Colorado Low Income Telephone Assistance Program.
All of the telephone companies that operate in Colorado are required to provide their customers the LITAP - Low Income Telephone Assistance Program. This federal government funded service offers monthly discounts on phone bills as well help with paying the deposit or set up fees on a new account. Some of the providers even take LITAP a step further and offer a free cell phone to new customers.
This program use to be run directly by the Department of Human Services in Colorado, however they have now passed this responsibility to the phone companies themselves. What this means for families is that if they want to apply for a discount on their cellular or home phone bills, they need to call a provider directly. Also, when speaking to representative about the discount, it is often referred to as Lifeline as well, so that is another key term to use.
LITAP is required to be offered by all telecommunication companies that operate in the state, whether they are a larger company like AT&T or Verizon or a smaller provider such as Safelink Wireless. There are terms and conditions that need to be met, but it is mandated across the state.
Other companies that participate in the Colorado Low Income Telephone Assistance Program include Sprint, T Mobile, Tracfone, CenturyLink, Qwest, Assurance, and others. Any company that someone is interested in doing business with needs to offer a discount to income qualified residents as per federal government laws that are set by the FCC.
The assistance is for low income families as well as those that receive some form of public aid. If a household participates in programs such as section 8, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or their child in the National School Lunch, then they can enroll as well.
Even if a family in Colorado has not applied to one of those entitlements, they may still be qualified for assistance on their phone bills based on their income. Monthly savings or help in setting up a new phone is also available from LITAP for very low income families in the state. This is offered so that the home can have access to some form of communication in an emergency.
There are restrictions in place as well. They include some or all of the following. However your phone company can always go over more details.
- Only one phone is allowed per household, whether that is a cellular or standard home phone/land-line.
- Applications are needed yearly, so the Low Income Telephone Assistance Program (LITAP) will only last for one year.
- Proof of income, benefits, residency, and more is needed. Any fraud will be persecuted by the state, and the customer will be legally responsible for repaying the government any assistance they were provided.
- If the households financial situation improves, they need to notify their phone company immediately to be reassessed.
While some companies, such as Assurance, will offer a free cell phone in many cases, this is not required in Colorado. A provider can adjust the program to offer what they want. However a discount does need to be provided in all cases. Beyond that, there is some flexibility allowed.
If a resident feels they are being unfairly denied financial help for their phone bills, only then should they contact the Colorado Department of Human Services. That phone number is 303-866-5700. They can review the status of the application and ensure that the telephone company is adhering to all rules and regulation. The state also works closely with the federal government FCC on regulating this program, as the funding does come from them.