Help for Single Mothers in COLORADO

Colorado, CO

Forced to play two roles — that of father and mother — single moms find it hard just to “to keep the family afloat”. Colorado offers programs that are designed to address specific area of concern where single mothers need help the most.

Colorado Earned Income Tax Credit #

Colorado is among 31 states offering a local version of the tax credit, but it went hiatus in 1999. It was only in 2013 that Colorado brought back its earned income credit following a 15-year absence.

Colorado's EITC offers a credit based on 25% of the federal credit amount and is fully refundable, which means any Colorado family without income tax liability can receive the entire EITC amount as a refund.

For example, if you got a maximum credit of $600 in federal EITC money, you would get an extra $150 in COEITC.

How much is Colorado Earned Income Credit?

  • NO. OF CHILD Maximum EIC
  • 0 $150
  • 1 $998
  • 2 $1,651
  • 3 or more $1,857

Colorado residents may contact Colorado United Way 2-1-1 Help Centers by dialing 2-1-1, to find out if they are eligible for the EITC and to be connected to free tax preparation services.

Colorado Food Assistance Program #

Colorado's Food Assistance Program assists low-income individuals and families in Colorado who need assistance purchasing the food needed for a nutritionally adequate diet. The program is offered in at least one location in all Colorado counties.

Unless otherwise exempt, all able-bodied recipients of food assistance must register for work, accept an offer of suitable work and take part in the Employment First program.

What is the income limit for Colorado SNAP?

Most families in Colorado with gross income up to 200% of the federal poverty level, about $4,143 a month for a family of three, qualify for food assistance.

Family Size 100% 200%
1 $1,215 $2,430
2 $1,643 $3,287
3 $2,072 $4,143
4 $2,500 $5,000
5 $2,928 $5,857
6 $3,357 $6,713
7 $3,785 $7,570
8 $4,213 $8,427

Gross income limit applies to most households, except those in which at least one person is 60 years of age or older, or receives disability income.

Colorado Works #

Colorado Works is Colorado’s TANF program that serves low-income families with children by providing income assistance and supportive services to help participants become self-sufficient.

In addition to the basic cash assistance, Colorado Works may provide other assistance in the form of child care, transportation, counseling, job training and other services.

Benefits may be provided for single and two parent families, pregnant women, and relatives caring for minor children — up to $559 a month for a family of three.

How do I get cash assistance in Colorado?

If you are a resident of Colorado in need of assistance, please contact your local DHSS county office or apply online at Colorado PEAK for expedited processing.

Health First Colorado #

Health First Colorado, otherwise known as Colorado's Medicaid, is free or low cost public health insurance for low-income Colorado children and adults who qualify.

It covers doctor visits, emergency care, preventive care, and other procedures and treatments, including free transportation to non-emergency medical visits.

What is the income limit for Medicaid in Colorado?

As Colorado is expanding Medicaid coverage, Medicaid is now available to eligible Coloradans age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Pregnant women are covered up to 200% of poverty level.

Health First Colorado 147% 200% 138%
1 $21,430 $29,160 $20,120
2 $28,990 $39,440 $27,210
3 $36,540 $49,720 $34,310
4 $44,100 $60,000 $41,400
5 $51,660 $70,280 $48,490
6 $59,210 $80,560 $55,590
7 $66,770 $90,840 $62,680
8 $74,320 $101,120 $69,770

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

How do I apply for Colorado Medicaid?

Colorado is operating a State-Based Marketplace, known as Connect for Health Colorado — through which you can apply for Medicaid, CHP+ or other private health insurance.

Colorado Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) #

Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) is a low-cost health insurance program for uninsured Colorado children ages 18 and under whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Depending on your monthly income, you may have to pay an enrollment fee and copays ranging from $1 to $30 when you receive services and prescriptions.

What is the income limit for Colorado CHP+?

In Colorado, children with family income up to 265% of poverty are eligible for CHP+. For a family of three, that's about $65,880.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $38,640
  • 2 $52,260
  • 3 $65,880
  • 4 $79,500
  • 5 $93,120
  • 6 $106,740
  • 7 $120,360
  • 8 $133,980

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

Pregnant women may apply for CHP+ Prenatal Care Program. All pregnancy care is free, including prenatal care, labor and delivery, and visits after you deliver.

CHP+ Customer Service

Children under 19 and pregnant women may also receive temporary coverage — Health First Colorado or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) — under the Presumptive Eligibility (PE) program.

Application can be made at any PE-approved clinics, health centers, and community resource centers.

Colorado Head Start/Early Head Start #

Colorado Head Start provides preschool children of low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs.

In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of the state of Colorado and be responsible for a child who is too young for public school.

Many Head Start programs also provide Early Head Start, which serves infants, toddlers, and pregnant women and their families who have incomes below the poverty level.

What is the income limit for Head Start in Colorado?

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $1,215
  • 2 $1,643
  • 3 $2,072
  • 4 $2,500
  • 5 $2,928
  • 6 $3,357
  • 7 $3,785
  • 8 $4,213

How do I apply for Head Start in Colorado?

To find a Head Start or Early Head Start program near you, call 1-866-763-6481 or use the Head Start Locator to find the program serving your community. 2

Colorado Free School Lunch Program #

Colorado's National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally-subsidized meal program that provides nutritious, low-cost or free lunches to eligible students each day.

