The Federal Government offers multiple schemes that help senior citizens, veterans, tribals, rural residents, and other needful individuals with free landline phone services. In this guide, we’ll explore how to get free landline phone service for senior citizens in the United States.
The world has undergone a digital transformation with mobiles taking over landline phones. However, people like senior citizens and rural residents still rely on landline services to stay connected with each other. That’s why this would be a very useful post for you.
- 1 Is There Any Free Landline Phone Service for Seniors?
- 2 How to Get Free Landline Phone Service for Seniors?
- 3 Cheap Landline Phone Services for Seniors
- 4 Final Take
- 5 FAQs
Is There Any Free Landline Phone Service for Seniors?
There aren’t any free landline phone services for seniors. However, there are government-backed programs in the United States that help people in need get access to landline phone services for almost free. You just have to register the individual for benefits and the rest will be taken care of.
The Lifeline Assistance program is the most common scheme that has been helping countless individuals for decades. Apart from that, there are also state-run programs that subsidize the cost of landline phone services for seniors, veterans, tribals, and other individuals in need.
However, if you don’t qualify for any of these programs, you still have the option to use cheap landline phone services that are available at highly discounted prices. You may also use VoIP-powered phone services which are very inexpensive and anyone can afford them.
How to Get Free Landline Phone Service for Seniors?
There are two main ways to get free landline phone services for seniors. The first one is to get subsidized access to landline phone services via the Lifeline Assistance program and the other one is to find a suitable state government-backed scheme to get free landline phone services.
1. Lifeline Assistance Program
The Lifeline Assistance program has been providing free landline services to qualifying low-income households in every state since 1985. It is focused on connecting every American family to telecom services. It is backed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The Lifeline program is a part of the Universal Service Fund and offers the following benefits:
- 1,000 free minutes
- Mobile broadband 3G speed with a limited usage allowance of 4.5 GB
- Fixed broadband speed of 25/3 with a limited usage allowance of 1229 GB
- $5.25 for voice support per month
- $9.25 for broadband support per month
Eligibility Criteria for Lifeline:
- Annual household income is at 135% or less than the federal poverty standards.
- Participant in SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, FPHA, Veterans Pension, Survivors Benefit, etc.
- Any member of your household must be a participant of Head Start, Tribal TANF, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, The Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, or any similar campaigns.
Once you qualify for Lifeline, you can submit your application through these steps:
- Go to the National Verifier web page and check if you’re eligible for the program.
- If you’re eligible, then visit this page and select your state to begin.
- Now enter your personal information for your application.
- Next, verify your Social Security Number or any other form of Government ID.
- Next, submit the required documentation to prove your status.
- After that, choose a provider available for your state.
- Finally, submit your application.
After that, you just have to wait for the installation. Meanwhile, you can also apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program to receive free broadband services.
You can also apply for Lifeline by mail. Just print the paper application form from the website, enter your details, attach copies of your supporting documents, and send it to the following address:
USAC Lifeline Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742
We’d recommend choosing the online method for faster approval.
2. Schemes From the State Govt.
Another way to get free or discounted landline phone service for seniors is to apply for a relevant state government-backed program. For instance, the Illinois government provides one-time assistance for installation fees of landline phone services but the beneficiary will have to pay monthly bills himself.
California also has a state-backed telephone discount program called the California LifeLine Program. Through this scheme, all qualified households may get their phone bills subsidized completely based on their low-income status.
You have to find the active programs in your state of residence, select the most suitable and beneficial one, and then submit your application. After that, you’ll receive free or highly discounted telephone services.
Cheap Landline Phone Services for Seniors
If you’re unable to find free landline phone service for seniors, then the next best option is to get cheap and highly discounted telephone services. There are several operators who offer special discounts for seniors, veterans, and other people in need.
Here is a compilation of some of the best and cheapest landline phone services for seniors. We have also included VoIP phone services and web calling mediums as they are highly inexpensive.
NetTalk offers free landline phone service via VoIP technology. You just have to purchase a NetTalk device. The NetTalk Duo is a good option for that. It comes with a year of service and then costs $29.95 for any additional year.
With the help of NetTalk Duo, you can call local and long-distance contacts for free in the U.S. and Canada. There are also additional features such as international calling and virtual fax for an additional fee. The installation is also really simple.
Google Voice is another VoIP carrier that lets you make free calls within the United States and Canada. You have to use a web browser or a smartphone app for that. You can also convert Google Voice into a free landline service using an Obihai device.
The Obihai OBi200 VoIP phone adapter is the best and the most economical solution for that. It’s simple to use and works with four VoIP services including Google Voice, PhonePower, Anveo, and VoIPms. There are also additional features such as voicemail, call screening, forwarding, and more.
Community Phone is one of the least expensive landline phone services. It works without needing the internet and offers unlimited local and long-distance calling within the United States for only $32/month. It’s 25% cheaper than VoIP and 35% cheaper than traditional landlines.
You can also get unlimited nationwide calling starting at $36/month and the Landline plan for only $20 per month if you pay monthly or $180 for paying annually.
Ooma is another affordable home phone service that provides free local and long-distance calling within the U.S. You have to purchase an Ooma Telo device for that. However, the devices may not be affordable for everyone.
There are also additional taxes and fees for other features. Ooma also offers premium features such as call blocking and voicemail transcription for an added fee.
magicJack is the next affordable VoIP-based landline phone service provider. You have to buy a magicJack device to use their services which include free local and long-distance calling within the U.S. and Canada.
You can also access international calling, and other features such as voicemail, call waiting, and call waiting for an additional fee.
BasicTalk is one more low-cost VoIP-powered landline phone service that requires buying a BasicTalk device. It offers unlimited free calling within the United States. However, the user pay pays taxes and regulatory fees.
One downside of this carrier is that it lacks advanced features found with other providers. Although it’s an expensive option for seniors who need a simple landline phone service.
These are all free and affordable landline phone services for seniors and other people in need. Using these, older folks can stay connected with their loved ones and well-wishers. Having a landline phone service is crucial for people who may require emergency services at any time.
The digital world is evolving rapidly but not everyone is able to catch up to its pace. Seniors and veterans are often left perplexed due to all the advancements in telecom technology. Old school telephones are still their best friends to talk with their people.
That’s all for this guide. If you have any questions about anything shared here, feel free to ask in the comments.
1. Can seniors get a landline phone service for free?
Seniors can get a landline phone service for free or at a highly subsidized rate if they are eligible for the Lifeline Assistance program offered by the Federal Government. You can apply for it after checking your eligibility on the National Verifier website to receive benefits.
2. What is the best landline for seniors?
Community Phone, Cox, and AT&T offer the best landline phone services for seniors. These services usually start from $30 per month and offer unlimited calling within the United States. Another inexpensive way to access landline calling is through VoIP technology.
3. Can you just get a landline phone without internet?
Yes, there are multiple landline phone service providers that work without needing access to the internet. CenturyLink and Community Phone are the two most used carriers that provide impressive landline phone services without internet connectivity.
4. What is the cheapest landline phone service in the U.S.?
Spectrum offers the cheapest landline phone service that starts at just $14.99/month, followed by Verizon Fios and Cox Voice Premier which costs $20/month, CenturyLink which costs $30 per month, and Community Phone which costs $36/month.
I’m Olivia Smith, a writer who works in a Government Assistance Program. I love helping people and making a difference. When I’m not working, I enjoy reading books, watching rugby, and traveling to new places. Exploring the world and meeting different people inspires me. I’m passionate about supporting those in need and often write about my experiences and thoughts on various blogs.