listed above, their website does not provide information for each of the states. If you live in one of the states where information is missing, please call AT&T in your area and inquire directly.

StateAnytime MinutesNights WeekendsMonthly Cost
Alabama1,0001,000$15.74*/$1 Tribal
Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, Texas, Washington, Virgin Islands1,0001,000$15.74
CaliforniaFlat RateUnlimited calls$7.97/mo plus $10 connection
CaliforniaMeasured Plan60 Untimed calls$5.22/ mo plus $10 connection fee. Additional untimed calls $.08 each
California TribalFlat or MeasuredSame as above$25 additional monthly credit and $100 credit for connection
Oregon1,0001,000$12.24/$1 Tribal
South DakotaUnlimited talkUnlimited Text$0* Pine Ridge reservation tribal land on.
West Virginia1,000 anytime minutes and long-distance included$7.50
Puerto Rico1,000 Wireless home phone1,000 Unlimited nationwide calling, caller ID, voice mail, 3-way calling, call waiting $15.74/$10.75

How to Qualify for AT&T Lifeline Benefits

Below is a chart outlining the requirements to qualify for AT&T Lifeline discounts. It is recommended that you double-check and confirm your state’s eligibility requirement before applying.

All States except CaliforniaAt or below 135% of Federal poverty guidelines
  • Medicaid (not Medicare)
  • SNAP
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension Survivors Benefit
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Head Start
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Medicaid/Medi-Cal
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8
  • CalFresh, Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
  • National School Lunch Program (NSL)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    1. California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)
    2. Stanislaus County Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (StanWORKs)
    3. Welfare-to-Work (WTW)
    4. Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN)

Or At or below the California income guideline of:

  • $27,500 for household of up to 2 people
  • $31,900 for 3 people
  • $38,800 for 4 people
  • Each additional member $6,900
  • Tribal TANF
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Federal Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit Program

Because the Lifeline information on AT&T’s website is rather confusing, it’s best to contact AT&T directly to apply. However, if your state is subject to the National Verification program, you can begin the application process by visiting Once approved there, you may contact your AT&T office to complete the process.

Lifeline Stipulations:

  • You must notify AT&T within 30 days if you change your address.
  • Lifeline participants must recertify every year to confirm eligibility status.
  • Only one Lifeline benefit per household is permitted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This site was created to help people find information about free government phones. We do not mail, activate or repair free government phones nor do we provide service. If you have questions about phone service we suggest you contact the phone service provider directly.

Last Modified: 7 June 2021

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