Every person deserves a computer to carry out various activities. Even though a smartphone can carry out various tasks, a computer does more. A laptop is a portable computer you can carry from one point to another and has a rechargeable battery that you can charge and use without electricity. I will show you how you can get free laptops for senior citizens shortly.
Most seniors need laptops to work from their houses and entertain themselves by playing games and watching videos. However, the majority cannot afford them because of financial challenges. The elderly has no energy to work and thus find it difficult to get funds. Therefore, they must depend on their loved ones to help them where necessary. When their family members are also financially challenged, they can find it difficult to survive.
The government and numerous non-governmental organizations understand the plight undergone by older adults. They have programs that allow such citizens to benefit from aid from the government. Usually, most of them are monetary, whereby you get money to purchase the essential things. For example, the Supplemental Security Income helps the elderly and the disabled with money to buy food, clothing, and shelter.
How to get free laptops for senior citizens
If you are a senior citizen looking for a free laptop, you have come to the right place as there are ways you can get a free laptop from the government and NGOs. They include the following.
1) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The Affordable Connectivity Program replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit, helping people affected by COVID’19 access cheap broadband. When COVID’19 was over, the government did away with the service. However, Congress saw the need to continue helping the less privileged access affordable internet connectivity through ACP.
The Affordable Connectivity Program allows you to get a free computer when you pay a small amount. It is an FCC benefit program that helps households afford the broadband they need for work, healthcare, school, and more.
The benefit offers a discount of up to $30 monthly toward internet service for qualifying households and up to $75 monthly for households on eligible Tribal lands. Qualifying households can get a one-time discount of at most $100 to buy a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer from the participating service providers if they contribute at most $10 and less than $50 toward the buying price.
If you are a senior and can contribute that amount, you can get a ACP laptop. That is almost free since you pay so little that you do not need to contribute much. The benefits program is limited to a single monthly service discount plus one device discount per household.
Who qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program
It is essential to know that not every senior qualifies for the ACP program. A household qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the total income is 200% or below as per the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Most seniors can qualify by income. Also, you may qualify if a member of the household meets one or more of the criteria below:
- Received a Federal Pell Grant within the current award year;
- Meets the qualification criteria for a participating service provider’s existing low-income internet program;
Also, you can qualify if you or a member of your household participates in any of the following assistance programs:
- The National School Lunch Program
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- The School Breakfast Program
- Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
You may also qualify if you participate in any of the following assistance programs and resides on the eligible Tribal lands:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance live
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Head Start (income-based)
- Tribal TANF
By the way, you can qualify for the program with only one benefit program. For example, people can qualify for free laptops with Food Stamps or any other eligible benefit program. Food Stamps is now SNAP, and you should not be confused between the two.
How to apply for the ACP
You can apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program when you visit Affordable Connectivity website and submit your application. You can also print out a mail-in application and send it via the relevant mail. After that, you can contact your preferred service provider and have the discount applied to your monthly bill.
Also, you can apply via the service provider of your choice and then apply for the discount to purchase a laptop right from your provider’s website. Your provider will then direct you on the amount you must pay to receive your device subsidy.
2) Apply for a free laptop from NGOs
Various non-governmental organizations allow you to apply for a free computer as long as you are needy. They include the following.
3) Microsoft Registered Refurbishers
Microsoft Registered Refurbishers is a non-governmental organization that offers free laptops for low-income families. You can look in your phone directory to get the contacts of the Microsoft Registered Refurbishers and enquire about free laptop for seniors citizens. Also, you can search the worldwide Microsoft Refurbisher Directory to get the registered computer refurbishers in your location to apply for a device.
Microsoft sponsors the recycling program to issue free or low-cost computers to people who require them. Microsoft partners with the refurbishers to reduce technology parts waste on the environment while helping “bridge the digital divide.”
4) Computers With Causes
Computers with Causes is another donation program offering free refurbished computers for educational enterprises and needy individuals. To get a free laptop from the organization, you must submit the application form online by filling out the necessary details. You can use your phone or go to the nearest library to carry out the process.
5) Smart Riverside
Suppose you reside in Riverside, California, and your total household income is at most $45,000. In that case, you can contact Smart Riverside Digital Inclusion Program to get a free laptop. The program is a government-sponsored nonprofit agency that provides free computers for low-income families. If you want a free computer from the organization, you must take eight hours of computer training.
6) Free Geek
If you can volunteer with Free Geek, located in Portland, Oregon, then you can take a computer home. Free Geek is an NGO that refurbishes computers and gives them for free to schools and community agencies. If you volunteer to work for a short period with them, you can get a free computer. Also, you can build it in the organization’s quarters and take it home.
Goodwill Industries partners with Dell to recycle donated computers. You can contact your local Goodwill store or visit them to find out how you can get a free computer refurbished for reuse.
8) Check from the local repair centers
Some computer repairs may be willing to give refurbished computers for free to needy persons. If you are a senior looking for a free laptop, you may look for one from such shops and benefit from various things a computer can do.
9) School and organizations’ Computer Upgrades
You may get a free laptop from the nearest school or organization discarding old computers if you request one. Usually, the institutions take the computers to the non-governmental organizations that repair and donate them to the needy families in the country.
10) Get a free laptop from a friend or relative
We still have good people who can offer free laptops when we request them. If you have an able relative such as your child, brother, uncle, and so on, you can take that advantage and request a laptop from them. Those will likely purchase you a new one to ensure you benefit maximum. Friends can also help with the devices they no longer use when you request them for one.
11) Senior community centers
Various Senior community centers provide support services for seniors. The centers offer many benefits to the elderly, including computer classes. You can request a laptop from the members, and you may be lucky to get one.
How to get discounted computers
I discussed the Affordable Connectivity Program and how you can get a discounted laptop from the program. We still have other ways where you can get discounted devices and pay the small amount you have. They are good options if you don’t qualify for a free computer.
If you are an AARP member, you can always check their technology deals for members since they occasionally offer discounts. The deals can vary from one location to the other. If you are a member of AAA, you can receive a 10% discount on Dell computers irrespective of age.
Other places you can get discounts are online shops (e.g., Amazon, eBay, and Walmart) and computer outlets. You can always request a discount when buying a computer at a shop.
A laptop computer is a vital device that allows you to carry out various activities. Everybody needs a computer to work, learn, or entertain themselves. Seniors usually get challenges acquiring the devices since most do not have adequate energy to work and get money for the devices. Governmental and non-governmental programs can assist the needy in getting free laptops.