Colorado Works/Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF)

About TANF

Colorado Works/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) is a federal program that provides cash assistance to needy families with dependent children. An application for Colorado Works will also be considered for food assistance, Medicaid, and child support services. Child care assistance and other supportive services are available for job seekers.



Colorado PEAK is a State online service for Coloradoans to screen themselves and apply for medical, food, and cash assistance programs.

Visit Colorado PEAK to see if you are eligible and to apply!

Colorado Works is available for families with dependent children or parents of an unborn child. The requirements include:

  • Being a US Citizen or legal alien, meet the resource and income guidelines and have a dependent child.
  • Participate in work activities and comply with Individual Responsibility Contracts.
  • Establishment of a child support order against the absent parent if a parent is absent from the household.
  • Documents of income: bank accounts, investments and vehicles.

Inquire about potential income like disability or survivors benefits from Social Security Administration if a parent is disabled or deceased.

 Financial Aid

Financial Aid

The financial aid is based on:

  • Family Size
  • Income
  • Resources
  • Ages of the Children

Families with minor children can receive TANF for 60 months (5 years) over a lifetime.

Additional information is available during your interview.

 Work Related Activity

Requirement for Work-Related Activity

The program requires applicants to seek employment and be involved in a work activity from the day of the application.

The required number of work hours per week will be determined by the age of the children and if the household is a two-parent household.

Work activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Approved education programs or job skills training
  • Volunteer work or community service
  • Job readiness and job search
  • Full and part-time employment

For minors, high school or GED program attendance and to live with parents or another approved adult.

 How to Apply

Applying For Benefits

There are many ways to apply for benefits. Select the option that is best for you.

  • Colorado PEAK is a State online service for Coloradoans to screen themselves and apply for medical, food, and cash assistance programs. Visit Colorado PEAK to see if you are eligible and to apply!
  • Use the Colorado Financial, Medical, and Food Assistance Application Solicitud.
  • Print the application and fax, mail it to our office
  • Apply in person at one of our offices
  • Call 303.441.1000 to request a special telephone interview or home visit if you are unable to go to our office.

What to Bring When Applying

  • Completed Application Forms
  • Proof of Monthly Income
  • Social Security Numbers for all Household Members
  • Proof of Pregnancy (where applicable)
  • A Valid Colorado ID or Drivers License
  • Proof of Relationship to the Children (Birth Certificates)
  • Proof of Lawful Presence in the U.S. and a signed affidavit for applicants 18 years or older
  • Boulder County Residency


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three primary requirements of Colorado Works, aka TANF?

  • Must have primary responsibility for minor children in your home.
  • Must be willing to cooperate with Child Support Enforcement.
  • Must be willing to cooperate with Work Force Center

Can I receive Colorado Works if I am a full-time college student?

In some cases. All Colorado Works clients must participate in job readiness activities with the Work Force Center. Some schooling will be allowed as a countable activity, but not there is no guarantee. If you are a student, the staff at Work Force Center can discuss this with you in greater detail.

Can I receive Colorado Works for a relative or a child I am responsible for but not related to?

In some cases you may be able to receive Colorado Works for children, other than your own biological children. You must provide verification of your relationship to the child and be able to prove you are responsible for that child.


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