Obtaining access to modern technology is crucial in today’s world, and it has grown more and more essential for those in low-income households to have access to devices such as tablets.
Tablets are essential for various purposes like education, job searching, and staying in touch, and without them, those with low incomes are at risk of being left behind in the digital revolution.
Fortunately, there are a few free tablet options out there for those in low-income homes. This article will explain the various methods of obtaining free tablets, including government programs, service providers, and nonprofits. We will also provide step-by-step instructions on the application process and necessary documents.
- How to Get Free Tablet For Low-Income Families
- Providers That Offer Free Government Tablet For Low Income Families
How to Get Free Tablet For Low-Income Families
Government Programs for Free Tablets
Government programs for free devices are for providing low-income families with access to technology and the internet. These programs are generally administered by government agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or state-level organizations.
Following you will know about a few top programs for free tablets –
Lifeline Assistance Program
The most famous government program for intelligent devices is the Lifeline program. The Lifeline generally offers discounted or free phone and internet services to low-income households. The Federal Communications Commission or FCC manages the program and it is eligible for households in every state and territory in the United States.
Of course, not everyone is eligible for the program. Though the requirement varies from state to state, they generally follow some of the same rules. These include –
Income-based: Applicants must have an income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, or participate in certain government assistance programs such as a free tablet with Medicaid, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), or SSI (Supplemental Security Income). Or,
Residency-based: Applicants must be living in the United States and have a valid U.S. mailing address.
Participation in other programs: If the income requirements don’t apply, Applicants need to be a participant in certain government assistance programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, or SSI, automatically qualify for Lifeline.
Keep in mind, the Lifeline free tablet program is limited to one line per household, and the households are not permitted to get benefits from multiple providers.
Moreover, households that already have a landline or internet service are not allowed for the program, unless they are able to demonstrate that they are receiving service at a rate that exceeds the federal benefit.
How To Apply For Lifeline Program
To know the process of an application for free tablet from the Lifeline program is below-
First, you need to identify a Lifeline service provider in your area. You can find a list of approved providers on the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) website. Then, c contact the provider you have chosen and ask about their enrollment process.
Some providers may have an online application form and that makes the whole process a lot simpler. While others require you to submit a paper application (Though, nowadays, there are hardly any that require physical paper.)
Then, gather all the necessary documentation required for the application. This may include proof of income, proof of participation in a government assistance program, or proof of your eligibility through a disability. Lastly, submit your completed application and required documentation to the service provider.
Affordable Connectivity Program
ACP is also similar to the lifeline free tablet program. Previously the program was known as Emergency Broadband Benefit or EBB, which was started during the crisis time of the Covid-19 pandemic to offer low-income households with smart devices. As a result, low-income households were able to keep up with their job, education, and so on.
After the program ended, the government didn’t shut down the program completely, rather it continued under a different name. Now, the ACP program offers qualified households with internet access and digital literacy resources. You can also get free devices through the program.
Eligibility requirements For Affordable Connectivity Program
Again the requirements vary from state to state. Here’re the general points-
- Your household income is 200% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines, based on your household size and state.
- You or someone in your household participates in certain government assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, or other programs.
- You already receive a Lifeline benefit.
- If a member of your household, like a child or dependent, participates in programs like the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, your household also qualifies.
How to apply for Affordable Connectivity Program
You can use several different methods to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program. The first way to apply is through the government’s official website –
- Visit the ACP application page on the government’s website, at https://nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&ebbp=true
- Fill out the online application form with all the necessary information and documentation.
- Submit the form once you have completed it.
Alternatively, you can also apply for the ACP program via mail by following these steps:
- Print out the ACP application form at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf
- Fill out the form and attach copies of the required documents.
- Mail the package to the ACP Support Center, at – PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
The last way to apply for the ACP is by contacting a provider directly. You can find the providers available in your area by visiting the FCC’s website at https://www.fcc.gov/affordable-connectivity-program-providers.
Once you find a suitable provider, you can visit their website and fill out their online application form. If you are unable to find the application form on the website, you can contact the provider’s customer support service for assistance.
Providers That Offer Free Government Tablet For Low Income Families
1. Q Link Wireless
QLink Wireless is a provider of wireless services that offer free government tablets to low-income families through the Lifeline and ACP programs. Eligible households can also receive free talk time, text messages, and high-speed data. They have two options under the Lifeline program, including Bring Your Own Phone and Keep Your Own Number.
