Lifeline Frequently asked questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions here. Still have questions? Contact us.

Can I upgrade my Access Wireless phone?
Yes! Customers may purchase an upgraded handset at their own expense by shopping our online collection of phones.

An ESN change will need to take place to transfer to an Access Wireless account to the new device. To request an ESN change, call 1-866-594-3644.
Do I get to choose my free Access Wireless phone?
No. The free phone provided by Access Wireless may vary by manufacturer and model and are dependent on inventory availability.

You can upgrade your Access Wireless phone to a feature phone or smartphone. Click here to access our online store.
Are there any restrictions that apply to my Access Wireless service?
Yes, here are the things you need to know about your Access Wireless service.
  • Access Wireless is only available to individuals who participate in a qualifying government program or are income-eligible
  • Only one wireline, wireless, or broadband internet access service benefit is allowed per household
  • The address you provide for your phone service must be your place of residence
  • Your Access Wireless account must be in the name of the qualified customer and service is non-transferable, even to another low-income customer
  • You must provide your date of birth, social security number as required by state, proof of identification, and proof of program participation on your application in order to be approved for service
  • Access Wireless participation is subject to the Access Wireless Terms and Conditions of Service
  • Access Wireless customers may have restrictions on selection of available i-wireless rate plan offerings
  • You must notify Access Wireless within 30 days if you no longer qualify for the program, or if you change your address
  • Access Wireless customers authorize Access Wireless to release any records required for the administration of the Lifeline program as requested by the Universal Service Administrative Company
  • Free phone is provided by Access Wireless
  • Access Wireless is a service provider for the government-funded Lifeline Assistance program
  • Lifeline service is provided by i-wireless, LLC d/b/a Access Wireless, an eligible telecommunications carrier
  • Violation of the one-per-household rule constitutes violation of FCC rules and will result in the customer's de-enrollment from Lifeline
  • Consumers who willfully make a false statement in order to obtain a Lifeline benefit can be punished by fine or imprisonment, or can be barred from the program
  • Customer information will be validated against public records and any discrepancies could result in delays in approval or rejection of service
  • Customers must renew their eligibility each year to continue receiving their Lifeline benefit 
  • Customers that select a broadband service plan must maintain Access Wireless service for 12 months. Customers that select a voice service plan must maintain Access Wireless service for 60 days.
What should I do if my Access Wireless phone breaks within the first year?
If you experience an equipment malfunction, please call us at 1-866-594-3644 and we will discuss your options for a replacement phone.
What if my Access Wireless phone is lost or stolen?

If your mobile phone is lost or stolen, you are responsible for any charges incurred until you notify Customer Care of the loss by calling 1-866-594-3644. Once we have been notified, your account will be suspended from further use. You will have 60 days to activate a new phone or notify us that you have found your old phone. If you do not notify us within 60 days of either action, your account will be deactivated and any remaining account balance will be lost and the phone number may be reassigned.

You may qualify for a replacement device, or you may select to purchase a new Access Wireless phone, which can be purchased in our online store. To determine if you qualify for a replacement, please call Customer Care.

How do I activate my Access Wireless handset?
Each handset is different, so please refer to the activation instructions inside of the packaging of your Access Wireless phone.

If you need further assistance, please call Access Wireless Customer Care at 1-866-594-3644.
What should I do if I don't receive my minutes?
Please call 1-866-594-3644 and a Customer Care representative will be happy to assist you.
When will I receive my Lifeline benefit each month?
Upon receipt of your Access Wireless phone, you will need to follow the activation instructions included in the package. Once your phone is activated, your free monthly allotment of minutes, text messages, and data will automatically be added to your account. You will continue to receive your Lifeline benefit on the same date every month for one year.

For example, if you activate your service on May 5th, your monthly allotment of minutes/texts will be added to your account on the 5th of each month.
How long can I use my Access Wireless service?
Once approved to receive a Lifeline benefit with Access Wireless, your service is good for one year. After one year, you will need to verify your eligibility for the Lifeline program, which will confirm your continued service for one year. Click here to re-certify your eligibility now.

