The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) offers eligible customers a publicly-funded discount on their monthly communications plan, as well as an opportunity to acquire a tablet for “free.” That said, to receive your tablet, you must make a small contribution beforehand, which can oscillate between $10 and $50 (TruConnect will require that you pay $10.01 for free tablet).
Among the many providers that work directly with Lifeline/ACP, TruConnect stands as one of the most prominent. It runs on the T-Mobile network and offers cheap (and even free) data, talk, and text plans to individuals and families with financial struggles, provided they qualify.
Steps To Get A TruConnect Free Tablet
To receive your TruConnect free tablet and discounted plan via the ACP, you may have to jump through some hoops. Government benefits of this kind are not easy to obtain but, fortunately, not impossible either! Stick around as we teach you the ropes of how to navigate through the application process.
Step 1: Qualifying To Get A TruConnect Free Tablet
The first thing you’d want to know is that there are two routes for approval: Income-based and program-based. If you’re not eligible on account of your yearly income, you may still have a chance if you currently participate in a suitable federal or state assistance program. Let’s go over each route in detail:
- Income-Based : To apply on the basis of your income, you’ll have to demonstrate that you earn 200% of the federal poverty guidelines or less. To give some context, the 2023 federal poverty level per individual is $14,580.
- Program-Based : You can still enroll in the ACP if you’re a beneficiary of any of the following schemes:
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- Veterans & Survivors Pension Benefit
- FPHA (Federal Public Housing Assistance)
- TANF (Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- FDPIR (Food Distribution Program or Indian Reservations)
- Tribal Head Start
- Federal Pell Grant
- Free & Reduced-Price Lunch
You can also apply on behalf of a dependant if they are registered in one of the programs mentioned above.
Step 2: Prepare Required Documents Before Applying for TruConnect Free Tablet
Before starting your application process, you’d want to have the following documents and records handy:
- Proof of Identification: You can avail yourself of your Social Security Number and Card or Tribal ID. in lieu of these two instruments, you may attach your birth certificate, driver’s license, or Green Card
- Proof of Address: In this instance, a utility bill, mortgage, or driver’s license might work. In some extreme cases (for example, if you live in a tribal land), you could provide a map displaying your residence address with latitude and longitude coordinates
- Proof of Income: To prove your income, you could use your payslips, tax returns, bank statements, social security statement of benefits, and more
- Proof of Assistance Program Eligibility: In this regard, you can present an official document drafted by the assistance program or even a screenshot of the web page wherein you’re identified as a participant.
Make sure the documents you pick have not already expired. Also, if you plan on lodging your application by mail, avoid sending the originals!
Step 3: Apply For TruConnect Free Tablet
As we write this, there are three main methods for applying for the benefit:
- National Verifier : Go over to “AffordableConnectivity.gov” and scroll down until you see a section titled “Receive Your Benefit.” Below the second item, you’ll notice the “Apply Now” button. Click on it, and you’ll be taken to the “National Verifier,” which is essentially an eligibility corroboration form with these fields:
- Your full name
- Your birth date
- The last four digits of your SSN or your complete Tribal ID number
- Your phone number (both primary and secondary)
- Your residential address
- You’ll likewise be asked to submit digital copies of your documentation.
- P.O. Box : If you prefer, you can choose to print out your completed National Verifier form and send it to the ACP’s P.O. box. In this case, be mindful that you must accompany the form with physical proof, and the review process may take longer.
- TruConnect’s Website
- This is arguably the most straightforward path. Just go to “TruConnect.com” and introduce your ZIP code and email address to get started.
- Next, you’ll be immediately transferred to the program enrollment form, where you must disclose virtually the same details as in the National Verifier found on the ACP website.
- The same form will ask you to create a 4-digit security PIN to protect your identity. You’d have to memorize this PIN because it will be requested when reaching customer support.
Also Read: How To Check TruConnect Application Status
Type of Free Tablets
TruConnect offers customers the Cloud Mobile Sunshine Elite, which houses a 1.5 GHz processor and comes furnished with an 8″ 1280 x 800 display, 2 GB RAM, and 16 GB internal storage. You’ll also get a 5 MP rear and a 2 MP front camera.
Activation Process of TruConnect Free Tablet
To activate your TruConnect free tablet, you first have to turn it on and follow the instructions on the screen. The “Configuration Wizard” will allow you to configure your Wi-Fi connection, Google account, apps, features, and software updates.
After the configuration is complete, if you decide to synchronize with a previous Android device, the apps installed therein will also be downloaded and installed on your new tablet.
If you wish to use your TruConnect data plan, insert your SIM card and swipe down from the status bar. You should readily see some buttons at the top of the screen, one of them containing two vertical arrows pointing in opposite directions. If deactivated, tap on it, and it should turn a different color.
Other Benefits Getting With TruConnect Free Tablet
Apart from the discounts you’ll obtain from the ACP alone, you can also enjoy many other goodies courtesy of TruConnect itself.
Its “ACP Only” plan comes with 8 GB of High-Speed Data (enough to get you through your rush hours and commutes), coupled with unlimited talk/text and two months of Amazon Prime for free, a bonus not many providers include.
The “Truly Unlimited” plan proposes an all-around solution encompassing both ACP and Lifeline programs (with the Amazon Prime bonus also thrown in). What particularly stands out with this plan is its “free unlimited data” offer which, as expected, comes with some minor limitations (related mainly to tethering), albeit it’s still miles ahead of some of the competition.
Of course, it bears stressing that you’ll get a fully-functional tablet with decent specs under the hood and plenty of quality-of-life features.
Are There Any Restrictions to Getting a TruConnect Tablet?
TruConnect does not impose further restrictions than those proper to the ACP, namely:
- Only one beneficiary is permitted per household, so your application can get rejected even if you initially fulfill all the requirements.
- You may not transfer your benefit entitlement to another household member even if that other member is eligible.
- You must be 18 years old or above if you wish to register. If you’re an emancipated minor, you should attach a court sentence declaring you as such.
Which Network Does TruConnect Use?
TruConnect relies on either Sprint or T-Mobile, depending on the area.
Which Areas Does TruConnect Currently Offer ACP Programs In?
TruConnect supplies its services nationwide, so you should be able to apply from anywhere in the U.S., including its islands.
Does TruConnect Give You a Free Phone?
Luckily, it does have a Lifeline plan, which comes with a free phone. Lifeline is another FCC program that offers, among other things, free handhelds with free minutes, text, and data.
To qualify for Lifeline, your income must represent 135% or less of the federal poverty guidelines, a 65% difference with respect to the ACP threshold.
But, just as with the ACP, Lifeline also has program-based eligibility criteria, and it’s commonly the case that those who meet the ACP prerequisites also qualify for Lifeline since the lists of programs they must participate in are fairly similar.
Can I Upgrade My Free Phone or Tablet with TruConnect?
You may opt for an upgraded device, but you should probably consider contacting customer service or visiting one of the retail locations for more information.
TruConnect will not, however, offer a free device replacement, meaning you must assume the price difference. Also, if your phone or tablet gets damaged, lost, or stolen, you also ought to pay certain expenses.