Colorado SNAP Benefits
Colorado SNAP food benefits, known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, provides low income people with food assistance. Food stamps benefits are funded by the federal government but are managed separately by each state. Since SNAP benefits aim to give people in need access to food, the majority of food items found in grocery stores can be purchased with food stamps. The amount of SNAP food stamps benefits one receives is determined during the enrollment process and is based upon several factors. When food stamps applicants are enrolled, they receive an EBT card. Once they have their benefits card food stamps can be used to purchase approved food items at most grocery stores. To learn more about CO food stamps benefits and getting an EBT benefits card, review the information provided below.
Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Colorado
Colorado SNAP benefits allow beneficiaries to purchase most food and beverage items from the grocery store. Most items that provide nutritional sustenance to the beneficiary will be able to be purchased through the food stamps program. SNAP food stamps in Colorado allow beneficiaries to purchase the following types of products:
- All meats, including seafood and poultry
- Dairy products
- Fruits and vegetables
- Breads and cereals
- 'Luxury' items including steak and lobster
- 'Junk' items including candy and energy drinks
CO SNAP benefits can also be used to buy plants and seeds that will grow food for the beneficiary. Yet, the benefits for food stamps program will not allow beneficiaries to purchase live animals such as chickens or pigs with government benefits, even if the beneficiary will use the animal for food. Seafood that is still alive at the time of purchase can, however, be purchased with food stamps.
Items You Cannot Buy With Colorado SNAP Benefits
The SNAP benefits program is designed to help low income people stay in good health by providing them with the food they need. Therefore, benefits for food stamps cannot be used to buy items that provide no nutritional support or are dangerous to one's health. Colorado food stamps cannot be used to buy:
- Cleaning supplies
- Paper goods
- Pet food
- Alcoholic drinks
- All tobacco products
To further prevent beneficiaries from purchasing these non-approved items, EBT food stamps benefits cards cannot be used at an ATM inside a place of business that sells alcohol, legal marijuana, gambling or adult entertainment.
How long does it take to receive Colorado SNAP benefits after enrollment?
To receive benefits from the food stamps program, applicants must first fill out the appropriate application online or in person. Once the application has been submitted, Colorado food stamps applicants must attend a phone or in-person interview. It can take up to 30 days for the application process to be complete. However, if a SNAP benefits applicant has little to no money or does not have access to food, the process to can expedited to seven days. To help quicken the enrollment process, food stamps applicants are encouraged to gather all the necessary legal documents they will need such as a birth certificate or proof of income documents before starting the enrollment process. Once enrolled, the food stamps beneficiaries will be issued an EBT card.
Colorado EBT Card Overview
Colorado SNAP enrollees access their government benefits through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Every month, a preset amount of food stamps benefits is added to the beneficiary's account. Then, the EBT card can be used like a debit card to purchase approved food items at the grocery store. Not every grocery store accepts the CO food stamps benefits card just yet, though a list of which stores in the state accept food stamps can be found online. If a SNAP beneficiary uses all of his or her benefits on the EBT card, then he or she cannot request more benefits to be added to the account. Instead, the beneficiary will have to wait until the next month to receive for more benefits to be deposited into the account. The account that is linked to the EBT card can be checked online.
Determining Your Colorado SNAP Benefit Amount
The amount each CO food stamps beneficiary receives is not the same as there are many aspects of an enrollee's living and working situation that can affect the amount of benefits he or she is given. Since SNAP food benefits are designed to help low income people, the enrollee's income is one of the biggest factors that determines the amount of benefits he or she receives each month. Also, the size of the household affects the level of governmental support provided by the SNAP program. A family with four children will receive more benefits from the food stamps program than a family with two children. Being elderly, disable or receiving another form of government benefits will also affect the amount of SNAP food benefits an individual or a family receives. While most of those who receive SNAP assistance are children, senior citizens or disabled, those who are able to work must do so to maintain enrollment in the program. An able-bodied adult who neither seeks employment nor entrance in to a work program will only be able to receive benefits for a short amount of time.
Note: Download our food stamps guide for more information on the amount to expect from your SNAP benefits award.