When you sign your Access Wireless application, you are confirming that you qualify for Lifeline service based on your participation in a government assistance program or based on your income eligibility. You are also confirming that you are the head of your household and that your household receives only one Lifeline discount, wireless or wireline.

We will contact you annually to verify that you still qualify for Access Wireless service. If, during this process, you do not respond by the final response date, or we learn that you no longer qualify, we will discontinue your Access Wireless service.

You must routinely use your phone to continue to receive your monthly Lifeline credit. Accounts with a lack of usage may be de-enrolled from the Lifeline program.

It is your responsibility to inform us immediately upon learning that you no longer qualify for Access Wireless service. We will discontinue your Lifeline benefit at that time. Your phone will still work, but you will need to add airtime to maintain a balance.
What if I need additional service on my Access Wireless account?
You can add airtime and data to your Access Wireless account using a debit or credit card or by purchasing an Access Wireless or i-wireless airtime card, which are available at participating Kroger-owned stores. PINs may also be purchased at more than 10,000 convenient nationwide retailers. Click here to find an Access Wireless airtime retailer near you.

From Your Phone:
  • Go to Menu > Web > My Account -or-
  • Dial #BUY directly from your Access Wireless phone

From the Web

  • Visit www.accesswireless.com and log in to My Account
  • Click here to log in to My Account

Redeeming an Airtime Card

  • Follow the instructions on the back of the airtime card. Make sure you scratch the gray area to reveal the 10-digit PIN

How much does Access Wireless cost?
Access Wireless service is FREE to eligible customers and includes a free mobile phone and monthly allotment of minutes, text messaging, and data for one year. There are no monthly bills, long-term contracts, activation fees, recurring fees, or surcharges for Access Wireless customers.
Where will my Access Wireless phone work?
Access Wireless service is provided on the Nationwide Sprint network. However, Access Wireless service may not be available in all areas. To determine if there is Sprint coverage in your area, click here to view a coverage map.
How do I apply for Access Wireless service?
Applying for Access Wireless service is easy and convenient.
  • Click here to apply online
  • Click here to download and print an application
  • Call 1-888-900-5899 and a Customer Care representative will assist you
Where is Access Wireless service available?
Current Access Wireless customers can expect to receive nationwide coverage on the Nationwide Sprint Network. 

Consumers looking to apply for Access Wireless service will be happy to know that Access Wireless is currently available in:
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

We will continue to expand the Access Wireless program to additional states as we receive the required regulatory approval.

What's included with my Access Wireless service?
Access Wireless provides eligible customers with a free mobile phone and 500 MB of data, unlimited text messaging, and 350 minutes each month*. 

The minutes can be used for local or domestic long distance calling and text messaging. 

If a customer needs additional airtime, they can select from a number of Access Wireless rate plans for an additional charge. Click here to view the Access Wireless rate plan options available in your area.

*3G high-speed data. Customers that select a broadband service plan must maintain Access Wireless service for 12 months. Voice service plan also available of 500 minutes, unlimited text messaging, and 50 MB of data per month. Customers that select a voice service plan must maintain Access Wireless service for 60 days.
Who is eligible to receive Access Wireless phone service?
Individuals may qualify for Lifeline service if they participate in public assistance programs* such as:
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Assistance/Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing/Section 8 Assistance
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veterans or Survivors Pension Benefit

Individuals may also qualify based on total household gross monthly income. If you are applying based on income eligibility, you will need to provide documentation of your income. The following items are considered acceptable documentation:

  • A copy of last year's State or Federal income tax return
  • Three consecutive months' worth of your most current pay stubs
  • Social Security benefits statement
  • Veterans Administration benefits statement
  • Retirement/Pension benefits statement
  • Divorce decree or child support document
  • Unemployment/Workers Compensation benefits statement

*List of programs varies by state. Click here to see if you qualify for Lifeline service in your state.

What is Access Wireless?
Access Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program designed to ensure that quality telecommunications and broadband internet access services are universally available to income-qualifying customers at reasonable and affordable rates. Access Wireless provides income-eligible customers with a free mobile phone and a free monthly allotment of airtime for one year. The mobile phone service includes in-demand features such as voicemail, domestic long distance, text messaging, Call Waiting, Caller ID and 911 emergency access.
Where is Access Wireless coverage available?
Access Wireless provides coverage on the Nationwide Sprint network. 
Are Access Wireless devices Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC)?

