How do I apply for Food Assistance benefits?
There are many options available to you to apply for Food Assistance benefits. Try to provide as much information as you can on the application to make the process faster.
- By Phone: Outreach partners can help you apply by phone
- Call Hunger Free Colorado Hotline at 1-855-855-4626
- Call Mile High United Way at 2-1-1
- Visit the Colorado PEAK website at https://colorado.gov/PEAK from a computer or tablet to complete an application online.
- Mobile App
- Download the MyCOBenefits app to apply from a smartphone
- If you are approved, you will be able to see benefit amounts.
- Paper applications are still available at your county office, even if it is closed.
- Once you complete your paper application, you can drop it off at the county office or send it in by mail, fax, or email.
How do I qualify for other benefits such as Adult Financial, Colorado Works, and/or Medicaid?
- If you are interested in applying for other assistance programs, you can select the programs that you are interested in when you complete the application.
- If you apply by phone for Food Assistance:
- You will need a separate paper, PEAK, or MyCOBenefits mobile app to apply for other assistance programs.
- If you apply by phone for Food Assistance:
What if I am a student and need Food Assistance?
- Students can apply and may be eligible for Food Assistance.
- If you are a student and have recently lost work or work-study, you could be eligible for Food Assistance.
What do I do after I send in my application?
- After you submit an application, the county will review your information.
- You will receive a letter in the mail with an interview time. Please be prepared to discuss your case for approximately 20 minutes.
- To check the status of your application, you can log into your PEAK account at https://colorado.gov/PEAK or on the MyCOBenefits mobile app.
What happens if I missed my interview?
- You will need to call us at 719-253-7850 to reschedule your interview. This will not be automatically done. Your case cannot be processed until your interview is completed.
What should I do if I have an interview scheduled for the future?
- The county will reach out to you to reschedule if an interview is still needed.
I lost my job. Can I get Food Assistance faster?
- If you lost your job or have been laid off, you should apply for Food Assistance immediately.
- Please provide as much information as you can about your layoff.
- Your application and information will be reviewed by the county to determine if you are eligible to receive benefits within 7 days.
What happens if I do not have all the paperwork the county needs?
- Counties are trying to make the application process easier by allowing more flexibility in what you need to provide.
- The county will try to get all of the information they need for you but you may still need to provide some verifications.
Is the county office processing verifications? Have the due dates changed now?
- County offices are working quickly to update your case with any information that you have provided them.
- Due dates for the information the county office requested have not changed.
How long will it take to get Food Assistance benefits after I apply?
- County offices are working as quickly as they can to process applications.
- Normal processing can take from 7 days to 30 days but counties are trying to shorten all processing times.
How can I check the status of my application?
- Go to the PEAK website https://colorado.gov/PEAK
- Click on “Sign In” Note: If you have a temporary password, use the “Sign In” option in the upper right-hand corner of the PEAK home page.
- Click on “Manage My Account”
- Click on “Benefits” on the left-hand side of the screen to see the active status for each member in your household under “Benefit Summary.”
- Download the MyCOBenefits app onto your phone
How do I access my benefits once I am approved?
- Your benefits are loading onto Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards which work a lot like a debit card in stores where you can buy food.
- Your EBT card can be mailed to you once you are approved.
- An EBT card getting mailed to you can take 7-10 days to reach you.
- If you do not have a home address, your EBT card can be mailed to an address that you choose such as a shelter or a place where you can pick up mail.
You will receive a brochure with your EBT card that will explain more information about using your EBT card.
If you had an EBT card before but need another one, you can call 1-888-328-2656.
What do I do if my address is wrong and I can’t get an EBT card mailed to me until it is fixed?
- If your address is not correct, your address will need to be updated.
- Your address can be updated by visiting one of the Pueblo County Department of Human Services offices and filling out a Change of Address Form. Offices are located at 310 W. 10th Street and 405 W. 9th Street in Pueblo.
- An EBT card can be obtained at the offices listed above or via mail which can take 7-10 days.
I already receive Food Assistance. Will there be any changes to my benefits?
- If you do not already receive the maximum benefit for your eligible household members, you may receive extra Food Assistance benefits.
- If you are already receiving Food Assistance, you will continue to receive benefits and may be automatically re-enrolled in the program without extra work.
- If you were automatically re-enrolled, you will receive a letter from us telling you about the next steps.
- You can track your benefit amount on the MYCOBenefits app or on your PEAK account.
What if I have questions or changes to report?
- A lot of county offices are closed to the public due to the public health crisis.
- County offices that are closed to the public are open remotely and will still process applications and changes.
- Please submit all changes to [email protected]
- There may be longer wait and hold times over the phone due to the number of calls the counties are receiving.
- County websites may provide email addresses to get in touch with someone in your county office to answer your questions or report changes.
- You may be able to answer a lot of your questions and report changes by logging into your PEAK account or the MyCOBenefits mobile app.
- You can also submit changes in writing at the dropbox for your county office.
How do I make sure I get the economic stimulus payment?
- If you have not already, you need to file your 2018 and/or 2019 taxes. Requests for this must be received by the IRS by September 15, 2020.
Other Information and Resources
Coronavirus or COVID-19
- Stay informed about COVID-19 at https://covid19.colorado.gov/
- Apply for or find out information about the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) by calling the HEAT HELP Line (available 24/7) at 866-431-8435
- Applications can take 30 days to process but can be quicker for emergencies like a shutoff notice.
- If you need food immediately, please visit a food bank or food pantry.
- You can find food banks and pantries during the COVID-19 Outbreak visit at https://www.hungerfreecolorado.org/covid-19/
- If you have children under 18, some public schools are offering “grab and go” break snacks and lunches that you can pick up at any school that is near you
- See this list for locations: https://www.cde.state.co.us/nutrition/nutriemergencyfeeding
- Call 2-1-1 or visit http://211.org/ Tax Filing Assistance
- Go to https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus and scroll down to “Tax Help”
- To file or check on a claim for unemployment, please visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/file-claim