Benefits Program

All Goverment Program benefits and Application form, income limits, documents etc.
All Goverment Program benefits and Application form, income limits, documents etc.
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Colorado Food Assistance Program Benefits

The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides food benefits, access to a healthy diet, and education on food preparation and nutrition to low-income households. Recipients spend their benefits (provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card) to buy eligible food in authorized retail food stores.

SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits. SNAP is the federal name for the program. The Colorado program is known as the Colorado Food Assistance Program. 

Purpose of the Colorado Food Assistance Program

The Colorado Food Assistance Program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), serves several important purposes to address the nutritional needs of low-income individuals and families in the state. The primary goals and purposes of the program include:

  • Alleviating Hunger: The fundamental purpose of the Colorado Food Assistance Program is to reduce hunger and food insecurity among low-income individuals and families. By providing financial assistance for the purchase of nutritious food, the program aims to ensure that participants have access to an adequate and balanced diet.
  • Promoting Nutritional Well-being: SNAP is designed to improve the overall health and nutritional well-being of participants. By supporting the purchase of a variety of food items, including fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods, the program contributes to a more balanced and healthful diet.
  • Supporting Vulnerable Populations: The program is targeted at vulnerable populations, including low-income families with children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities. It aims to provide additional support to those who may face challenges in meeting their basic nutritional needs.
  • Economic Stimulus: SNAP benefits not only assist individuals and families in purchasing food but also contribute to the local economy. When participants use their benefits at authorized retailers, it helps stimulate economic activity in the community, particularly in the food and grocery sector.
  • Poverty Alleviation: By addressing the nutritional needs of low-income individuals, the program plays a role in poverty alleviation. Ensuring access to an adequate and nutritious diet can have positive effects on health, education, and overall well-being, contributing to the long-term goal of reducing poverty.
  • Public Health: SNAP contributes to public health efforts by promoting nutrition education and supporting healthy eating habits. Access to nutritious food can have positive implications for preventing diet-related health issues.
  • Emergency Response: SNAP is an important component of the social safety net, providing a means of assistance during times of economic hardship, natural disasters, or other emergencies. It offers a timely response to increased needs for food assistance in challenging circumstances.
  • Partnerships and Collaboration: The program fosters collaboration with community organizations, retailers, and other partners to enhance outreach, education, and support services for SNAP participants.

Overall, the Colorado Food Assistance Program serves as a vital resource to address immediate food needs, improve nutrition, and contribute to the overall well-being of individuals and families facing financial challenges. It aligns with broader efforts to reduce poverty and enhance the health and resilience of vulnerable populations in the state.

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About the Colorado Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income households in Colorado purchase food. It provides a monthly benefit that helps families and individuals buy the food they need for good health. The benefit is provided based on income, resources and the number of individuals in the household. 

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards are used to receive the benefit and can be used similar to debit cards at participating food stores. The benefit can be doubled in value by shopping at participating markets and food stores that support the Double Up Food Bucks program. SNAP is part of a federal nutrition program to help low-income households purchase food. 

County human services departments are responsible for determining eligibility and authorizing SNAP. SNAP is good for the local economy. Households participating in SNAP spend more on food. By providing more resources for food, SNAP helps free up cash for households with low-income to buy other essential items, like diapers and medication. As a result, retail sales increase, benefiting stores that sell both food and non-food items.

Who is eligible for Colorado SNAP?

Those who qualify for SNAP include persons who may meet one of the following options:

  • Work for low wages
  • Are unemployed or work part-time
  • Receive TANF, SSI or other assistance payments
  • Are elderly or disabled and live on a small income
  • Are children
  • Adults ages 18 to 52 who have no children in their home (known as ABAWDs, able-bodied adults without dependents)

Individuals, couples and families may qualify if their income is less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). See the table below for gross monthly income limits, based on household size. Note: The values below have been updated to reflect SNAP increases on Oct. 1, 2023.

Colorado SNAP Income Limits

Household sizeGross monthly income limits
Each additional member (add) +$858

To see if you qualify, complete this pre-screening tool on the Colorado PEAK website. (Note: This tool is not an application for SNAP.)

How much aid could I receive?

The table below shows current maximum monthly SNAP allotments, based on household size. Note: The values below have been updated to reflect SNAP increases on Oct. 1, 2023.

Household sizeMaximum monthly allotment
Each additional member (add)+$219

Who is eligible for Colorado Food Assistance Program?

