Free Android and Apple Phones for Seniors on Social Security

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In 2021, 60+ million Americans received Social Security benefits, amounting to over one trillion dollars. The said benefits were approximately $1,555 per month for the retired workers. And since the retirees largely comprise the elderly age 65 or over, they also qualify for free phones for seniors on Social Security through the various lifeline providers.

What’s the Best Free Phone for Seniors on Social Security?

First up, you should know there are special free phones for hard of hearing seniors that you can get even without receiving social security. But if you’re not after such a specialized device, there’s a loophole that makes it possible to qualify for a lifeline phone through social security.

Some of these lifeline phones that are available to seniors include:

How to Get a Free Phone for Seniors on Medicare

Not long ago, we looked at the various free cell phones for seniors on Medicare and how to qualify for one. In that review, we also concluded Medicare isn’t exactly a government assistance program, and so is the Social Security benefit.

Yes, of course, you’ll receive the benefit payment through your local government. But you must have paid your Social Security taxes and earned the needed credits during your working days. And that means even people with average to high income will qualify for the monthly benefits as well.

Meanwhile, Access Wireless or Assurance Wireless and the rest of the lifeline providers usually target individuals with a low income or participate in government-funded programs. So, you necessarily don’t qualify for a government phone just because you’re on Social Security. You must be within either of the two Lifeline eligibility requirements.

In other words, you can only get the free phones for seniors on Social Security if you’re receiving the monthly benefits and has a low income (at or below the 135% of the federal poverty guidelines). Or you receive the social security benefits and also participate in a federal assistance program like Medicaid or SNAP.

Free Cell Phone for Seniors and Disabled

SSI vs Social Security Benefits

Basically, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal agency that distributes Social Security benefits. The same agency also administers the Supplemental Security Income (or SSI in short) program that targets the aged, blind, and disabled.

Similar to Medicare and Medicaid, you can qualify for both Social Security Benefits and SSI programs. But if the two fall within the same month, SSA classifies your benefit amount as a windfall offset.

free phones for seniors on Social Security

And during this Windfall offset period, you can easily qualify for a lifeline phone since the form will still show you’re on SSI.

Once the offset period ends and starts receiving your full monthly Social Security benefits, you can still qualify for the free government phone. But this time some lifeline providers will consider your eligibility under the assistance program and others per low income.

Survivors of Social Security Benefits

Indeed, certain family members can receive monthly benefits from a person who worked long and paid Social Security taxes. And that’s to say you can also get a free phone for seniors on Social Security if you’re:

  1. A widow or widower at age 60 or over
  2. A divorced spouse at age 60 or over
  3. A dependent parent at age 62 or over

The Best Government Phone Providers for Seniors on Social Security

As I’ve said time and again, “best” is a conventional term that can mean a lot of things. In this case, you might be looking for the “Best” lifeline provider on the monthly minute allowance, data allotment, or coverage in your area.

And since various carriers usually bring you varying experiences, some of the options you can consider include:

1. Best Overall: Safelink Wireless

Yes, indeed, Safelink is my first recommendation if you’re looking for reliable free phone service for a senior. Of course, the new acquisition by Verizon will soon have the operator drop the network deal with T-Mobile and AT&T. But even then, Verizon has the widest coverage across the country, including in rural areas.

Furthermore, Safelink has some of the best free phone service perks, including:

  • A free Smartphone
  • Unlimited talking & texting
  • 25GB of high-speed data
  • Free calls to Canada & Mexico

2. Best for Browsing: Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless is one of the major competitors of Safelink in the lifeline business. It’s currently a brand of T-Mobile, which is also a major competitor of Verizon ( new owner of Safelink) on postpaid and prepaid phones.

While it doesn’t have the option for free calls to Canada & Mexico, Assurance Wireless does have amazing perks, including:

  • A free Android smartphone
  • 35GB of premium data
  • Unlimited talking & texting

3. Best of Free Phones: Cintex Wireless

If it had network deals with all the three major carriers (Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T), Cintex Wireless would have been my favorite pick. It not only has the best free service allotments but also gives you the option to choose your desired free government phone.

