How to Get a Free iPad with Food Stamps or EBT (2024 Guide)

Two beautiful little sisters sit at a table and play on a Tablet PC.

How to Get a Free iPad with Food Stamps or EBT (2024 Guide)

Key Points

  • Low-income individuals who receive SNAP benefits or EBT may be eligible for a free iPad through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
  • The ACP offers monthly internet service discounts, enhanced benefits for Tribal lands, and device discounts of up to $100.
  • To qualify for the ACP, households must meet specific income eligibility criteria based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • After qualifying for the ACP, individuals can choose from different iPad models, including the Standard iPad, iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPad mini.

If you’re one of the 41.9 million US citizens on food stamps or EBT, here’s some exciting news: you may be eligible for a free iPad.

In April 2023, researchers found that 12.5% of Americans, or 41.9 million people, receive SNAP benefits or EBT. With inflation surging and the cost of living increasing, experts say that number will continue to rise. Those drastic statistics show many people across the United States could use resources, like a free iPad, to stay connected with loved ones, schedule appointments, shop online, and search for jobs that would improve their living situations. 

Thanks to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), resources are available to assist food stamps, EBT recipients, and other marginalized people in getting free or low-cost iPads, tablets, laptops, and discounted internet services. However, there are a few steps you’ll need to complete and some additional programs you’ll need to qualify for before you start. 

That’s why we’ve written a complete guide with everything you need to get a free or reduced-cost iPad.

Programs for Free iPads

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Owning an iPad isn’t just about entertainment; it’s also a crucial link to our community.

While the EBT and SNAP programs themselves don’t give away free iPads to recipients, there are specific government initiatives and nonprofit organizations that assist low-income individuals, including technology-related programs. These resources may help you obtain a free or heavily discounted iPad. Let’s take a look at these programs:

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a helpful resource for low-income households who need affordable internet access for work, schooling, healthcare, and more. 

Launched by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2021 as a response to Americans struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program offers several benefits:

1. Monthly Internet Service Discount

Individuals who qualify can receive a discount of up to $30 per month toward their internet service. The FCC provides this reduction in the monthly internet bill in hopes it eases the financial burden of staying connected.

2. Enhanced Benefit for Tribal Lands

For families on Tribal lands, like state Reservations and restricted status lands, the program provides a more significant monthly discount of up to $75. The boosted benefit honors the unique challenges faced by Native American communities.

3. Device Discount

Eligible households can access an allowance of up to $100 to purchase either computer or tablet from participating retailers. To get the discount, individuals need to pay between $10 and $50 toward the device’s purchase price. Some stores work around this by offering a rebate towards the amount you put towards the device, making it a completely free tablet.

4. One Discount per Household

The ACP limits each address to one monthly service discount and one device discount, even if multiple people within the household qualify for the discounted services or free iPads. However, this still gives a valuable opportunity to obtain a free or heavily discounted iPad.

Who Qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

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Are you among the significant number of Americans eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

Many Americans struggle to afford reliable internet connectivity, which is why the Affordable Connectivity Program exists. However, to receive a free iPad, households must meet specific criteria. Programs implement these measures to ensure that everyone who needs help can benefit from these services.

Income Eligibility

To qualify for the ACP, the total household income must be 200% or a lesser percentage of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This income threshold ensures that those with limited financial means can access affordable internet services and devices. The table below shows the salary requirements breakdown to receive assistance different family sizes:

Household SizeAnnual Household Salary Requirements (Contiguous States, D.C., and Territories)AlaskaHawaii
For each additional person, add:$10,280$12,860$11,820
Source: Affordable Connectivity’s Website

Federal Pell Grant Recipient

You will likely qualify for the ACP if you received a Federal Pell Grant this year. Pell Grants help undergraduate students with exceptional financial need.

Current Participation in Assistance Programs

You’ll likely qualify for ACP if you participate in one of several assistance programs. These programs include SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Medicaid, and Federal Housing Assistance.

Participation in Assistance Programs on Qualifying Tribal Lands

Those living on Tribal lands or are members of particular Native American tribes qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. This recognition of Tribal lands ensures equitable access to essential resources.

How to Apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

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Applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program is fast and easy, with quick eligibility confirmation.