To be eligible for this benefit program, you must be a resident of the state of Colorado and meet one of the following requirements:

  • You have a current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $2,001, or
  • You have a current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $3,001 who share their household with one of the following:
  • A person or persons age 60 and over or
  • A person with a disability (a child, your spouse, a parent, or yourself).

To see if you might be eligible for SNAP benefits, use SNAP eligibility. Because many programs offer services to families that may qualify them under other local criteria, we strongly recommend you contact the program in your community for more information and guidance.

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Are students eligible for Colorado SNAP?

Yes. Most students in higher education are not aware they could qualify for SNAP. In fact, there are even more flexibilities in SNAP eligibility for students. Most students with low incomes who meet any of the following might be eligible for SNAP:

  • Enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education
  • Age 18 through 49
  • Meets one of these student exemptions:
  • Employed an average of 20 hours per week/80 hours per month
  • A single parent enrolled full time with responsibility for the care of a dependent child under age 12
  • Participating in a state or federally financed work-study program
  • Receiving Colorado Works (TANF cash grant) 
  • Responsible for more than half of the physical care of a dependent household member under the age of 6
  • Participation in Colorado’s Employment First Program
  • Responsible for more than half of the physical care of a dependent household member who is at age of 6 but is under the age of 12 where adequate child care is not available
  • Participating in an on-the-job training program while going to the institution of higher education
  • Be physically or mentally unfit (similar to general work requirements)

A student enrolled less than half time in an institution of higher education, does not need to meet the additional student exemptions.

What documents do I need to apply For Colorado SNAP?

Proof of income

  • 30 days of earned income (pay stubs, employer statement that includes pay per hour and hours per week, etc.)
  • Self-employment bookkeeping records (if self-employed)
  • Agency letter showing unearned income (Social Security Retirement or Disability income, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans Affairs (VA) pension or disability benefits, Unemployment, child support, alimony, private retirement, pension, etc.)  

Proof of identity (any of the items below)

  • Driver’s license or state-issued identification card
  • Birth certificate or Social Security card
  • Work or school identification card
  • Voter registration card

Proof of medical expenses (ONLY if over 60 or disabled) 

  • Billing statements or repayment agreements
  • Medicare card, indicating Part B
  • Mileage or transportation costs to/from medical appointments                               
  • Itemized receipts for medical expenses (prescription drugs, medical supplies, etc.)

Other possible documents

  • Immigration or naturalization papers (ONLY if these documents apply to you. For example, NOT required if you are only applying for your children who were born in the United States)
  • Child care expenses (if appropriate)

What happens after I apply?

Once you have submitted an application for SNAP benefits:

  • In most cases, the county human services office has 30 days to determine your eligibility. 
  • If you have less than $100 in cash and less than $150 in monthly earnings, or if your housing expenses exceed your monthly income or if you are a migrant or seasonal farm worker, you may be eligible for expedited SNAP benefits within 7 days.

You may need an interview over the phone. If you prefer, you can request an interview in person. If an interview is needed, the county human services office may:

  • If you included a phone number on your application, a worker may attempt to call you at the phone number you provided when your application is received.
  • If the worker cannot reach you when attempting to call, you will receive a notice of the date and time of a scheduled interview.     
  • Follow the instructions on the interview notice for how to: 
  • Attend your interview at the scheduled date and time
  • Reschedule your interview if the scheduled date and time is not convenient for you

You may need to provide documents verifying your situation and you can provide them in the following ways:

  • Upload them to your PEAK account on
  • Upload them to your MyCOBenefits application on your mobile device
  • Provide them to your county human services office location
  • Mail them to the mailing address on your county’s letterhead or website

You will be provided an EBT card by mail or in-person so you can access your SNAP benefits.

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What happens if I disagree with a decision made on my case?

If you believe the local County Office’s decision is incorrect, you should reach out to the County Office to discuss the decision. County staff must explain the action taken on your SNAP case. This can be either as a discussion or a more formal Dispute Resolution Conference. If, after this explanation or Dispute Resolution Conference, you still do not agree with the decision, you should request a Fair Hearing. 

All SNAP Dispute Resolution Conferences and Fair Hearing requests will be filed at your local county office, either through a verbal request, in writing or using this form:

The SNAP Hearings Unit within the Colorado Department of Human Services will preside over the Fair Hearing. To learn more information about the SNAP Hearings Unit and the SNAP Fair Hearing process, visit the SNAP Hearings Unit page. SNAP Intentional Program Violations (fraud) hearings are heard by the Office of Administrative Courts.

How are SNAP funds issued?

