TANF (Colorado Works) Program

Authored By: Colorado Legal Services


What is TANF?

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is part of the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1999, and replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). It is administered in Colorado through the Colorado Works program. Colorado Works is a state-supervised and county-administered program. Benefits include cash assistance, job training, Medicaid, and other assistance.

The State sets minimum benefit levels and eligibility criteria, and counties have flexibility in establishing permissible work activities and supplementing benefit levels. The amount of the monthly cash assistance is based on size of family and available earned and unearned income.

The program is designed to get people to work, and places limits on the length of time recipients may obtain assistance. Go to the Colorado Peak website and click on Apply for Benefits icon for the application the Colorado Works (TANF) program.

Are there time limits? If so, what are they?

Yes, and here is a description:
1. Lifetime limit: In accordance with federal requirements, Colorado Works imposes a 60-month cumulative lifetime limit on the receipt of basic cash assistance.

2. Job-readiness: The Individual Responsibility Contract requires most adult recipients to be in a work activity within 24 months of being deemed job-ready.

B. General Eligibility Requirements
Household must have:
1. A dependent child under 18
2. Less than $2000 in countable assets
3. No more than one car
4. Income that meets TANF limits
5. Signed the Individual Responsibility Contract



This communication is made available by Colorado Legal Services, Inc., (CLS), as a public service and is issued to inform not to advise. No person should attempt to interpret or apply any law without the assistance of an attorney. The opinions expressed in this communication are those of the authors and not those of CLS or its funding sources.

Last Review and Update: Feb 21, 2018