The federal Lifeline Program is offering free smartphones and service to Wyoming residents who receive government assistance.

Justin Hinkley of Tempo Wireless, which participates in the program, says people who receive any sort of government assistance, ranging from Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps, section 8 housing assistance, free school lunches or similar federal programs are eligible.

Hinkley says to be eligible for the program people must provide a state-issued identification and proof of assistance, such as a SNAP card, Medicaid Card, award letter for a government program or similar documentation. He says the phones are a generic phone produced by Samsung, and they run on T-Mobile.

Recipients get 500 minutes a month talk time, unlimited texting and 500 megabytes of data a month. Hinkley says that while the Lifeline Program in recent years came to be known as the "Obama phone" program with the advent of smartphones and similar technology, it has actually been around for about 30 years.

According to the Wyoming Lifeline program website, EnTouch Wireless also offers the service in Wyoming.

Nemont Wireless does not offer free phones and service but does offer them at substantially reduced prices to those who qualify according to the website.

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