Before the pandemic, Colorado students were eligible for free or reduced breakfasts and lunches if their household income is 130% (free) or 180% (reduced) of the federal poverty guidelines.

During the pandemic, federal waivers allowed every Colorado student to receive free school meals, regardless of family income. Such program was later sunsetted in 2022.

Are school lunches still free in Colorado?

Colorado will become the third state to permanently offer free meals to all students, following California and Maine. However, the program, aptly called Healthy School Meals for All, will only begin in the 2023-2024 school year.

Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) #

Colorado CCAP is available for children under age 13 or up to age 18 for children with special needs whose parent is employed or enrolled in the Colorado Works Program.

Each of Colorado's 64 counties manages its own local CCCAP program, and the income limits and requirements vary from county to county.

Once accepted into the program, you are expected to contribute a portion of your child care costs based on the size of the family, the amount of your income, and the number of children in care.

What is the income limit for child care assistance in Colorado?

Each county sets eligibility requirements for families but must provide assistance to families whose income falls at or below 200% of the federal poverty guideline. That's about $4,143 a month for a family of three.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 2 $3,287
  • 3 $4,143
  • 4 $5,000
  • 5 $5,857
  • 6 $6,713
  • 7 $7,570
  • 8 $8,427

How do I apply for child care assistance in Colorado?

If you are a resident of Colorado in need of child care, you may appy in person at your County’s Social Services/Human Services office or apply online through Colorado PEAK for expedited processing.

Colorado Housing Choice Voucher Program #

Colorado's Housing Choice Voucher Program, or Section 8, provides rental assistance to income-eligible Coloradans by subsidizing a portion of their monthly rent and utilities through vouchers.

The application is a lottery-based process where random drawings are held once a year. If your number is selected, you will be notified through the mail within 120 days after the date of the drawing.

Once issued with a housing voucher, it becomes your responsibility to find a suitable housing unit of your choice, in the community of your choice, where the owner agrees to rent under the program.

How do I apply for Section 8 housing in Colorado?

To apply for housing voucher, visit your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). Some PHAs have long waiting lists, so you may want to apply at more than one PHA.

Colorado Special Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) #

Colorado WIC helps families with special checks for buying healthy foods to supplement their diet. Other benefits include nutrition education, free screening and referral.

In order to participate in the Colorado WIC Program, participants must meet income guidelines and be pregnant women, new mothers, infants or children under age five and individually determined by a health professional to be “at nutritional risk”.

What is the income limit for WIC in Colorado?

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $2,248
  • 2 $3,040
  • 3 $3,833
  • 4 $4,625
  • 5 $5,418
  • 6 $6,210
  • 7 $7,003
  • 8 $7,795

WIC clinics statewide are now issuing eWIC cards to all WIC families which they can use like a debit card to purchase WIC approved foods at authorized WIC grocery stores.

For eligibility and appointment information, call

Colorado Low Income Energy Assistance (LEAP) #

Colorado LEAP is a federally funded program that helps eligible low-income Colorado families pay a portion of their winter home heating costs. The program runs from November 1 to April 30 each year.

Families with incomes up to 60% of the state median income level are eligible to receive up to $1,000 per family, and an additional $4,000 crisis benefit is available for those experiencing an energy crisis.

The actual amount of the energy assistance benefit varies depending on a variety of factors, including the primary heating fuel costs and income.

How do I apply for LEAP in Colorado?

LEAP pays the highest benefits to those with the highest primary heating fuel costs. To find out if you are eligible for LEAP, please call 1-866-432-8435.

Colorado Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) #

Colorado LIHWAP provides financial relief to low-income families for water and wastewater bills to avoid shutoffs or disconnections — up to $2,000 depending on their need.

To be eligible for LIHWAP, a household must have an income that does not exceed 150% of the federal poverty level. Priority is given to households with the elderly, disabled or a young child under age 6.

How do I get help paying my water bill in Colorado?

Colorado uses LEAP as categorically eligibility for LIHWAP applicants. Applicants are only required to complete the LIHWAP Addendum within the LEAP application along with a copy of their recent water bill.

Colorado Unemployment Insurance #

Colorado Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a “temporary wage replacement” program that pays benefits to Coloradans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

According to Colorado law, this weekly benefit amount currently may not exceed $781 per week, or be less than $25. The maximum length of Colorado unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

Benefits are paid directly to your own personal Colorado Automated Payment (CAP) Card which is automatically issued when you file for benefits.

How do I sign up for unemployment in Colorado?

To get an estimate of how much your UI Benefits will be before you file a new claim, use this estimator. To file a claim, click here or call 303-318-9000 for assistance.

Colorado College Opportunity Fund (COF) #

College Opportunity Trust Fund (COF) provides a stipend to eligible undergraduate students attending a Colorado participating public institution or private school.

The stipend pays a portion of the student's total resident tuition — capped at 145 credit hours. Students who have exhausted the 145 credit hours, may request a waiver for additional funding.

The current tuition stipend is $116 per credit hour at participating public colleges or $58 per credit hour at participating private colleges.

How do I apply for the College Opportunity Fund?

All eligible students must complete the COF application and authorize use of funds to receive the stipend. For additional information, call 720-264-8550.


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