Lifeline & Affordable Connectivity Program

The Lifeline program and the Affordable Connectivity Program help make phone and internet service more affordable for low-income individuals. Eligible individuals also qualify for a free smartphone through the Lifeline program. If you participate in certain assistance programs like Medicaid, NJ SNAP or SSI, you automatically qualify for both federal programs.

Lifeline (Free Smartphone Program)

Lifeline is a federal program that provides eligible low-income individuals with a free smartphone and free wireless phone service (free data, free monthly minutes and unlimited texting). This Lifeline program is operated by the federal government, and should not be confused with the state’s Lifeline utility assistance program.

Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a federal program that provides eligible households with a discount on broadband service and connected devices. The Affordable Connectivity Program replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month towards internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. If you have a Lifeline smartphone, you can also request the Affordable Connectivity Program for unlimited talk, text and data.

Who is eligible for Lifeline?

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

  • Participates in any of the following programs: NJ SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit and Tribal Programs; or

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Who is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

  • Participates in any of the following programs: NJ SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC or Lifeline (Free Smartphone Program)

  • Has an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

  • Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;

  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, or did so in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;

  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program; or

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.

How to Apply for Lifeline:

Apply online through the following providers: Assurance Wireless or Safelink Wireless.

You can choose your Lifeline provider. If you already have a Lifeline smartphone, contact your provider and ask about available benefits under the Affordable Connectivity Program.

  • If you are a Medicaid/NJ FamilyCare member with Horizon, Amerigroup or WellCare, you may receive extra benefits by applying with Safelink Wireless.

  • If you are a Medicaid/NJ FamilyCare member with Aetna or UnitedHealthcare, you may receive extra benefits by applying with Assurance Wireless.

Note: Assurance and SafeLink offer Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program bundles that provide free, unlimited talk, text, and data plus hotspot data.

How to Apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program:

If you already have a Lifeline smartphone, contact your provider and ask about available benefits under the Affordable Connectivity Program.

You can also:

  • Go to ACPBenefit.org to submit an application or print out a mail-in application.

  • Contact your preferred participating provider to select a service plan and have the discount applied to your bill.