Rio Grande County Social Services

Serving both Rio Grande and Mineral Counties

Office Hours: Monday – Friday - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Closed on all federal holidays

1015 6th Street
P.O. Box 40
Del Norte, CO 81132

Phone: 719-657-3381
Fax: 719-657-4013

DirectorJody KernJody.Kern@state.co.us

Everyone in the community plays a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Colorado has one toll-free phone number to report child abuse and neglect 24/7, 365 days a year.

Please call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at
1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437)

To apply for any of our programs you may come into our office and pick up an application or fill-out and print an application online.

Typical Application Processing Time

From the date the agency receives your completed application, we must act within:

  • 7 days for Expedited Food Assistance, 30 days for Food Assistance;
  • 45 Days for Colorado Works/TANF, Colorado Supplement, Old Age Pension (OAP), Medicaid, Old Age Pension – State Medical Program, and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)
  • 60 Days for State Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND) and Aid to the Blind (AB)
  • 90 Days for Medicaid applications based on disability for Long Term Care
.

Child & Adult Protection

Social Services ManagerGreg Parragreg.parra@state.co.us

Child Protection

 If you or someone you know has a concern regarding the safety or protection of a child please call 719-657-2000 during normal business hours. If it is an emergency outside of these hours please call law enforcement or the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437). Law enforcement will in turn contact our after hours worker.
Caseworker SupervisorJeremy Mederjeremy.meder@state.co.us

Adult Protection

If you or someone you know has a concern regarding the safety, protection, or exploitation of an adult please call 719-657-3381 during normal business hours. If it is an emergency outside of these hours please call law enforcement. Law enforcement will in turn contact our after hours worker.

Public Assistance Programs

Office ManagerRichelle Jaramillorichelle.jaramillo@state.co.us
Eligibility SupervisorSherryl Slanesherryl.slane@state.co.us

CBMS PEAK WEB PORTAL- Allows anyone to determine if they might be eligible for public assistance benefits. Clients will be able to apply for benefits available at this website.

Food Assistance (SNAP)- Food purchase assistance for families and individuals that qualify. Food Assistance is a program to assist with the cost of food. Anyone may apply. If you are eligible, you must receive your benefits within certain time frames (see “Processing Time”). If you need food right away and you meet certain guidelines, you may be eligible to expedited Food Assistance.

You may immediately file an application with the applicant’s name, address and signature of a responsible household member or household’s authorized representative. Benefits will be paid from the filing date. The filing date is different if the household is in an institution and applying for Food Assistance and SSI at the same time. In this case, the filing date is the date of release from the institution. The filing date is the date your application is received in the food stamp office.

The food stamp house hold must have an interview; the interview may be over the phone. You can leave the first page and take the application home to complete. You can then bring, mail or fax the application to the food stamp office.

You may use an authorized representative to apply for food assistance and another, separate authorized representative to use your EBT card.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allows the State to ask for racial/ethnic information. You do not have to state your racial/ethnic information and not giving the information will not affect the application. A Rio Grande County Department of Social Services employee will complete this information if it is not answered. You have a right to request a fair hearing orally or in writing if you disagree with any action taken on the case.

Food Assistance Eligibility

To see if you qualify for food assistance, a pre-screening tool is available online. This pre-screening tool is not an application for food assistance. Applications must be completed and returned to your local food assistance office.

Individuals and/or families can get Food Assistance if they meet certain income requirements. Examples of income are money you get from employment, child support, unemployment or Social Security.  The person or family also cannot have more than $2,000 in resources.  If the household has elderly and/or disabled members, then they cannot have more than $3,000 in resources.  Examples of resources are money in your bank accounts, or your retirement plans or investments.  Income and resources from your husband/wife (legally married or common law) count.  Also any income and resources for children count. 

Households with resources that do not exceed $100 and who have less than $150 in gross monthly income in the month of application may be able to get their application processed faster.

You can apply for benefits online at Colorado PEAK. Applicants can also fill out the application below and return it to your local county human services office

Please fill out as much of the application as you can. If you need help or don't understand a question, a staff member can help you complete your application.

Employment First

Employment Benefits SupervisorRamona Archuletaramona.archuleta@state.co.us

Employment First is a federally mandated program designed to ensure that all able-bodied food assistance participants are engaged in activities that will improve their employability. The program is administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services, and currently operates in 45 Colorado counties.

