scroll top

4 ways for low-income families to get a free iPad or free tablet

We earn commissions for transactions made through links in this post. Here's more on how we make money.

Whether you need a free tablet for work, school, or play, there are places where low-income families can get one. 

In this post, we’ll show you how to find legit sources for free iPads and give tips to help you avoid free iPad scams:

Is there any way to get a free iPad?

Yes, there are lots of ways to get a free iPad, including from government programs and agencies, wireless companies, nonprofits, and schools. 

Legit programs will often:

  • Have strict eligibility requirements
  • Have limited quantities
  • Require proof of identity and other documentation

But be careful. If you’re required to share personal information such as your social security number, bank account information, or date of birth in exchange for a free iPad, use caution.

Scammers claim to offer free iPads to steal data or take advantage of individuals who are eager to get one.

Beware of free iPad scams

Unfortunately there are many free iPad scams online. So, how do you spot a scam? 

Pay attention to the details of the offer and ask yourself:

  • Is it coming from a reputable company or government website?
  • What does the fine print say?
  • What do I have to give up or divulge to get the free iPad?

A general rule of thumb: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if you have to pay money to get an advertised free iPad — even with the promise of having the money returned to you — then it’s not free.

Here are some telltale signs to look for:

  • Pop-up ads: Don’t click on flashy ads that pop up when you are online with words like: “Win a new iPad Pro” or “Congratulations you won a free iPad!” 
  • Email addresses you don’t recognize: Be wary of opening emails from unknown senders with the subject line “Free iPad”
  • Website address is spelled differently: If the online offer claims to be from a well-known store like Walmart but instead of taking you to, the website URL is either completely or slightly different (i.e.,, etc.) 
  • News story about the offer: Some scammers use logos from news outlets to try to add credibility to their offers, but the web address is not the official news source’s web address
  • Misspelled words, poor grammar, or hype language: Be wary of offers that use incorrect spelling, all capital letters, or words like crazy
  • Requesting personal information: Beware if the online offer asks for personal or sensitive information, such as your social security number      
  • Requires credit card information: Be careful of “just pay shipping” offers or offers that require you to make a purchase or buy a subscription to get an iPad

Overall, be careful where you click. Sometimes just clicking on a scammer’s ad or link can introduce malware or a virus to your laptop or smartphone. 

Check out these Reddit posts from people who came across free iPad scams: 

Government programs: Can you get a free iPad or tablet from the government?

While the government does not offer free iPads, if you have a low income, you may be able to get a reduced-cost tablet from a government program like Lifeline or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). However, it may not necessarily be an Apple iPad.

Affordable Connectivity Program

The ACP is an FCC benefit program that provides a discount of up to $30 per month on internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands1.

ACP households can also get a discount of up to $100 on a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from select providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the device.

You may qualify for the ACP if you meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • Household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines2
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income internet program
  • Participates in Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, or a Federal Housing Assistance program

Lifeline Program

Lifeline is another FCC program that provides low-income families with discounts on phone and internet services from participating providers. Lifeline participants can get up to a $9.25 monthly discount on service or $34.25 per month for those on Tribal lands3.

Eligible families have an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in one of the government programs noted above.

Some wireless providers that work with Lifeline and offer discounted iPads or tablets include:

  • Easy Wireless – 8-inch tablet for $10.99, but tablets options and pricing may vary by state and availability
  • StandUp Wireless – 10-inch tablet for a co-pay of at least $10.01
  • QLink – Tablet for $10.01 and it comes with a free smartphone for eligible customers
  • Cintex Wireless – iPad Mini for a co-pay of $10.01
  • Verizon Wireless
  • AT&T
  • TruConnect

Learn more about how to get free wifi or a free laptop.

Does the government give free iPads?

No — the government does not give away free iPads, though you may be able to get one at a low cost if you qualify for certain government programs. 

For example, Cintex Wireless offers an iPad Mini for a co-pay of $10.01 through the ACP program to low-income applicants who receive government benefits like Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, WIC, or Section 8 vouchers. However, quantities are limited.

Call the United Way’s at 2-1-1 or visit to find programs in your area.

Veterans Affairs telehealth program offers eligible veterans free iPads

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) collaborates with Apple to lend iPads to veterans who previously weren’t able to attend telehealth appointments due to a lack of internet or an internet-connected device. 

