Colorado Works/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) is a federal program providing cash assistance to needy families with dependent children. The program was designed to
demonstrate that it is possible to overcome barriers and become self-sufficient with the help of logical support services.
The amount of financial aid provided is based on family size, income, resources and ages of the children, starting from the
date the application is received.
Families with minor children can receive TANF for a total of 60 months (5 years) over a lifetime. In general, adult TANF recipients are expected to become self-sufficient within this time limit.
If you apply for Colorado Works, you are also applying for food assistance, Medicaid and Child Support Enforcement services.
Child care assistance and other supportive services are available while you prepare for or look for a job.
Applicants who are eligible for the Colorado Works program may qualify for State or County Diversion Benefits which assists
with immediate family needs. See below for more information on Colorado Works Diversion. You may inquire about this program
during your face-to-face interview.
Requirement for Work-Related Activity
The program has a requirement for all applicants to seek employment and be involved in a work activity from the day they apply
for benefits. If approved, you must participate in a work-related activity.
The required number of hours per week will be determined by the age of your children and whether or not you are in a two-parent
Work activities may include, but are not limited to:
- Approved education programs or job skills training;
- Volunteer work or community service;
- Job readiness and job search;
- Full and part-time employment; or
- If you are a minor parent, you must attend high school or a GED program and live with your parents or another approved adult.
Colorado Works is limited to families with dependent children or parents of an unborn child.
- Must have a dependent child, be a U.S. citizen or legal alien, and meet resource and income guidelines.
- Conditions of eligibility include cooperation with child support, participation in work activities and compliance with Individual
- If a parent is absent from the household, the applicant will also be required to obtain a child support order against the
- Documentation of any income, bank accounts, investments and vehicles are used to see if a family qualifies.
- If a parent is disabled or deceased, the applicant is required to pursue potential income like disability or survivors benefits
from Social Security Administration.
Income & Resource Limits
Earned and unearned income combined cannot exceed the benefit level paid for the family unit size. Income guidelines are based
on the number of family members in the home. You must have a gross monthly income below the established limits for your family
size. Please contact our officesfor details.
The total countable household resources must be no more that $15,000.Countable resources include:
- Cash on hand, in checking, savings, certificates
- Equity value of real or personal property
- Vehicles, with the exception of those used by adult members participating in work activities.
- Stocks, bonds, insurance compensation
- Personal property
How Do I Apply For Benefits?
There are several options available to you for filing an application for financial, medical or food assistance in Colorado.
Please review these Helpful Tips Before You Begin.
1. Online: Visit www.colorado.gov/peak to learn if you might be eligible for benefits and to apply online. (PEAK is a secure web site run by the State of Colorado,
and is available in English and Spanish.)
2. In-Person: Visit one of our Arapahoe County Human Services offices to apply at a computer kiosk. County workers are available to assist you. If you are unable to visit a County office because
of a disability, you may have another person apply and be interviewed on your behalf. You must designate that individual as
your authorized representative in writing.
3. Paper: Print an application using these links and fax, mail or deliver it in-person to one of our Arapahoe County Human Services
offices. Adobe Reader is required to view and print these applications. English Application | Spanish Solicitud de Asistencia Publica
Please contact our Customer Service hotline at (303) 636-1170 if you have questions.
Documents Needed to Apply
To apply for Colorado Works, you will need the following documents:
- Completed application forms
- Proof of monthly income
- Social Security numbers for all household members
- Proof of all household resources
- Proof of pregnancy (where applicable)
- Proof of residence
- A Valid Colorado ID or Drivers License
- Proof of relationship to the child/ren (birth certificates)
- Proof of lawful presence in the U.S. and a signed affidavit for applicants 18 years or older.
Colorado Works Diversion
The Diversion program provides financial assistance in a one-time payment for a short-term family situation or crisis not expected to continue. Diversion is designed to assist low income working
families in responding to unexpected circumstances.
Availability of this program is dependent on available funding. Applicants must be at least six months pregnant, have a child
under age 18, or have an 18 year-old child who will graduate by high school by their 19th birthday.
The maximum family assistance amount will be based on the identified family needs and assessment results.
Employment must be verified prior to receiving assistance. All approved applicants must enter into an Individual Responsibility
Contract which outlines the specific grant requirements.
You may inquire about the Diversion program options during your Colorado Works interview.
Applicants who receive the Diversion Grant serve a period of ineligibility from Basic Cash Assistance. The length of the ineligibility
period is based on family needs and terms of the Diversion grant.
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