Free Government Phones

U.S. Cellular Discounted Lifeline Plans

U.S. Cellular is another telecommunications provider that participates in the Federal Lifeline program. Unlike some of the other free government phone providers, U.S. Cellular only offers monthly discounts to its customers. According to the USAC, the monthly discount for non-tribal customers is $7.25 per month (this is based on the support level phase out program ). Individuals living on tribal lands are entitled to an additional $25 per month discount.

U.S. Cellular does not list the current monthly Lifeline discount for non-tribal customers on their website, so it’s best to contact them to confirm just how much of a discount they offer. Their site does mention, however, the additional $25 discount for qualified households living on tribal lands.

As of this writing, September 2019, U.S. Cellular offers phone service in the states of Iowa, Illinois, Kansas*, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

*Tribal plans are not applicable in Kansas

U.S. Cellular Lifeline Plans

Below is a listing of the Lifeline plans and the monthly charge prior to applying the appropriate discounts.

Prepaid LIfeline Plan (Tribal Only)

  • Nationwide unlimited voice, messaging and 1GB data (unlimited minutes): Cost $36 per month.
    Additional data 1GB: Cost $10 per month.

Post Paid:

  • Tribal Plan: Nationwide unlimited voice, messaging and 2GB of data (unlimited minutes) Cost: $39.25 per month.

  • Non-Tribal Plan: Nationwide Unlimited Voice, Messaging and 1GB data (unlimited minutes). Cost: $34.25 per month.

If you need to purchase additional data for either of the Post Paid plans, you can purchase it at a cost of $5 per month for 250 MB.


U.S. Cellular

The following plan applies to residents in the state of Missouri:

  • Nationwide minutes with unlimited incoming nights and weekends and mobile-to-mobile calls (1,000 minutes) Cost:$24.95 per month.
    Overage 10 cents per minute

All plans include voice mail, call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, 3-way calling,

How to Qualify for US Cellular Lifeline Program

In order to participate in the Federal Lifeline program, you must have a household income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or 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
  • You can also get Lifeline if your income is 135% or less than the .

In addition to the above programs, you may qualify if you live on Tribal lands and participate in any of the following assistance programs:

  • 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

How to Apply for Lifeline Service

If you live in one of the states that participate in the National Verifier program, you can visit to begin the application process. Once you’ve been approved by the National Verifier program, you may then contact U.S. Cellular to obtain Lifeline service. If your state does not yet participate in the National Verification program, you can contact U.S. Cellular directly to begin the process. You may either visit their website, call them at 1-888-944-9400 or send an email by using their customer care contact form.

Things to Note:

  1. Only one lifeline discount per household
  2. You must recertify every year to prove eligibility
  3. If you change your address, you must notify U.S. Cellular within 30 days.

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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