Site Search:

  Print  |   Email

Free cell phone and minutes


1. What is SafeLink or Assurance Wireless?

SafeLink Wireless and Assurance Wireless are programs that give free cell phones and minutes to people who have a very low income. The U.S. government pays for the phones and minutes.

SafeLink Wireless Service and Assurance Wireless Service do not cost anything. There are no contracts, no fees, and no monthly charges.

2. Can I get SafeLink or Assurance Wireless?

You can get SafeLink or Assurance Wireless if all 3 of these things are true:

  1. You get one of the following benefits:
  2. No one in your household already gets the Verizon Lifeline discount or another Lifeline service for a home phone or cell phone. If someone in your household gets a Lifeline discount for a phone, you must cancel that service before you apply for SafeLink or Assurance Wireless. If you accept a SafeLink phone, your Lifeline phone can get cut off; and
  3. You can get mail delivered to your home, a residential address, or a post office box. If you are homeless you can ask SafeLink to send a free cell phone to your shelter, P.O. Box, or other address that you can use.

3. What will I get from SafeLink or Assurance Wireless?

If you qualify for the program, SafeLink or Assurance Wireless will give you:

  • A free cell phone;
  • Free cell phone service;
  • 250 free minutes each month;
  • Caller ID;
  • Voicemail; and
  • Call waiting.

4. What if I need more minutes?

If you need more minutes, you can buy TracFone Airtime Cards for your Safelink account at local stores.

You can buy Virgin Mobile Top-Up cards from local stores to add minutes to your Assurance wireless service.

250 free minutes are added at the beginning of each month.

5. How do I apply for Safelink or Assurance Wireless?

You can apply online for Safelink Wireless in English or Spanish. If you apply online, you may get your phone in as soon as 5-10 days.

You can also call 1-800-977-3768 and ask SafeLink to mail you an application. You can then sign and return the application form. If you apply by mail, it will take at least 2-4 weeks for you to get your phone.

You can apply online for Assurance Wireless or call 1-888-898-4888 for an application.

6. How long will my SafeLink or Assurance Wireless service last?

You can keep SafeLink or Assurance Wireless for as long as you get one of the benefits listed in Question 2. If your benefits stop, your SafeLink or Assurance Wireless will also stop.

You must "re-qualify" every year. This means that you need to tell SafeLink or Assurance Wireless whether you still get a benefit that qualifies you for their wireless service. SafeLink and Assurance Wireless will contact you to tell you when you need to re-qualify. If you do not re-qualify, your service will stop.

If your SafeLink service stops, you will automatically become a regular TracFone Customer. You will have to buy TracFone Airtime cards to keep using the phone.

7. What if I am having trouble with my phone?

Call the Department of Telecommunications and Cable Consumer Hotline, 617-305-3531 or 800-392-6066.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Last updated November 2012


Was the page helpful? *

Please help us cut down on spam. Type the letters you see into the box below.

Get Help Now

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program.

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
9am and 4pm