They also offer free government tablets for eligible households. Their free always-on plan includes features such as unlimited data, text messages, talk time, picture messages, voicemail, three-way calling, access to free Wi-Fi locations, emergency service calls to 911, a free sim card, and its activation, and more.
The company operates one of the largest 4G LTE/5G networks in the US, with upgraded coverage and faster internet speeds. Interested individuals can find the online application form for a free tablet on their official website at https://qlinkwireless.com/.
2. Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless is known for its exceptional network coverage in the US and its excellent service plans. However, what many people may not know is that they also offer low-cost or free internet services, phone plans, and even free government tablets and smartphones through lifeline and ACP programs.
It’s important to note that these programs are only available in selected locations and cannot be transferred to another person. To find out if their services are available in your state, check their official website at assurancewireless.com
3. StandUp Wireless
StandUp Wireless is a reputable provider of wireless service that offer free government tablets to low-income families through Lifeline and ACP. Their plans include unlimited talk time, text messages, and internet data, making it an ideal option for those who need to stay connected but have limited financial resources.
One of the best features of StandUp Wireless is that they provide nationwide coverage, which means that you can stay connected with your loved ones no matter where you are. With their plan, you will get up to 10 GB of high-speed data – 5G/4G LTE.
Under the ACP and Lifeline program, they offer an 8-inch tablet for just $10.01, which is a great deal for those who need a tablet but can’t afford one. They also provide a discount of around $100 on certain devices, making them even more affordable.
If you want more information about StandUp Wireless and its services, you can visit its website at https://standupwireless.com/apply-now/ or contact them at 888-225-5322.
4. Easy Wireless
Easy Wireless offers free government smartphone service along with free unlimited data and hotspots and free unlimited talk and text. They additionally provide various services such as a free sim card kit and activation, free access to Wi-Fi Hotspots, and features such as free voice mail, free emergency service calls, and much more.
They also offer affordable plans that are great for low-income families. You can even get an 8-inch tablet worth $120 in value for just $10.99. Make sure to check their official website to see if they provide services in your area and to confirm your eligibility for the Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program.
Non-Profit Organizations for Free Tablets
Non-Profit organizations are an easy way for low-income families to get a free tablet. These are several non-profit organizations that provide devices to students, jobless youth, and others to keep them up with the digital world. Let’s check some of the top non-profit organizations –
TechSoup is a non-profit organization that offers technology resources, including free and low-cost tablets, to other non-profit organizations and libraries. The organization has a wide range of partners, including Microsoft, HP, and Cisco. They provide technical aid to organizations that are working to make a positive impact in their communities.
Individuals or households can apply for free tablets through the organization by providing information about their non-profit organization, and how the technology can be used to benefit the community. Eligibility criteria and the application process are available on the TechSoup website.
6. Computers with Causes
Computers with Causes also provides free laptops and computers to low-income families, veterans, and disabled individuals. They work with a network of partners and donors to provide technology to those in need.
To apply for a free laptop, individuals need to fill out an online application form and provide information about their need for the computer and how it can improve their life. Eligibility criteria and the application process can be found on the Computers with Causes website.
7. World Computer Exchange
World Computer Exchange provides free and refurbished computers to individuals in need, including children, disabled adults, and low-income families. They work with local non-profit organizations, schools, governments, parties, and libraries to distribute the computers.
To get a free tablet, individuals need to apply and explain their needs and how a computer will help them become more independent. The organization has provided over five million free computers to disabled individuals. Eligibility criteria may vary based on the location and time. By visiting their website, you can get the most up-to-date information.
8. Microsoft Registered Refurbishers
Microsoft also has a program to improve the lives of low-income individuals and disabled people by offering free computers, laptops, and tablets. Through the Microsoft Registered Refurbishers program, you can get a free tablet pretty easily.
The program is open to individuals who can demonstrate their need for a computer and how it will help them. To apply, individuals must fill out an online application form and provide information about their need for the computer and how it will help them. Eligibility criteria for the program may vary, but generally include income limitations and proof of disability.
9. Computers for Learning
This program is run by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and provides free surplus federal computers to schools and educational non-profit organizations. Any Eligible organization can request computers, software, and other technology through the program’s website.
