Disaster Assistance

Get Help Paying Your Bills

Denver Human Services is providing Disaster Assistance through our federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (referred to as Colorado Works in the state of Colorado).

Disaster Assistance is for Denver residents with children in the home who are denied or will likely be denied for public assistance programs but still meet broad-based TANF eligibility criteria and present a real need for services directly relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The need may be related to loss of income due to the pandemic, but loss of income is not necessary. For example, counseling or mental health services may be needed due to any number of pandemic-related realities other than loss of income.

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TANF Disaster Assistance Frequently Asked Questions(PDF, 119KB)

Apply for TANF Disaster Assistance Online

Can't apply online? Call 720-944-4DHS (4347) and one of our customer service team members will help. You can also pick up a paper application located in one of the drop boxes located outside of each of our buildings.

How to Apply

How to Apply

 The first step in the process is to apply for TANF/Colorado Works online and then to discuss TANF Disaster Assistance during your eligibility interview.

If you already receive TANF/Colorado Works, please reach out to your case manager for more information.

You can apply for TANF/Colorado Works at online at Colorado.gov/PEAK, or you can download a paper application in English, Spanish, or large print. Printed applications can be faxed to 720-944-3094, mailed to Denver Human Services, Attn. Assistance Application, 1200 Federal Blvd. Denver, CO 80204, or, dropped off at any of the drop boxes located at Denver Human Services offices (1200 Federal Blvd., 3815 Steele St., or 4685 Peoria St.). Please note that our offices are currently closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and we are offering services by phone and online only.

For new customers, our document runner program is available to Denver residents in need of paper applications for assistance with food (TANF/SNAP/Medicaid), child care (CCAP), utilities (LEAP), EBT cards, and child support services. Residents who need an application delivered to their residence can call 720-944-1520, between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Once the application is completed, residents can place it in the provided, sealed envelope and call the same hotline to schedule the pick-up. Please note that this service is provided only for new customers. Those with existing DHS cases should call 720-944-4DHS (4347).

What is Needed to Prove You Have a COVID-19 Emergency

If you are denied for public assistance programs but still meet the broad-based TANF eligibility criteria and have a need directly relating to the pandemic, a DHS employee will complete request for TANF Disaster Assistance on your behalf. Depending on the need/request, we may ask you to provide supporting documentation of the expense (e.g. utility bills; rent or mortgage statement; insurance statement).

Who Qualifies

Denver Human Services is providing Disaster Assistance through our federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (referred to as Colorado Works in the state of Colorado).

Disaster Assistance is for Denver residents with children in the home who are denied or will likely be denied for public assistance programs but still meet broad-based TANF eligibility criteria and present a real need for services directly relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The need may be related to loss of income due to the pandemic, but loss of income is not necessary. For example, counseling or mental health services may be needed due to any number of pandemic-related realities other than loss of income.

Other Common Questions

What expenses can be covered? Other items that I could request from this program?

TANF Disaster Assistance is intended to assist with expenses due to the pandemic. The need may be related to loss of income due to the disaster, but loss of income is not necessary. For example, counseling or mental health services may be needed due to any number of pandemic-related factors other than loss of income.

TANF Disaster Assistance includes, but is not limited to:

  • Food
  • Shelter (including mortgage or rent)
  • Clothing
  • Non-covered medical expenses
  • Counseling and mental health services
  • Educational/developmental opportunities
  • Transportation (including automotive expenses)
  • Work-related supplies.

How long until I know if I am approved? How will I be notified?

It may take up to 30-45 days to process an application for public assistance programs to then determine if the applicant qualifies for TANF Disaster Assistance. The customer can expect to be contacted thereafter to complete an TANF Disaster Assistance request form over the phone if they qualify for the program. Once all information/documentation is received, the customer will be notified of the determination, method of payment(s), and forthcoming notification in the mail.

When approved-how are funds received and does it come to me directly?

TANF Disaster Assistance payments will be issued by Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and/or a direct payment to the vendor with check(s). TANF Disaster Assistance benefits may be paid using both methods for a single customer – for example, a check may be issued to a landlord vendor while the customer also receives an EBT card loaded with benefits for other needs.

Is there a limit on how much I can request?

The maximum TANF Disaster Assistance per-family payment is $4,000.

For how long will this program be available? Can I apply for more help later?

TANF Disaster Assistance is available until the funds are exhausted and this program is intended to assist with a one-time payment for the related expense.

Can I still get help if I don’t have COVID-related expenses?

TANF Disaster Assistance is to assist with needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers may still qualify for public assistance and other programs to help with needs not related to the pandemic.

Do you have to pay this money back?

We are required to ask you (if you are approved for funding) to attest that the information you provide to us is true and accurate, and make sure that you understand that the benefits may be denied or revoked if you provide false or fraudulent information in seeking disaster benefits. If you provide true, accurate information and are approved for the benefits, you will not need to pay them back. You may be subject to demands for recovery of any benefits paid, including litigation if deemed necessary, if benefits are paid due to false or fraudulent information you have provided.

Are other programs, like food assistance, child care assistance, and Medicaid, affected if a person receives help?

If you receive TANF Disaster Assistance funds, they would not impact the other programs that you may be eligible to receive.

Do all resources have to be exhausted before you can request assistance?

No, you can apply for public assistance programs at any time.