SNAP benefits are issued on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, also known as the Colorado Quest Card. It looks like a credit or bank card and can be used at any authorized store across the country that has the EBT or Quest Card logo. Benefits are deposited into the EBT account on the same day each month, even if it falls on a weekend or holiday. A personal identification number (PIN) is required to access benefits on the EBT account. 

The PIN is set by the cardholder and is what keeps the benefits safe. The EBT card does not have an expiration date. Learn more about PIN safety and how to use your EBT card by reading the EBT card brochure (English or Spanish), by calling EBT Customer Service at 1.888.328.2656 (1.800.659.2656 — TTY), or by going to the Colorado EBT page. 

What foods can I buy?

The SNAP program allows you to buy any food for the household, such as:

  • Breads and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meats, fish and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat
  • Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream
  • Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible
  • Coffee, including instant coffee, coffee beans, ground coffee, and products such as single-serve coffee container pods

Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:

  • Beer, wine, liquor and cigarettes (or other forms of tobacco)
  • Pet foods
  • Soaps and paper products
  • Household supplies
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Food that will be eaten in the store
  • Hot foods (or any food sold for on-premises consumption)
  • Live animals

Want to learn more about how to stretch your food budget with healthy meals? Visit our SNAP-Ed page.

How do I know if I'm an ABAWD?

A person is considered an ABAWD — an able-bodied adult without dependents — if they are between the ages of 18 through 49 and are not disabled or living with a child under the age of 18 in their SNAP household.

Requirements for ABAWDs

People who are ABAWDs must do certain work-related activities to remain eligible for SNAP. They must be working or doing approved work activities for at least 80 hours per month. This includes paid work, unpaid work, and in-kind work. In-kind work is working in exchange for a service, such as working off rent. The county can help connect ABAWDs with local work opportunities in the area in order to meet the work requirement.

Important information about the Colorado SNAP ABAWD time limit

With the federal Public Health Emergency ending on May 11, the federal government is reinstating pre-pandemic work requirements for SNAP recipients who are considered able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). The change goes into effect on July 1. Read our FAQ for more information.

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What are SNAP QA reviews?

SNAP Quality Assurance (QA) reviews are random checks to make sure that Colorado families receive the correct amount of SNAP benefits on time, and that applications are accepted or denied correctly. You maybe be contacted by the SNAP QA unit if your household was chosen at random for a QA review.

How do I apply for Colorado Food Assistance Program?

To apply online, please visit the Colorado PEAK online application portal. For additional application information, visit the Food Assistance Application website. You will be able to download an application form directly from the site.

How To Apply For Colorado Food Assistance Program

you can apply for the Colorado Food Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, through the Colorado PEAK (Program Eligibility and Application Kit) online portal or by visiting your local county human services office. Here are the general steps for applying:

Applying Online (Colorado PEAK):

  • Visit the Colorado PEAK Website: Go to the Colorado PEAK website at Colorado PEAK.
  • Create an Account: If you don't have an account, you may need to create one. Follow the instructions to set up a new account with a username and password.
  • Complete the Application: Log in to your account and complete the online application. Provide accurate information about your household, income, expenses, and other relevant details.
  • Submit Documentation: Upload or submit any required documentation to support your application. This may include proof of income, residency, and other documents.
  • Submit the Application: Once you have completed the application and attached any necessary documents, submit it through the online portal.
  • Wait for Determination: The Colorado Department of Human Services will review your application, and you will be notified of the determination.

Applying In-Person:

  • Visit Your Local County Human Services Office: Locate the nearest county human services office. You can find this information on the Colorado PEAK website or by contacting your county's Department of Human Services.
  • Request an Application: Request a paper application form from the office or complete the application on-site.
  • Complete the Application: Fill out the application form with accurate information about your household, income, expenses, and other relevant details.
  • Submit Documentation: Attach any required documentation to support your application. This may include proof of income, residency, and other documents.
  • Submit the Application: Submit the completed application and documentation to the county human services office.
  • Wait for Determination: The county human services office will review your application, and you will be notified of the determination.

Additional Tips:

  • Be prepared to provide accurate and detailed information about your household, income, expenses, and other relevant details.
  • Keep copies of any documents you submit, as they may be required for verification.
  • If you have questions or need assistance with the application process, you can contact the Colorado PEAK Customer Service at 1-800-221-3943.

Please note that application processes may be subject to change, and it's advisable to check the official Colorado PEAK website or contact the Colorado Department of Human Services for the most up-to-date information.

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Colorado Food Assistance Program Phone Number

For more information, please visit the Food Assistance Program website. Or visit SNAP's Contact Us page to find many ways to get in touch with your local SNAP office. 1-800-536-5298.