Even better, the Cintex Wireless lifeline catalog includes more decent devices, such as Samsung Galaxy S9 and Apple iPhone 7. Then, the free monthly phone plan includes:

  • Unlimited talk & texting
  • Unlimited 5Mbps data
  • Free calls to Canada & Mexico

4. Best of Flexibility: TAG Mobile

At this point, TAG Mobile is the most flexible provider of free government phones. It has partnered with Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. So, you get to join the lifeline program with the network that works best in your area.

Similar to most Lifeline providers,TAG Mobile  gives you a free Android smartphone and a monthly phone plan with:

  • Unlimited talking & texting
  • Up to 8GB of high-speed data

5. Best of Free Tablets: Q Link Wireless

Q Link is one of the companies you can get a free Sky Devices Government Tablet and also a lifeline smartphone. It also claims to provide unlimited high-speed data to all the customers. But in my research, I’ve come to notice the operator does throttle heavy users upon reaching 28GB, which, of course, is still a lot.

Apart from Data, Q Link Wireless also provide your monthly allowance with:

  • Unlimited talk & texting
  • Unlimited picture messaging
  • Free WiFi calling & texting

6. Best of Alternative: TruConnect

TruConnect is no doubt a great alternative if T-Mobile has good coverage in your area. It’s also one of the lifeline companies giving out the free government tablets, though mostly deals with NUU devices.

Furthermore, TruConnect has a better monthly plan allotment than many other lifeline providers as you get:

  • Unlimited talk & texting
  • 14GB of high-speed data
  • Free international calling

Comparing Features & Specs of Various Free Phones for Seniors on Social Security

Cell Phone BrandLifeline ProviderScreen SizeBuilt-in ROM/ RAM
Samsung Galaxy S9 64GB LTE AndroidCintex Wireless5.8-inch, QHD64GB, 4GB
Apple iPhone 7 32GB SmartphoneCintex Wireless4.7-inch, HD32GB, 2GB
Google Pixel XL LTE AndroidCintex Wireless5.5-inch, QHD32GB, 4GB
LG Phoenix 4 4G Android Smartphone Safelink5.0-inch, HD16GB, 2GB
WIKO Life 3 (U316AT)Assurance Wireless5.5-inch, VGA16GB, 2GB
Sky Devices Elite OctaX LTE TabletStandup Wireless8-inch, HD32GB, 1GB
NUU A10L N5502L Android SmartphoneTruConnect5.5-inch, VGA16GB, 2GB
Unimax UNIU693CL 5.0” PhoneAssurance Wireless5.0-inch, VGA16GB, 2GB
Sky Devices Platinum G5Life Wireless5.0-inch, VGA8GB, 1GB
Treswave TW801 LTE Android PhoneAccess Wireless5.0-inch, HD8GB, 1GB
Nuu X4 16GB 4GB LTE PhoneTAG Mobile5.0-inch, HD16GB, 1GB
Scepter 8 Tablet 16GB LTE TabletQ Link Wireless8.0-inch, HD16GB, 1GB

Important Notes:

As of 2022, the various lifeline providers across the country are now giving out the “free government phone” as a smartphone. So, you might need to purchase a basic buttoned phone if you’re applying for a senior who might struggle with the touch controls.

In any case, the nine best smartphones you’re likely to get under the free phones for seniors on Social Security are:

Samsung Galaxy S9 64GB LTE Android

The Galaxy S9 is one of the premium smartphones Cintex Wireless currently has for eligible lifeline customers. It sure beats other “crap” phones from most lifeline providers as you can now enjoy features like:

  • A sturdy, IP68 water-resistant build
  • Crystal-clear Quad-HD display
  • Fast-performance Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Video recording in up to 4K quality @60fps
  • 64GB internal storage & 400GB MicroSD support
  • Built-in iris scanner, fingerprint reader & NFC sensor

Apple iPhone 7 32GB Smartphone

The iPhone 7 is yet another decent phone you can consider while joining the Cintex Wireless service. Of course, some elderlies might feel it is slightly compact, but it also has great features, such as:

