Free Government Phones

SafetyNet Wireless Free Smartphone Lifeline Plans

SafetyNet Wireless offers Lifeline benefits to qualified low-income individuals/households. As part of the federal Lifeline program, those benefits include a free Smartphone, free talk, text and data. Currently, SafetyNet Wireless offers such service in the states of California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Residents who qualify, no longer have to pay monthly cell phone bills.

What SafetyNet Offers

Because of the regulations in the state of California, SafetyNet offers two Lifeline programs. One for California and another for the rest of the states.

California Plans

If you live in California, you have four plan options:

  1. Bring your own Device: With this plan you get unlimited talk, unlimited text and 2.5GB Data. Cost: $0*Please note, this is a 4-month promotional plan. Check their website to make sure it’s still available.

  2. Unlimited Plan: You get unlimited talk and unlimited text, but no data. Cost: $0

  3. Unlimited plus Data Plan: With this plan you get unlimited talk, unlimited text and 2GB of data. Cost: $0

  4. Upgraded Device plan: Here you get unlimited talk, unlimited text and 2.5GB of data. Cost: $1 per month with $20 prepayment.

Adding additional data in California

Since all of the California plans offer unlimited talk and unlimited texting, there's no need to purchase additional air time. However, if you run out of data, you can always purchase more at the following rates:

  • 1GB for $9.99/mo
  • SafetyNet Wireless
  • 2GB for $18.99/mo

All Other States Plan

If you live in Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, here are the 5 plans SafetyNet offers:

  1. Basic Lifeline: 1,000 talk, unlimited text and 50MB data. Cost: $0/month

  2. Lifeline Basic + 500MB Data: This plan offers 1,000 talk, unlimited text plus 500MB data. Cost $6/month

  3. Lifeline Unlimited: With this plan you get unlimited talk, unlimited text and 50MB data. Cost $10/month

  4. Lifeline Unlimited + 1GB Data: This plan gives you 1,000 talk minutes, unlimited text and 1GB data. Cost: $10/month

  5. Lifeline Unlimited Voice/Text + 1GB Data: Here you get unlimited talk, unlimited text and 1GB data. Cost: $19.99/month.

All plans require a $25 activation fee.

Note: SafetyNet is the first company where I’ve come across that charges an activation fee for Lifeline benefits. I suggest you review other available Lifeline providers for your state and compare services. There’s no sense in paying a $25 activation fee if you don’t have to.

Top Ups

If the amount of talk/text or data is not enough for your monthly use and you need to purchase more, below is a listing of SafetyNet’s non-California TopUps:


  • 1GB for $9.99
  • 2GB for $18.99


  • 100 Talk Minutes or 300 Texts. Cost: $4
  • 250 Talk Minutesor 750 Texts. Cost: $8
  • 400 Talk Minutes or 1200 Texts. Cost: $11
  • 1000 Talk Minutes or 3000 Texts. Cost: $19

FYI: 1 voice minute is equal to 3 text messages.

How to Qualify for SafetyNet Lifeline

To qualify for Lifeline benefits you must have a household income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or for California residents, income level as outlined by the state. In addition to income level, you may also qualify if you participate in one of the following government assistance programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
  • Tribal Programs (and live on federally-recognized Tribal lands)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)
  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Additional Qualification Programs in California
    • Medicaid/Medi-Cal
    • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • 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 (NSLP)
    • 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)

How to Apply for SafetyNet Lifeline

If you live in California, you must apply in person. As of this writing, June 2019, Safetynet Wireless is not able to accept online or phone application, only in person. Visit one of their California locations to complete your in-person application.

Residents in the states of Colorado and Pennsylvania are subject to the National Verification program. As such, you may begin the application process by visiting Once approved, you may then contact SafetyNet Wireless to finish the application process.

Residents living in the remaining states of Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma and Wisconsin have the option of applying online at the SafetyNet Wireless website or speaking to one of their customer service representatives by calling 1-888-224-3213.

Things to Note:

  1. International calls - According to their terms and conditions, SafetyNet specifically states no international texting. Although the site is silent regarding international calls, one can assume there are no international calls either. If you need to make international calls, please check with a customer service representative prior to making the call.

  2. Lifeline participants are required to recertify annually to ensure continued eligibility.

  3. You must use the phone once every 30 days to keep your Lifeline benefits.

  4. Lost or stolen phone: You have up to 60 days to exchange a defective phone. If your phone is lost or stolen, contact SafetyNet immediately. According to their terms and conditions, it appears you must pay $35 for a replacement phone.

  5. Please note, only one Lifeline phone per household.

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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