Hearing Aid Compatible Phones

Some people that use hearing aid devices may experience difficulties when using a wireless phone. The wireless industry and consumer groups representing the hard of hearing have been working for years to study this matter and develop standards and solutions to reduce the likelihood of such difficulties. In addition the Federal Communications Commission has set forth requirements for wireless carriers and the wireless device manufacturers. Much progress has been made and there are now a large number of hearing aid compatible (HAC) devices available to customers.

There are two different ratings to consider when picking a hearing aid compatible device:

M-Ratings - Reduced Hearing Aid Device Interference

Some people with a hearing aid device experience a buzzing or whining noise when using a wireless phone. This noise is caused when the electronics within the hearing aid device pick up and demodulate radio frequency (RF) and/or electromagnetic interference (EMI) emitted by the phone.

Phones with an M-Rating of M3 or M4 meet FCC requirements and are less likely to generate interference to hearing devices than phones that are not labeled. M4 is the better/higher of the two ratings.

Hearing devices may also be measured for immunity to this type of interference. Your hearing device manufacturer or hearing health professional can help you find results for your hearing device. The more immune your hearing aid is, the less likely you are to experience interference noise from mobile phones and other sources of RF/EMI such as computer monitors and florescent lighting.

T-Ratings - Compatible with Hearing Aids with Telecoils

A telecoil is a small device that is built into some hearing aids for use with the telephone as well as assistive listening devices. Not all hearing aids have telecoils.

Phones with a T-Rating of T3 or T4 meet FCC requirements and are more likely to work well for people who use hearing aids with telecoils. T4 is the better/higher of the two ratings.

Access Wireless lists the Hearing Aid Compatibility rating within the handset features for each handset that is available for customer purchase.
 
How can I contact Access Wireless?
Access Wireless Customer Care representatives are available during the following hours to help serve you:
  • Monday - Friday: 8am - midnight EST
  • Saturday: 9am - midnight EST
  • Sunday: 10am - midnight EST

For New Service Questions/To Apply: 1-888-900-5899
For Current Customers: 1-866-594-3644

Where can I find additional information about the Federal Communication Commission's Lifeline Assistance Program?
Additional information about the Lifeline Assistance program can be found on the Federal Communication Commission's website.

To review the FCC's public service announcements regarding eligibility, duplicates, and recertification, visit http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/lifeline-public-service-announcements-psas.

You can also review information on Lifeline from the Universal Service Administrative Company's website.
Does Access Wireless offer a Referral Program?
Yes!

Referring a friend is easy and encouraged. Simply tell your friends and family about Access Wireless and how to apply.

Upon their approval, they will need to call 611 and enter your Access Wireless phone number as their reference. This must be done within 5 days of the activation of their account. Once this is complete, you will receive a referral credit on your account within 14 days. You will only receive referral credit if your friend is approved for Access Wireless service.

You can refer as many friends as you like to Access Wireless. You will receive up to 1,000 FREE additional minutes for your friends (up to 10 referrals).
Am I eligible to participate in rewards programs with Access Wireless?
Yes!

Currently Access Wireless customers are eligible to participate in the FREE Wireless Rewards program when they shop at Kroger-owned stores. To participate:
  • Register Shopper's Card/Loyalty Card/Alternate ID/1-2-3 Rewards Visa with your Access Wireless account
  • For every 100 points earned from shopping in participating stores, a Wireless Reward of 20 FREE minutes will be added to your Access Wireless account

FREE Wireless Rewards are earned on qualifying purchases only. Food Stamp purchases may apply for loyalty rewards program. Restrictions do apply. The FREE Wireless Rewards program is not available in all locations, including Food4Less stores. For details on the FREE Wireless Rewards program, click here.

Contact Us

By Phone

New Customers: 1-888-900-5899
Existing Customers: 1-866-594-3644

Customer Care Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday: 8am - Midnight EST
Saturday: 9am - Midnight EST
Sunday: 10am - 7pm EST