Clients with Food Assistance cases due for redetermination must submit documents by Tuesday, Jan. 15.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) is providing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through February 2019 in response to the partial government shutdown. At federal direction, all states including Colorado will distribute SNAP funds for February much earlier than normal.
If someone’s Food Assistance case is due for redetermination for February 2019 benefits, all redetermination documents must be submitted no later than 3 p.m. Tuesday, January 15th, in order to receive Food Assistance for February. As of 9 a.m. Friday, January 11, a select group of more than 2,400 SNAP recipients had files that were not complete, and must take immediate action to submit documentation in time to receive February benefits. RRR may be submitted via PEAK at http://www.colorado.gov/PEAK, by fax at 719-444-5139 or 719-444-8353, or in-person at El Paso County Department of Human Services locations. A Generic RRR form is available online.
The DHS main office at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road, 3rd floor, will have extended hours on the following days:
- Saturday, Jan. 12, 2018: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Sunday, Jan. 13, 2018: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Monday, Jan. 14, 2018: 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. (normal hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Curbside drop-off will be available in the traffic circle at the Citizens Service Center, or people can come up to the third floor.
Services will be limited during these hours. Interviews will not be completed during this time, but EBT card issuance will be available.
Cases that are current do not need to take action. SNAP funds will be distributed by January 20 to those cases with completed files. Even if documentation is received by the appropriate deadlines, the County cannot guarantee assistance.
The directive for this plan came from the federal level. El Paso County Department of Human Services is taking direction from the state, and the situation is evolving. At this time, there is no information available about March food assistance.
The Board of El Paso County Commissioners does not make policy decisions regarding food assistance and many other DHS programs. The majority of funding for assistance programs comes from federal funds, with a small portion from state coffers.
The USDA is relying on a provision in the stopgap funding measure that expired on December 21, 2018, that allows the federal government to make certain payments within 30 days of the stopgap measure expiring. The move would provide the $4.8 billion needed to cover February SNAP needs. In addition to extending funding for SNAP, USDA also announced that funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will continue through February.
For those needing help with food, a lit of area food banks is posted online.