The iPads have cellular service so that veterans can access virtual health care services even if they don't have internet access.

To determine your eligibility for a free iPad, you will need a VA Digital Divide Consult, which you can schedule by contacting your local VA.

Can you get a free tablet with Medicaid?

If you are eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to get a tablet for as little as $10 through the Lifeline or ACP programs. 

Likewise, in some states, you may be able to secure a voucher for a free iPad through your local Medicaid office if the tablet is medically important to your health and you cannot afford to buy one.

For example: 

  • If your child has a limited ability to speak and must use an iPad to communicate
  • If an iPad will allow your child to participate in a Free and Public Education (FAPE)                                         

Talk to your Medicaid caseworker to learn more about how to apply for an assistive technology device.

Does the government give away free tablets with EBT cards or food stamps?

No, the government does not give away free tablets if you have an EBT card and receive SNAP benefits. However, if you receive SNAP and other benefits like WIC or SSI, you may be eligible for Lifeline or ACP, which provide low-cost tablets to eligible families. 

Local government agencies sometimes offer free iPads

Some local government agencies offer programs for free or discounted iPads, including free ipads for students. 

For example, in 2022, the California Department of Aging4 collaborated with local health and human service agencies to provide free iPads to adults over 60 and those with disabilities who had no devices to access the internet.

Cell phone companies: Check mobile carriers for reduced or free iPads and tablets

Thinking about switching mobile carriers? Sometimes, you can get a free or reduced-price iPad or tablet just for transferring to a new provider or even adding a new line on your existing account. You may also be able to get a free phone.

For example, AT&T offers 50% off a Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite when you activate a new eligible line of service (min $20/mo)5. You have to pay the full price of the device upfront, then you’ll receive up to $100 in bill credits over the term of the agreement. 

Verizon offers up to $180 off an Apple iPad (10th generation) when you trade in a qualifying device6

Check with providers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T to get access to the latest Apple and Android tablets.

Non-profit organizations offering free iPads and tablets

Reach out to nonprofits in your area to find out if there are programs that offer free iPads and tablets.

For example, the Wayne County Committee for Crippled Children and Adults7 in Wooster, Ohio, gives free iPads to people who are nonverbal or experience development delays that make it hard to communicate without assistive technology.

To find resources near you, contact your local United Way by dialing 2-1-1. 

Schools offering free tablets and iPads

Some colleges and universities offer free tablets or iPads for students, including:

  • The University of Kentucky8
  • Delaware State University9
  • Moravian University10

These are just a few schools that offer free iPads to students. To find out if your prospective school offers free iPads, contact the office of the registrar.

Bottom line: Free iPads are out there, but you have to know where to look

Free iPads are available for people who need them, but it’s easy to fall for iPad scams.  Stick with reputable sources, including:

  • Government programs like Lifeline and ACP 
  • Government agencies
  • State departments of social service
  • K-12 and postsecondary schools
  • Nonprofits
  • Wireless and internet providers
  • Health insurers 
  • Medicaid

You may have to meet certain eligibility requirements to get a free or discounted iPad or tablet.

Check out these other resources for low-income families:

Help for single moms: 16+ resources$500 monthly single mom grant
10+ charities that help single mothersGovernment assistance for single moms
Low-income home loansFree toys
Free gift cardsFree Christmas money
Free money for billsFree car repairs
Free home repairsFree baby stuff
Free car seats


  1. “Affordable Connectivity Program” 2023. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. “HHS Poverty Guidelines for 2023.” January 19, 2023. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
  3. “Lifeline Support for Affordable Communications” 2023. Federal Communications Commission.
  4. “Disabled adults and adults 60+ may be eligible for free iPad in Shasta County.” October 17, 2022. KRCR.
  5. AT&T.
  6. Verizon.
  7. Wayne County Committee for Crippled Children & Adults.
  8. “iPad Initiative.” University of Kentucky Smart Campus.
  9. “Digital Student Universe.” Delaware State University.
  10. “Apple Technology at Moravian.” Moravian University.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Robyn Evans is focused on helping women make healthy choices for body, mind and soul through her award-winning articles and three books. Robyn is a former feature writer for The Carroll County Times and has written for Club Thrifty
and The Baltimore Sun. She’s a grateful bonus mom to a photographer son and activist daughter and works with young writers through the nonprofit Youth Writers Challenge.

Robyn's website | Robyn's LinkedIn profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *