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Human Services

Food Assistance (SNAP)

For Specific Information Related To Ongoing Food Assistance Cases,

Please Call: 719-444-5124

Welcome to the Food Assistance information page of the El Paso County Department of Human Services. The Food Assistance Program enables low-income families to buy nutritious food with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card (formerly called the QWEST card). Food Assistance recipients spend their benefits to buy eligible food in authorized retail food stores.

This Program is the cornerstone of  Federal Food Assistance and provides crucial support to needy households and to those making the transition from welfare to work.

The Food Assistance Programs provide food benefits to households that meet the citizenship, income and resource guidelines for the Food Assistance Program. Employment first is the Food Assistance Employment and Training Program, which is a mandatory component of the Food Assistance Program.

Income Guidelines

Households have to meet income tests unless all members are receiving TANF, SSI, or in some places general assistance. Most households must meet both the gross and net income tests, but a household with an elderly person or a person who is receiving certain types of disability payments only has to meet the net income test. Households, except those noted, that have income over the amounts listed below cannot get Food Assistance benefits.

(Oct. 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2018)

Household size

Gross monthly income
(130 percent of poverty)

Net monthly income
(100 percent of poverty)


1,307 $ 1,005





2,213 1,702


2,665 2,050


3,118 2,399










Each additional member

+ 453

+ 349

Note: Gross income means a household's total, non-excluded income, before any deductions have been made. Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions.

Deduction are allowed as follows:

  • A 20 percent deduction from earned income;
  • A standard deduction of $157 for households sizes of 1 to 3 people; $168 for a household size of 4; $197 for a household size of 5; $226 for a household size of 6+;
  • A dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education;
  • Medical expenses for elderly or disabled members that are more than $35 for the month if they are not paid by insurance or someone else;
  • Legally owed child support payments;
  • Some States allow homeless households a set amount ($143) for shelter costs; and
  • Excess shelter costs that are more than half of the household's income after the other deductions. Allowable costs include the cost of fuel to heat and cook with, electricity, water, the basic fee for one telephone, rent or mortgage payments and taxes on the home. (Some States allow a set amount for utility costs instead of actual costs.) The amount of the shelter deduction cannot be more than $490 unless one person in the household is elderly or disabled.

Food Assistance - The Food Assistance Program is a Federally funded program available to persons that meet the defined eligibility criteria. Participants must be Colorado residents and U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents or a qualified aliens.

Expedited Food Assistance – households that meet the following criteria are required to have their application processed within 7 calendar days of receipt by El Paso County DHS:

If you do not qualify for the Food Assistance Program, there are other resources available to you including: