Tablets have become an important part of our daily lives. They help us stay connected to work, school, medical services, and our social networks. But they can be expensive, and many low-income families can’t afford them. That’s why some companies are offering free or discounted tablets to qualifying families. Here’s what you need to know to access these benefits.
In the age of COVID-19, access to the internet and technology has become even more important. Unfortunately, access to these vital tools is often not available to some people due to socio-economic reasons. Low-income families would benefit from having access to tablets that are either free or available at an affordable price. This would help bridge the digital divide between those with and without access to the internet. Providing low-income families with a tablet for each of their households would give them access to education, employment opportunities, medical services, and health-related information that could potentially save lives. It is more important now than ever before, in this tech-driven society, that access is made affordable and equitable.
Low-income families and individuals with incomes that are below a certain level (as determined by their country, region’s government or other authority figures) often have difficulty accessing necessary online resources that would help keep them connected to schools, education, employment, medical services, and family and friends. Fortunately, there is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that provides those who qualify with discounted tablets for just $10.01.* The program is specifically designed for those who cannot afford expensive options such as laptops or iPads due to financial difficulty and/or lack of credit. The program was created to help bridge the gap in technological access between low-income households and others that have more economic means. It offers households that qualify for the program access to the resources they need. You may be asking, is there a free tablet program? Although you cannot get a free tablet from the government through the ACP, eligible customers only have to pay $ 10.01 to access online entertainment and the Internet without having to worry about a huge cost.
Eligibility for through the ACP depends on two factors: household income and participation in established government assistance programs. For a household to qualify, its income must not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This ensures the program’s benefits are directed toward those with the most pressing financial needs.
Low-income individuals and families who receive government aid through Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Federal Pell Grant Program, the National School Lunch Program, Public Housing, and the Lifeline Program qualify. If you receive government-funded healthcare, you can also receive an ACP tablet with Medicaid. This inclusion broadens the government tablet program’s reach, making essential digital tools for education, employment, and healthcare needs easier to access.
Before applying for a government tablet with the ACP, have all the necessary documentation ready. You’ll need proof of how much you make (like tax papers, work injury payment slips, or social security notes), something to show who you are (like a driver’s license or any ID from the government), and papers that show you’re in programs that qualify (for example, a letter saying you’re part of the National School Lunch Program or a letter indicating you received a Pell Grant).
Once your documents are in order, applying online is the next step to getting your tablet. Visit the official ACP website or the website of an approved provider, like enTouch Wireless. The online application process is straightforward. Just fill in your personal details and household information and attach the required documentation. Be sure that all the information you include is accurate to avoid delays in the application process.
After you send in your application, we’ll check if you qualify. If you do, we’ll send you all the details on how to get your tablet. This might involve picking out which tablet you want, reviewing the rules for using it, and ensuring we have the correct address to send it to. Delivery times can vary, so watch your application status and look out for messages from us. enTouch provides shipping for free for a government tablet.
Aside from ACP, there are several other programs available that offer assistance for low-income families and individuals to help them obtain free phone or internet service. Some programs also offer a computer, tablet, or smartphone at little or no cost, depending on individual needs/qualifications. Computers With Causes, InterConnection, and Computers For Learning (CFL) are three programs that provide resources for free or at a discount. They also offer hardware donations that can help those experiencing financial difficulty to stay connected while building their digital literacy skills at an affordable cost. Purchasing these items separately out of pocket in retail stores or online shopping websites may not be financially feasible for many low-income households.
The Computers with Causes program offers gifted computer equipment, including tablets, to individuals and families in difficult situations. Its mission is to offer free tablets or computers for the educational needs of students. In addition, they provide disabled veterans with internet access everywhere they go!
InterConnection is a charitable group that refurbishes used devices and sells them at cost-effective prices. Their regular online store offers great deals. ConnectAll.org (powered by InterConnection) provides budget shoppers with even more savings. Plus, they offer a one-year product warranty. Inventory changes rapidly, so keep an eye out for tablet bargains.
Computers for Learning (CFL) specifically offers donated excess federal computer equipment to schools and educational non-profits under Executive Order 12999 – Educational Technology: Ensuring Opportunity for All Children in the Next Century.
Low-income families and individuals need not worry about breaking their bank accounts just so they can keep up with the times digitally! There are several programs that offer tablets for low-income households that can help bridge the gap for those living paycheck-to-paycheck financially. enTouch Wireless offers free internet access and a new 8” tablet for $10.01* through ACP. See if enTouch offers service in your state.
* Plus taxes and fees where applicable.