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How Low-Income Families Can Get A Free Laptop With EBT

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

In this modern age of digital connectivity, it is impossible even to imagine living without a laptop. A laptop has become more of a necessity than a luxury as it gives you a window into today's digital world, opening unlimited opportunities and access to almost any type of information. Whether you are looking for a job, working on a college assignment, planning a vacation, streaming videos, or researching a report for work, access to a laptop makes all the difference in the world. 

How To Get A Free Laptop With EBT

After the pandemic, laptops have become even more indispensable, with more and more people opting to work from their homes and the shift within companies from traditional in-house resources working under one roof to remote employees working with more flexibility and freedom. This paradigm shift is not limited to the changing workplace but has also impacted education in the form of virtual classrooms.

Unfortunately, even though laptops are center stage in this new technological transformation, many individuals are left behind just because they simply cannot afford a computer. This is where different government entities and private organizations step in to provide free government laptops to the people who need them in order to bridge this digital divide and give people the opportunities they need to get ahead in life.

The good news for SNAP (previously Food Stamps), TANF, Medicaid, and SSI assistance programs recipients is that they automatically fit the eligibility criteria to receive free broken laptops from nearly all programs in each state due to their low-income status. 

How To Get A Free Laptop With EBT?

The Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (previously called the Food Stamp Program) is one of the few government assistance programs that give cash benefits to its beneficiaries through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) to combat hunger and poverty and provide food security to its recipients. 

The money recipients receive directly impacts their health as they can use it to supplement their current diet with healthy foods. Most organizations offering free laptops for students and low-income individuals and households require them to be SNAP EBT participants to be eligible for free laptops. The fact that applicants are EBT recipients is a qualifying criterion as it establishes that they are low-income, under the national poverty level, and cannot afford a device.

The SNAP EBT participant or household needs to explain their financial situation when applying for a free laptop and how the gadget will help them improve their living conditions (for example, assisting them to obtain better education or perform their job). 

Since SNAP eligibility automatically establishes financial needs, the applicants who can demonstrate best how the laptop will help them are more likely to receive a free laptop. With SNAP, you are also eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which provides you a discount of $50 on your monthly internet bill and a one-time $100 assistance in the purchase of a laptop.

You do not need to pay application fees when applying for a free laptop. Just abide by the provider's eligibility requirements and apply online or mail in your application after downloading and printing the online application. The following are the required documents and information you need to provide at the time of application:

  • Identity documents (Driver's license or Social Security Card)
  • Address of your current residence
  • Proof/certificate of SNAP participation

Organizations That Offer Free Laptops

Organizations That Offer Free Laptops

As mentioned earlier, different organizations offer free laptops to low-income individuals and households. Most of these organizations are backed by donors and charity drives, but some of them have government support aimed at providing laptops to deserving people. Here are some organizations that give away free laptops:

Computers With Causes

Computers with Causes is an organization that provides free laptops to needy students, elderly people, children in foster homes and shelters, veterans, and military families. They have a strict qualification process with background checks to ensure that the laptops go to truly low-income people. Since they have no staff and depend on volunteers in their operations, you may have to wait weeks to be contacted after you apply. You can reapply after a month if you do not hear back from them.

PCs For People

PCs for People is another non-profit organization that relies on donations to provide refurbished laptops to deserving individuals and households. In addition to the laptops they give away for free, they also seek to provide free internet and technical support to the recipients. They also impart digital skills so people can maximize their potential opportunities while they use the free laptop. 

National Cristina Foundation

The National Cristina Foundation is next on our list of non-profits that provide modern technology to low-income people. The primary objective of the National Cristina Foundation is to provide technology and training to students and the disabled and help them become skilled and able to live independently. With offices located all over the U.S., they provide 20 hours of training to teach first-time users how to use their PCs for different things.

Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse (AFTRR)

Another non-profit organization, the Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse, procures old and discarded laptops from donors and charities, refurbishes them, and gives them away as free laptops to needy individuals and households. The AFTRR was created 30 years ago as part of the National Cristina Foundation with the objective of better utilizing technology grants by refurbishing used devices instead of getting new ones. If you are an EBT recipient, you can use your SNAP certificate to prove eligibility and participate in AFTRR's free laptop giveaways.

On It Foundation 

With a mission to extend technology opportunities to the people who lack them and bridge the vast digital divide between well-off people and the financially struggling citizens of the United States, the On It Foundation provides laptops to deserving and needy individuals. On top of the free laptops they give away, they also provide 20 hours of training in the use of the internet and free laptop repairs for low-income families and students. Parents whose child is enrolled in a free/low-price lunch at school are also eligible to receive a free laptop from the On It Foundation.

If you are interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation, read our article on how low-income families can receive free tablets

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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