7/12/13 Update: Effective June 1, 2013, the Colorado state legislature repealed Colorado’s Low Income Telephone Assistance Program. The Colorado Department of Human Services no longer accepts applications. To apply for the Lifeline program, you must contact the phone service provider directly.
As of this writing (June 2011), Colorado residents cannot take advantage of the free government cell phone programs as offered through Assurance Wireless, SafeLink Wireless or ReachOut Wireless. Back in 2009, TracFone (the company behind SafeLink Wireless), submitted a proposal to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to provide free cell phones to qualified low-income residents (read this July, 2009 article in the Denver Post). Apparently, the proposal was either rejected or still in the works because it’s now 2011 and still there are no approved free cell phone programs in Colorado.
Alternative to Free Government Phones
Qualified Colorado residents may not be able to take advantage of the free government cell phone program (yet), but they can enjoy discounted home phone service. Because of the federal Lifeline/Link-Up program, the state of Colorado offers a program called Low Income Telephone Assistance Program (LITAP).
Through LITAP, residents can save anywhere from $9.70 a month (offered by Rye Telephone Company) up to $18.98 a month (through South Park Telephone). The discounts apply to basic monthly service charges. To find out how much of a discount your phone company offers, go to LifelineSupport.org and select Colorado from the US map.
LifelineSupport.org is co-administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). They provide a listing of participating phone service providers and their monthly discounts. If your current phone company isn’t listed on the USAC website, give your phone company a call to see if they participate in the Lifeline program. Also, find out how much of a discount they offer. Not all Colorado phone service providers participate in the Lifeline program.
Qualifying for LITAP
If your home phone company participates in LITAP and you receive assistance from one of the following programs, you are eligible for Low-Income Telephone Assistance:
- Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND)
- Aid to the Blind (AB)
- Colorado Works/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
- Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
- Old Age Pension benefits (OAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Applying for Discounted Phone Service in Colorado
To apply for discounted service call the Colorado Department of Human Services (800-782-0721) and speak to a representative who can process your application. Or, you can download, print and complete the application and fax it to 303-861-0275. If you have access to a scanner you can scan the application and email the application to firstname.lastname@example.org.