Important Notice for Food Recipients

February SNAP benefits may be issued early. Make them last.

February SNAP Benefits will be Early for Most Recipients, Clients must make them last

DENVER (Jan. 16, 2019) – Due to the continuing partial federal government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State of Colorado have released February SNAP benefits early to most recipients.

The Department urges clients who received an additional SNAP payment on their EBT cards from Jan.16-20 to keep in mind that it is an advance SNAP payment for February. The additional funds are intended to help clients with their February food purchases. No additional SNAP benefits will be allotted in February.

All SNAP participants will be able to use their EBT cards to purchase food as long as there are benefits on their card. Participants should plan food purchases carefully throughout January and February so their food needs are met through the partial government shutdown.

If more food resources are needed during the partial government shutdown, we encourage clients to reach out to a local food bank or community agency in their area. To find those resources, please contact:

Colorado 2-1-1: 844-493-8255

Hunger Free Colorado: 855-855-4626

Colorado Benefits Center: 855-871-2696

SNAP benefits will not be issued again until March, and only if the funds are available from the federal government. As additional information becomes available, we will share it. See State's Release

In Spanish: Informacion importante sobre los beneficios de SNAP en enero y febrero

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. 20 -- which has the potential to affect 220,000 Colorado families. Read on...

Questions you may have

What impact does the government shutdown have on my assistance benefits?

Answer: For Food Assistance, February benefits will be issued early for the majority of recipients. An ongoing Food Assistance recipient should see February benefits available on their EBT card on January 17, 2019. For cash assistance (such as Colorado Works, Old Age Pension and Aid to the Needy Disabled), there is no anticipated impact. Benefits for these programs will be issued on their usual schedule. For medical assistance, there is no anticipated impact at this time.

What do I need to do as a current recipient of Food Assistance?

Answer: Counties will be processing applications, changes, and recertifications as normal. You should continue to report changes or provide information as required. If you received an additional Food Assistance benefits on January 17, 2019, treat these benefits as your February benefits. You will not receive benefits in the month of February.

What should I do if the shutdown extends past February?

Answer: We strongly encourage you to try to stretch your benefits as long as possible. If the shutdown continues into March, we do not anticipate being able to issue benefits until the shutdown is lifted. SNAP Education classes may be available to you in your community. Cooking Matters Colorado provides nutrition education classes that teach participants how to stretch tight food budgets. Contact Cooking Matters Colorado at 303-892-8480 or visit their website https://co.cookingmatters.org/sf/calendar for more information. We encourage you to use community resources such as food banks, churches, or other non-profit/social service agencies to obtain additional food resources if needed. If you have a family with children under 18, you may also reach out to your county department to determine if you are eligible to receive a diversion payment through the Colorado Works program. If you are currently receiving Colorado Works, please talk to your county about other services that may be available through additional supportive services.

I need Food Assistance, can I still apply?

Answer: Yes, anyone can apply for Food Assistance at any time. Applications received between January 15th and January 31th will still be processed and benefits will be issued in a regular manner for both January and February benefits at the same time. We will issue benefits for new Food Assistance applications received after January 31th through our normal process for as long as limited reserve funding is still available.

Why did I get two payments for Food Assistance in January?

Answer: We will be releasing February benefits for households currently receiving Food Assistance in January, starting on the 16th. Those benefits are intended for use in February, not a bonus January payment. We do not know how long the partial federal government shutdown will last. Because of that, we strongly encourage recipients to stretch their Food Assistance for as long as possible. SNAP Education classes may be available to you in your community. Cooking Matters Colorado provides nutrition education classes that teach participants how to stretch tight food budgets. Contact Cooking Matters Colorado at 303-892-8480 or visit their website https://co.cookingmatters.org/sf/calendar for more information.

What if I am a furloughed government worker, am I eligible for any type of benefits?

Answer: We strongly encourage you to submit an application for assistance either in-person or via PEAK as soon as possible. Eligibility staff in your county will process your application and determine what assistance you may be eligible for based on your circumstances.