Updates on Benefits

A Message from the Colorado Department of Human Services Shutdown Affects Food Benefits for 220,000 Colorado families

DENVER (Jan. 11, 2019) – In response to the partial federal government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has asked states to issue February’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits early — by Jan. 20th — which has the potential to affect 220,000 Colorado families.

The early issuance of benefits also means that Colorado SNAP recipients whose eligibility is due for recertification at the end of January need to submit required documents as required immediately in order to receive food benefits for February. It is imperative that SNAP recipients whose food assistance eligibility is up for redetermination are processed no later than noon on Jan. 15th to ensure they receive February benefits on the expedited timeframe.

“We need help from the media and our friends and partners in the advocacy world and the counties to help us get the word out to vulnerable Coloradans,” said Ki’i Powell, Director of the state’s Office of Economic Security, housed at the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). “We need folks to understand how important it is to act quickly so they won’t see a disruption in their benefits.”

Colorado families receive approximately $55 million per month in SNAP benefits.

To be clear, the early release of benefits is not additional funding. This effort is intended to get February benefits to eligible recipients before current funding for the program lapses as a result of the partial federal government funding. If the federal government shutdown continues, benefits may not be available after February.

New support and training is offered AT NO COST for families who have someone who uses opioids. The Office of Behavioral Health is offering trainings which were developed with the belief that families can play a powerful role in helping to engage substance users to enter and stay in treatment. Click on Opioid Training and Support for Families.

The Circle Program, a treatment program for both mental health and substance use disorder will reopen. Click here to learn more.