Note: This page is intended for AmeriCorps State members serving in Colorado. Some of the resources outlined below may apply to other types of AmeriCorps members.
As an AmeriCorps member, there are a host of resources that can assist you during your service year. Below are some frequently asked questions. If you still have questions, please contact your site supervisor/program director, Serve Colorado at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, depending on the topic, the National Service Hotline at (800) 942-2677.
- Are there other members serving near me?
You can find other service locations for Serve Colorado's programs on our program map. Feel free to reach out to the program director for service locations near you.
- How do I put my loans into forbearance?
Most federally-guaranteed student loans are eligible for forbearance. If your loan does not qualify for forbearance based on your AmeriCorps service, you may be eligible for another type of deferment or forbearance. Contact your loan holder to determine eligibility and options. If your loan is in default, it may not be eligible for forbearance. You can apply for forbearance using your My AmeriCorps account (click here). Click here for more information.
- Does AmeriCorps service qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program or Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan?
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSFL) program offers forgiveness for outstanding Federal Direct loans for those who make 120 qualifying payments after October 1, 2007, while working full-time in a "public service" job as defined in the Act. As such, full-time AmeriCorps service counts as a public-service job according to the legislation, so if you are making loan repayments while serving, these could count towards your future loan forgiveness. Click here for more information on this program.
The Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan helps to make repaying education loans more affordable for low-income borrowers. Click here for more information on this plan.
- Am I eligible for public benefits like food stamps?
Due to the modest living allowance, many members may be eligible for income-based public assistance programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps. Your eligibility depends on your individual family and financial situation, as well as the type of AmeriCorps program you're serving in. The Colorado PEAK system is for medical, food, and cash assistance. Click here to access the system.
- Am I eligible for healthcare?
AmeriCorps State members that are serving full-time are eligible to receive health insurance through your program. These health plans must meet certain basic requirements, but the details vary depending on the provider. If you don't know your healthcare provider's information, contact your program director.
Members serving through Serve Colorado will be eligible for confidential counseling and a referral service starting in August 2019. Additional information to follow.
- Am I eligible for childcare assistance?
Full-time members may be eligible to receive assistance with the costs of childcare for children under age 13 or other eligible dependents. Please check with your program director to see if you are an eligible member. Interested and eligible members should click here or call (855) 866-0687 for more information on this program.
An additional resource is the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). It provides child care assistance to those who are working, searching for employment, or are in training. Eligibility requirements are set by the county, but the maximum family household income must not a) exceed 165% of the federal poverty index or b) be more than 85% of the state median income. Apply through Colorado PEAK or by paper at the local human services office. Click here to access the system, click here for more information on this program.
- It's cold in winter! Are there any programs that can help pay heating costs?
The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a federally funded program that helps eligible Coloradans pay a portion of their winter home heating costs (between November-April). Payments are usually made directly to energy suppliers. The maximum family household income must not exceed 165% of the federal poverty index. You can apply through Colorado PEAK or by paper at the county LEAP office. Click here to access the system, click here for more information on this program.
- I'm behind in my energy bills and I'm at risk of not having home energy. Are there any programs that can help me?
Energy Outreach Colorado provides bill payment assistance to households that are behind in their energy bills and are at risk of not having home energy. Payments are made directly to the local utility or fuel company. This assistance is provided through local resource centers, faith-based organizations, healthcare providers, and social services agencies. The maximum family household income must not exceed 80% of the area median income. Click here for more information on this program.
- Are there resources to help me file my taxes?
IRS Free File Software is a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a group of industry-leading private-sector tax preparation companies that have agreed to provide free commercial online tax preparation and electronic filing. Free File Software is available for those with an income of $66,000 or less, free Fillable Forms if your income is greater than $66,000. All providers offer free federal returns, and some providers offer free state returns too. Click here for more information on this program.