Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Am I Eligible? | How Do I Apply? | EBT Card | SNAP-Ed

 

 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a Food Assistance program in Colorado, formerly known as Food Stamps.
SNAP provides food assistance benefits as part of a federal nutrition program to help low-income households purchase food.

Things to Know:

  • Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards are issued to receive the SNAP benefits for a household. These cards can be used at most grocery stores to buy food with those SNAP benefits, ensuring that families have access to a healthy diet. 
  • Double Up Food Bucks is a program that doubles the value of SNAP benefits at participating markets and food retail stores. Learn more about this benefit for Colorado's families, farmers and communities here

Am I Eligible?

Most low-income households can get food assistance. To see if you qualify for SNAP benefits, click here to complete a pre-screening tool. 

  • This pre-screening tool is not an application for SNAP benefits.
  • If you are interested in applying for SNAP benefits, please see the How To Apply section below.

There are some basic rules for the SNAP program and a list of verifications you may need to provide to your local county office to determine your eligibility:

  • Identity - The identity of the person applying must be verified for SNAP. Some examples of proof of identity include government-issued identification card or driver's license, work or school ID, voter registration card or birth certificate.
     
  • Citizenship Status - U.S. citizens and some non-citizens are eligible for SNAP benefits. Even if some members of the household are not eligible, household members who are eligible may still be able to get SNAP benefits.
     
  • Social Security Numbers - Everyone in the household that is applying for benefits should provide their Social Security number or provide proof that they have applied for one.
     
  • Income - The total household income before any deductions must fall below a certain dollar amount to be eligible for SNAP benefits. The dollar amount will be determined by how many people are in your household.
    • If all household members are getting public assistance or SSI, they may not have to meet the eligibility tests.
    • Most types of income are counted to determine if a household is eligible.
    • We will need proof of all income received by anyone in your household to determine if you are eligible to receive SNAP benefits. Some examples of proof of income include:
      • Pay stubs or a statement from your employer
      • Benefit award letters if you receive income from these sources:
        • Short-term disability payments
        • Child Support (if not received through the State of Colorado)
        • Pension
        • Unemployment
        • Veterans Administration
        • Social Security
           
  • Deductions - After adding all of your household’s countable income, an eligibility technician will determine if you are eligible for any deductions that are allowed by SNAP.
    • Be sure to include on your application or tell your eligibility technician during your interview if you or anyone else in your household pays for these expenses:
      • Child Care
      • Child Support
      • Medical Expenses
      • Rent/Mortgage
      • Utilities (heating/cooling, water, trash, phone, etc.)
    • The total household income after deductions must fall below a certain dollar amount to be eligible for SNAP benefits. This dollar amount will be determined by how many people are in your household.
       
  • Work Rules - All individuals who apply for SNAP benefits in Colorado and who do not meet federal exemption criteria must register for work, accept an offer of suitable work and take part in the Employment First program.
    • The activities in the Employment First program include workfare, adult basic education, GED preparation, literacy, college, vocational training, vocational rehabilitation, job search classes, and part-time work.

How Do I Apply?

Get an Application

Please fill out as much of the application as you can. If you need help or don't understand a question, a staff member can help you complete your application.

What happens after I have completed an application and returned it to the county office?

  • An eligibility technician will begin processing your case as soon as possible to determine if we need to complete an interview or if your household needs to provide any additional information. The county office has up to 30 days to process your application.
  • An interview needs to be completed once every 12 months for SNAP benefits due to Federal requirements.
    • If you have not completed an interview within the last 12 months, an eligibility technician will be attempting to contact you at the phone number you provided on your application to complete the interview. If the technician cannot reach you by phone, they will mail you a letter to inform you that an interview needs to be completed.
  • If you have completed an interview within the last 12 months, an eligibility technician may attempt to contact you at the phone number you provided on your application to clarify the information you submitted on your application.
  • You may need to provide additional information to your county office regarding your circumstances.
    • If there is additional information needed to complete your eligibility determination, you will receive a letter in the mail at the address you provided on your application telling you what information we need to complete your application.

Application Assistance Provider Areas
(click to enlarge and/or download)

SNAP Map


EBT Card

SNAP benefits are issued on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, called the Colorado Quest Card. It looks like a credit or bank card and can be used at any Food and Nutrition Services authorized store across the country to purchase food. 

Each month your benefits will be deposited into your Colorado Quest account on the same day, even if it falls on a weekend or holiday. 
 