The eligibility criteria for the program vary depending on the organization, but generally, schools and non-profit organizations that serve disadvantaged communities are eligible to participate. To apply, organizations must register on the program’s website and submit a request for the technology they need. The program is subject to availability and organizations are only able to request a certain number of devices per year.
A program run by the city of Riverside, California, SmartRiverside provides free internet and digital devices to low-income families and individuals. The eligibility for the program is based on income and family size, with priority given to households with children in school. To apply for the program, individuals must fill out an online application and provide proof of income and residency.
Once approved, participants will be provided with a free internet service and the option to purchase a discounted computer or tablet. The program also offers digital literacy training to help participants learn how to use the internet and digital devices effectively.
SmartRiverside is a partnership between the city of Riverside, local non-profit organizations, and private companies. It is funded by a combination of government grants and private donations.
Other Ways to Get Free Tablets
11. Second-hand market
If you aren’t able to find free tablets from all the organizations mentioned, one excellent option is the second-hand market. Websites such as Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist are popular options for buying used tablets at a fraction of the cost of a new one. These websites allow you to search for tablets based on brand, model, and condition.
When purchasing a used tablet, you need to be careful about a few things. Make sure to research and look at different options to get an idea of the seller’s credibility and the quality of their products. Additionally, make sure to read the product description carefully and check for any damages or defects.
Another important aspect to consider is the warranty. Many second-hand tablets may not have a warranty or have a limited one. It’s good to check with the seller if they can provide one or if they are willing to give you a return policy if the device has any defects.
You can also purchase a refurbished tablet. These tablets have been returned to the manufacturer, inspected, and repaired if necessary before being resold. They often come with a warranty and can be a great option for those looking for a cheaper tablet.
12. Charitable donations
Low-income families can get free tablets from several charitable donations. These donations are typically provided by non-profit organizations, charities, and foundations that have a mission.
Of course, not everyone can get free tablets from these organizations and you need to meet a charting requirement. These may include being a low-income family, having a child in school, or being a senior citizen.
The process of applying for a free tablet can vary depending on the organization, but generally, it will involve filling out an online application form and providing proof of income or other required documentation.
You can find these kinds of organizations everywhere. Examples of a few top organizations that provide charitable donations include:
- The One Million Project: provides free tablets to low-income children to support their education
- The Kids in Need Foundation: provides free tablets and technology to children from low-income families to support their education
- The National Cristina Foundation: provides free technology to nonprofit organizations and schools serving individuals with disabilities and other disadvantaged communities.
You can also look into different churches, as sometimes they also offer free devices. Or, if you live near a big church, you can talk to the priest and ask for his help.
Crowdfunding is a method of raising funds for a project or idea by soliciting small contributions from a large number of people, usually via the internet. There are various crowdfunding platforms available such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo that allow individuals or organizations to set up a campaign to raise money for a specific cause or project.
One way to get a free tablet is through crowdfunding, creating a campaign that explains your need for a tablet, how it will be used, and why you are unable to afford one on your own. You can set a goal for the amount of money needed to purchase a tablet and ask people to contribute whatever they can.
There aren’t any eligibility requirements for the program. But, to get what you want through crowdfunding, you will need to create a compelling campaign that resonates with people and convince them to contribute to your cause. You can also reach out to friends, family, and community members to share your campaign and ask them to contribute.
Keep in mind that success in a crowdfunding campaign is not guaranteed, and reaching the goal amount may depend on the number of people who contribute and the size of their contributions.
You may also like to read: How To Get Free Tutoring For Low Income Families
So, there are many ways to get free for low-income families. The options included in this article are government assistance programs such as the Lifeline Assistance Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program, non-profit organizations such as World Computer Exchange and Microsoft Registered Refurbishers, and community programs such as Smartriverside. Additionally, it is possible to purchase a second-hand tablet at a discounted price or to receive a free tablet through charitable donations or crowdfunding.
Each option will have its own specific eligibility criteria and application process, and you need to individually research the different options to determine the best option for you.
Access to technology has become increasingly important in today’s society. It can provide low-income families with access to educational and job opportunities, as well as connect them with essential services and resources. Providing free tablets to low-income families, it can help to bridge the digital divide and provide equal access to technology for all.