To apply for the ACP and potentially receive your free iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the ACP Program Website: Start at the Affordable Connectivity Program website, where you’ll begin the application.
  2. Start the Application: Find and click the “Apply Now” button on the ACP Program website. This action will begin your application process.
  3. Create an Account: Follow the prompts to create an account. If you already have an account, log in. This account will serve as your portal to the program’s benefits.
  4. Enter Your Contact and Household Information: Provide the required contact information and household details as requested. Fill out the form as accurately as possible. This is the step that will ensure eligibility.
  5. Select Program Options: Choose the “Lifeline & Affordable Connectivity Program” option. This choice aligns your application with the specific program benefits you’re seeking.
  6. Select Your Preferred Device: Pick the “Eligible Device” option. Then, you should see a list of eligible tablets available through the ACP.
  7. Choose Apple iPad: Select the “Apple iPad” as your preferred eligible device. This is where you’ll be able to select your iPad.
  8. Submit Your Application: Finally, review your information carefully. When you’re finished, submit your application.
  9. Get Your Tablet: After submitting your application, contact a participating provider. You can then get your free iPad and have the Affordable Connectivity Program discount applied to your bill.

Free iPad Models Available

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Selecting the ideal iPad is crucial, as each model serves distinct purposes.

After you’ve qualified for the Affordable Connectivity Program and have verified your eligibility to receive a free iPad or tablet, it’s time to explore the array of models available today. Here are the different models to consider:

iPad ModelDescription
Standard iPadAn excellent entry-level option suitable for various daily tasks. It offers a well-balanced tablet experience, making functions like emailing and video streaming effortless with a comfortable user interface.
iPad AirProvides enhanced performance, featuring significantly boosted processing power. With its high-resolution display, the iPad Air is ideal for productivity-oriented tasks, creative endeavors like graphic design and video editing, and running resource-intensive apps.
iPad ProGeared with a powerful processor, a stunning Liquid Retina XDR display, and compatibility with accessories like the Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro targets professionals and creatives. It excels in tasks such as 3D rendering, multitasking, and content creation.
iPad miniA compact and portable option, perfect for on-the-go use. The iPad mini’s small form factor is highly convenient for reading e-books, taking quick notes, and serving as a travel-friendly companion.

Each of the iPad models above are great options. Still, each has its best use cases; some might be better suited to your needs. Consider factors like screen size, processing power, and accessory compatibility. These details may impact the device’s cost (determining if it’s covered under the ACP) and its overall performance.

Still need help deciding? That’s okay. Be bold and ask the store associate, as they know each tablet’s features and can help you gauge which is best for you.

Wrap up

Happy senior couple using digital tablet for video conference and waving hand. Old man and smiling wife using digital tablet for video call with nephews or friends.
Using an iPad can help you stay connected with loved ones.

By taking the step to apply for the ACP, you’re not only ensuring affordable internet connectivity but also getting a free iPad. This device is more than just a gadget; it’s an empowerment tool for daily life. Owning a tablet keeps you connected to your community, helps you manage your daily tasks, and allows you to access essential resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for a free iPad?

Eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), the program that provides the tablets,  is primarily based on income. You may qualify if your household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Additionally, participation in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP or Medicaid, can also make you eligible. You can check your eligibility by visiting the ACP Program website and reviewing the criteria provided.

How do I get my free iPad?

If you’re on EBT or SNAP, you can get your free iPad by applying to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Applying for the ACP is a straightforward process. Follow the prompts and submit your application online.

Which iPad models can I get?

The program may offer various iPad models depending on availability. These models can include the standard iPad, iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPad mini. The specific model you receive may vary, but all are capable of essential tasks like internet browsing, email, and video streaming.

Is the iPad really free?

Eligible households can get a free iPad or tablet when they apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). However, there may be a small payment required, typically between $10 and $50, to help cover the tablet’s cost. This is a one-time payment.

Do I need to pay a monthly fee to get my free iPad?

The ACP program primarily provides a monthly discount on internet service, but it also offers a one-time discount on a tablet. While there is a monthly service discount for internet access, obtaining the tablet does not obligate you to a monthly service commitment.

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