How To Get Free Government Tablets (For Low-Income Families & Single Moms)

Families with low incomes have experienced many barriers to having critical information available to them. Information and technology can help open the door for low-income families to have greater opportunities presented to them and make a significant difference in their lives. 

While a tablet may seem like a simple tool for many people, for some, having access to a tablet can open a whole new world of possibilities, one issue is that most tablets can be pricer]y, and can make buying one seems like a pipe dream. Despite the average tablet having a hefty price tag, there are government-sponsored programs that can make getting a tablet much easier for low-income families and single moms.

If you’re interested in getting a tablet, but need additional help, here are some ways you can get a tablet from the government for free, as well as the qualifications for government programs that can assist you.

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Why Technology Can Be Difficult to Afford

Families below the poverty line must be careful about how and where they spend money, often sacrificing one necessity to pay for another. As a result, the price points can keep critical technology out of reach for many families. The average price for a tablet can range between $200 and $400, and while this may seem like a common price point for some people, spending this amount of money can mean sacrificing payment in another area.

How you wish to use your tablet determines what software or hardware it needs, thereby driving up the price. For instance, the size of the tablet, its processing speed, its storage, and the brand all play a role in how much it costs. Depending on the company that produces the tablet, some devices can cost up to $1000, which is not feasible for low-income families.

How the Digital Divide Affects Low-Income Families

It is a surprise to many people to learn that low-income families rely solely on their smartphones to access the internet. One study suggests that 27% of households that earn less than $30,000 have no internet connection in the home.

Not having an internet connection in the home can make it difficult to accomplish tasks such as

  • Completing homework
  • Maintaining a remote job      
  • Keeping up with crucial updates
  • Finding better employment opportunities

When this happens, it can further widen the information gap between struggling families and affluent ones and keep essential opportunities out of reach.

Also, families in disadvantaged situations must often make difficult financial choices. For instance, some families may have to opt for keeping their electric bill up to date instead of paying for internet services because there is simply not enough income to go around. As a result, some families view owning a tablet as a luxury they cannot afford rather than as a necessity, even though owning one could help make some things in their lives a bit easier.

The Computer Technology Assistance Corps

Low-income families must rely on resourceful strategies to get access to necessities that high prices often keep out of reach. One group that helps struggling families get access to crucial technology is the Computer Technology Assistance Corps. This group takes refurbished tablet donations and gifts them to families in need. This program serves the New  Hampshire area and has helped hundreds of people get the vital technology they need.

Computers For Learning

Another program that can help bridge the technology gap for needy families is Computers For Learning.  Computers For Learning is a government-sponsored program that serves families in wide-ranging areas, including 

  • The United States
  • Virgin Islands
  • American Samoa
  • And Puerto Rico

Computers for Learning helps families by collaborating with schools and other non-profit organizations to help get digital products to the families who need them the most.

The On It Foundation

The On It Foundation provides many Florida residents with the necessary resources to access technology for learning. They provide STEM education students with refurbished computers to help students stay on track toward their academic goals. 

The On It Foundation also provides families 20 hours of computer training as an extra resource, so they can rest assured that they will have the technology they need and the skillset to use it.

The Lifeline Program

The Lifeline Program is a resource that offers families a resource to get connected to the internet and can also open the door to getting accessible technology. The Lifeline Program helps families by providing affordable internet services and works with other programs, such as the Affordable Connectivity Program, to help get families the technology they need.

Some of the qualifications for the program include

  • Having Section-8 Housing
  • Being enrolled in WIC
  • Having food assistance
  • Enrollment in Medicaid


Human-I-T is a non-profit that specializes in helping low-income families get the technology they need and get the training they need to use them effectively. Human-I-T aims to help more than 100 million families who don’t have access to the internet or a computer by providing essential devices and internet connectivity at affordable costs.

How to Apply For Government Tablet Programs

The application process for most government tablet programs is contingent upon proof of income to verify the need. How you can apply for your free tablet depends on the organization you reach out to. But applicants must be enrolled in other government-sponsored programs, such as 

  • Being enrolled in free/reduced school lunch
  • Having Medicaid
  • WIC
  • Being enrolled in SNAP
  • SSI
  • Receiving unemployment benefits

The Last Word On Free Tablets

Many families struggle to meet their basic needs and must make difficult financial choices. For some, covering the needs of food, shelter, and utilities outweigh the benefits of having reliable technology available. But technology opens a world of opportunities to those who can access it.

Non-profit organizations have stepped up to the plate to help bridge the technology gap between low-income families and families with greater financial stability.

Now more resources are available to help you participate in the digital age and explore opportunities that have long been out of reach.

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