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How to get a free iPad with EBT?

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  • 4 min read

The US federal government has various schemes designed to benefit low-income people and households. Based on their income, some of these schemes provide individuals with subsidized monthly essentials and a one-time free electronic device like an iPad.

This article details the programs, their eligibility and the steps to avail a free iPad.

What is EBT?

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is a payment system through which beneficiaries of certain federal programs can avail essential goods and resources at a subsidized rate.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is USA’s federal program aimed at helping low-income households afford a monthly supply of nutritious food. Eligibility criteria for SNAP include having a gross monthly income below 130% of the Federal Poverty Line and a few other criteria, such as the household’s asset value must fall below the limit the government or state sets.

To apply to SNAP, individuals can visit their local SNAP office, mail their application or apply online. They must provide documents related to identity, income, assets, immigration status, etc.

If the household or individual is deemed eligible, they receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card filled with monthly benefits.

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)

The EBT program issues an electronic card to SNAP beneficiaries and participants of other government assistance programs to provide discounted pricing on essential goods like groceries.

EBT is a plastic card with a magnetic strip and a PIN, similar to a credit or debit card. The card is linked to an account created by the state-appointed EBT contractor, where the monthly SNAP benefits are deposited. The EBT card’s benefits can be used at retail stores participating in the EBT program, ATMs, and point-of-sale (POS) terminals at stores.

Can you get a free iPad with EBT?

Although beneficiaries cannot get a free iPad through EBT alone, they can apply to programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Lifeline that issue discounted or free electronic devices, including an iPad, to EBT card holders.

Availing a free iPad through Programs

Some federal programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program (APC) and Lifeline offer free or discounted electronic devices to EBT cardholders.

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was started by the US government in 2021 to help low-income households with discounted internet and broadband connectivity access. Users must be enrolled in the program to avail of the free or discounted device through ACP. ACP closed applications as of February 7th, 2024.

If you are already enrolled in the program, you can opt for the one-time free or discounted device up to $100 per household.

If you missed the deadline to enrol, explore the Lifeline program.

Also read: How to get free 5G government phones in USA?


A federal program similar to ACP, Lifeline is created to provide affordable access to phone and internet services for low-income households in the US. With Lifeline, beneficiaries can avail of a monthly discount of up to $9.25. The eligibility criteria vary from state to state. Still, overall, the household income should be 135% or less than the Federal Poverty Line or you should be enrolled in Federal Assistance Programs like SNAP.

If your broadband or telecommunication operator participates in the Lifeline or ACP program, you can ask them for assistance obtaining a discounted or free iPad. Participating companies include AT&T, AirTalk Wireless, SafeLink Wireless and Standup Wireless.

You can apply to the Lifeline program through your preferred broadband or telecommunication operator to receive discounted devices.

How to get a free iPad?

The steps may vary depending on the program you choose. The below section outlines the general steps required to obtain a discounted or free iPad if you are an EBT card holder:

  • Step 1: Enroll yourself into a program like SNAP that offers the EBT card.
  • Step 2: Identify federal programs like ACP and Lifeline that provide discounted or free electronic devices to participants who fit their eligibility criteria.
  • Step 3: Review the eligibility criteria and collate all necessary legal documents to support your eligibility.
  • Step 4: Apply to the identified program and select your preferred broadband carrier. Alternatively, you can directly check with your broadband carrier about how to avail a free iPad.
  • Step 5: On their website, select the iPad you want (choices may be limited and subject to availability), apply for the iPad and pay the minimal copay cost if required.

Also read: How to get a free laptop with EBT?

Vanashree Chowdhury

Being a tech enthusiast, Vanashree enjoys writing about technology and cybersecurity. She is a designer and marketer by profession and is deeply passionate about working on campaigns for social issues. You can contact her here:

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