  • A super clear HD display
  • M3 & M4 hearing aids compatibility
  • Option to make font size even bigger
  • Decent 32GB/ 2GB built-in memory
  • A sturdy, IP67 rated build in case dropped
  • A powerful camera with 4K video recording

LG Phoenix 4 4G Android Smartphone

LG Phoenix 4 is one of the phones Safelink is likely to send when you apply and qualify for their service. It’s an entry-level device but does have some pretty decent specs, including:

  • A clear, HD display
  • WiFi calling and texting
  • A Snapdragon 425 processor
  • M3/ T3 hearing aid compatibility
  • Up to 128GB of MicroSD support
  • Text-to-speech accessibility feature

WIKO Life 3 (U316AT) Android

The WIKO Life 3 is the phone you’re likely to get when you apply for the Assurance Wireless Lifeline service. Of course, it’s not the best in terms of tech, but it still has some good features, such as:

  • A Dual-SIM support
  • Decent VGA+ display
  • M4/ T3 HAC support
  • 5MP camera & HD video recording
  • 16GB built-in storage & 32GB MicroSD

NUU A10L N5502L Android Smartphone

As was mentioned, TruConnect mostly gives NUU devices on its Lifeline package. And the NUU A10L is the most common option when you ace the eligibility requirements.

However, the smartphone is an entry-level model that has only basic features like:

  • Dual-SIM support
  • Dual-band WiFi (2.4G/ 5G
  • A 5MP rear camera with flash
  • Supports M4 & T3 hearing aids
  • 16GB built-in storage & 64GB MicroSD support

Sky Devices Elite OctaX LTE Tablet

The Sky Devices Elite OctaX is the 8-inch tablet you’re likely to get from Standup Wireless when you apply for the Lifeline + ACP combo. But just like with the Lifeline phones, the tablet is an entry-level model with basic features like:

  • A clear HD display
  • 4G LTE support
  • 5MP rear camera
  • 32GB built-in storage
  • Bluetooth & WiFi connectivity

NUU X4 16GB 4GB LTE Phone w/ TAG Mobile

TAG Mobile also mostly gives the low-end devices under the Lifeline program. The NUU X4 smartphone is what you’re most likely to get. And while the device doesn’t have  a lot of the latest tech, you can get nice features like:

  • The 720p HD display
  • Dual MicroSIM slots
  • WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity
  • 16GB built-in memory & MicroSD slot
  • 13MP camera & 1080p video recording

Scepter 8 Tablet 16GB LTE Tablet w/ Q Link Wireless

Last on the list is the Scepter 8 Tablet that Q Link Wireless is most likely to send when you qualify for the ongoing ACP promo. It also doesn’t have many latest features, but you can enjoy:

  • 4G LTE compatibility
  • Up to HD streaming
  • 16GB of built-in storage
  • WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity
  • 5MP camera & HD video recording
  • Text to speech accessibility function

Commonly Asked Questions

How can an elderly person get a free phone?

Simply, an elderly person can get a free phone from lifeline providers through a low-income or federal assistance program. And that includes even when on Social Security benefits, which some providers can group under assistance programs or low income.

What is the best cell phone for senior citizens?

The best cell phone for senior citizens that prefer buttons button over touch controls is the Alcatel QuickFlip Flip phone. But if okay with operating touchscreen, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Apple iPhone 7 from Cintex Wireless are great choices.

Which is the easiest cell phone to use?

Again, the answer here varies with the user and the brand of phone in question. If we’re talking about the free phones from lifeline providers, the Galaxy S9 and iPhone 7 from Cintex Wireless are easier to use than the WIKO Life 3 from Assurance Wireless.

Final Thoughts

Well, these are some of the free phones for seniors on Social Security you can get from the lifeline provider in your area. Cintex Wireless is still the best company in this category since you have the option to choose the device to get. And that includes the Samsung Galaxy S9, Apple iPhone 7, Google Pixel XL, and other decent smartphones.

As for Safelink, Assurance Wireless, and the rest of the Lifeline providers, there’s no option to choose the phone you’d prefer to get. So, you’ll have to sit and wait for the devices they’ll send, which in most cases is an entry-level model above.