A personal identification number (PIN) is assigned to access the account. Keep this number safe. If your card is lost or stolen, it can't be used by anyone who does not know the PIN number.

Register for an EBT card or manage your account here.

Learn more about how to use your EBT card with these reference guides, or call EBT customer service at 1.888.328.2656 or 1.800.659.2656 (TTY): 

Find out more about using your EBT card on the Food Assistance FAQs page.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) is the nutrition education and obesity prevention arm of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps). SNAP-Ed uses evidence-based, comprehensive approaches to improve the likelihood that low-income families want and are able to make healthier food and physical activity choices, consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate.gov, on a limited budget. It provides education, social marketing campaigns, and environmental support for healthy eating behaviors and physical activity in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 territories. SNAP-Ed helps assure that the investment in SNAP pays off.

Why does SNAP-Ed matter?

SNAP-Ed is an ounce of prevention to staggering chronic disease rates and their associated healthcare costs. Research shows that by reducing residents’ body mass index (BMI) by just five percent by 2030, each and every state could prevent the onset of thousands to millions of obesity-related diseases while saving billions of dollars in health care costs. While most Americans’ diets, regardless of income, fall far short of recommendations for good health and contribute to excess rates of preventable diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension are highest and occur at younger ages in low-income and minority groups.State SNAP-Ed programs operate ‘upstream’ at all levels – neighborhoods, cities, counties, regions and statewide to target these groups with efficient, evidence-based obesity prevention. They promote healthy behaviors and help create conditions where the healthy choice is the easy, preferred choice, sparing low-income families preventable health problems and their associated costs to society.

What returns does SNAP-Ed expect?

State-based SNAP-Ed programs work with other nutrition and public health programs targeting low-income families to leverage resources for maximum impact. By comprehensively helping families achieve the Dietary Guidelines, SNAP-Ed aims to reduce the onset of preventable disease and disparities in disease rates between low- and higher-income Americans. The agricultural sector as a whole also benefits from increased market demand for healthful food as a result of SNAP-Ed, particularly if the Dietary Guidelines were achieved.Other benefits of improved nutrition include improved school attendance, worker productivity, healthier communities, and improved readiness for military service.

Who does SNAP-Ed help?

Nearly 95 million Americans are eligible for SNAP-Ed, having incomes below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (a common criterion for means-tested poverty programs and the threshold at which household food insecurity dramatically increases). Over 59 million SNAP-Ed eligible Americans had incomes <130% FPL, the eligibility level for SNAP.

How does SNAP-Ed complement SNAP?

In 2011, almost 15% of all American households and 21%of all households with children, were food insecure.Since SNAP-Ed promotes the health benefits of SNAP and focuses on making healthy choices within a limited budget, it builds on the short-term economic and nutritional value of SNAP food dollars while equipping SNAP-Ed eligible Americans to make better long-term food and lifestyle choices. Essentially, SNAP gives a family a fish, while SNAP-Ed teaches a family to fish.

Why is SNAP-Ed important among USDA programs?

SNAP-Ed is the one USDA program that brings the powerful combination of education, marketing, and environmental support to low-income communities. SNAP-Ed can be delivered anywhere that food and physical activity decisions are made, often through mass media, and with partners at schools, worksites, retail food stores, and faith communities. SNAP-Ed interventions are customized for different rural, urban, age, ethnic, cultural and regional settings. State SNAP-Ed programs work with governmental, non-profit and business partners toward long-term, large-scale change. SNAP-Ed materials and messaging are available to – and improve the effectiveness of – other USDA programming.

Empowering SNAP participants to make healthy food choices through SNAP-Ed is a win for everyone.   SNAP-Ed is a central, valued core benefit of SNAP that strengthens the program while improving the lives of recipients and other low-income families. SNAP is the cornerstone of USDA’s food security system and deserves to be recognized as a health promotion program.

What has SNAP-Ed achieved?

  • Stronger, more robust methods of behavior-based nutrition education. Creation, distribution and sharing of up-to-date and affordable educational resources.
  • More reach, efficiently delivered, to low-income Americans and communities, measured as people, impressions, contacts, locations and partnerships.
  • Increases in fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity by participating low-income children and adults.
  • Improvements in dietary intake of fiber, calcium, iron, and other key nutrients needed for a healthier diet. 
  • Unprecedented gains in statewide fruit and vegetable consumption by low-income residents.
  • Reduction in new cases of overweight among elementary children.

Nutrition Education Resources