All individuals who apply for food assistance in Colorado and who do not meet federal exemption criteria must participate in Employment First activities.  These activities include: workfare, adult basic education, GED preparation, literacy, college, vocational training, vocational rehabilitation, job search classes, and part-time work.

As a result of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act of 1996, participants who are identified as "able-bodied adults without dependents" must complete 20 hours each week in order to receive more than three months of food assistance in a 36-month.

Medical Assistance

Eligibility SupervisorSherryl Slanesherryl.slane@state.co.us

Programs & Services

Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)

This program provides health insurance for low-income emergency medical expense. All persons are eligible to apply regardless of age.

Emergency Medicaid

This program is for non-citizens who need help with an emergency medical expense. All persons are eligible to apply regardless of age.

Medicare Cost Savings Program
(QMB, SLMB. QI-1)

These programs may help persons receiving Medicare Part A. (Prescriptions are not a covered benefit.)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Medicaid

This program provides medical benefits for anyone receiving SSI. (No application needed for this program).

Old Age Pension (OAP)

This is a cash assistance program for low-income persons, ages 60 or over, and may include medical assistance.

State Aid to the Blind (AB)

This program is for person, age’s birth – 59, who are blind. This is a cash assistance program and does not include medical benefits.

State Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND)

This program is for person, ages 18 – 59, who are totally disabled for at least 6 months. This is a cash assistance program and does not include medical benefits.

Old Age Pension – State Medical Program

This program may help persons receiving Old Age Pension Financial Assistance.

Medicare Part D – Low Income Subsidy (LIS)

This program may help person receiving Medicare Part D with their premiums, co-pays and deductibles.

Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid)

The Medicaid program is for low-income families, which include eligible adults and children ages 0 - 18. Eligibility is then based on citizenship, legal residence, and household income.

Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid) provides medical benefits including inpatient and outpatient hospital, physician services, child checks-up, immunizations, vision care, including prescription glasses, prescription drugs, dental and mental health care.

For adults over age 21 dental and vision benefits may be limited. Adults may incur co-pay for services.

Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid) may not pay emergency room costs and you will be responsible for paying the bill.

For information regarding Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid) visit HealthFirstColorado.com.  

Spousal Impoverishment Protection Program (SIP)

Provides protection to a community spouse (spouse of Nursing Home resident or Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) participant to prevent impoverishment of the community spouse.  A resource assessment establishes the couple's countable assets as belonging to the spouse who remains at home.

Colorado Works/TANF

Employment Benefits SupervisorRamona Archuletaramona.archuleta@state.co.us

Programs & Services

Colorado Works/TANF

Colorado Works/TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

Through the Colorado Works Program, counties provide family stabilization assistance and other supportive services to enable eligible low-income families to find and retain employment and to provide for their children. Assistance and services provided may include child care, housing and transportation, cash payments, counseling for those experiencing domestic violence, mental health or substance abuse problems, and services aimed to reduce the incidences of out-of-wedlock births and encourage the formation and maintenance of two parent families.

Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid)

The Medicaid program is for low-income families, which include eligible adults and children ages 0 - 18. Eligibility is then based on citizenship, legal residence, and household income.

Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid) provides medical benefits including inpatient and outpatient hospital, physician services, child checks-up, immunizations, vision care, including prescription glasses, prescription drugs, dental and mental health care.

For adults over age 21 dental and vision benefits may be limited. Adults may incur co-pay for services.

Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid) may not pay emergency room costs and you will be responsible for paying the bill.

For information regarding Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid) visit HealthFirstColorado.com.  

Child Care Assistance Program

Social Services ManagerGreg Parragreg.parra@state.co.us

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) helps families that are homeless, working, searching for work or in school find low-income child care assistance. Families that are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program can also use CCCAP services.

Each county's Department of Social/Human Services and the Colorado Office of Early Childhood, Division of Early Care and Learning manage the CCCAP program. Each county sets eligibility requirements for families, but must help families that have an income of 165% or less of the federal poverty guideline. Counties will not serve families that have an income over 85% of the state median income.

View the Family Income Guidelines for CCCAP eligibility.

You can apply for CCCAP online, by mail or by contacting your county's department of human/social services. If you are using the paper application, you must submit it to your county department of human/social services in person or by mail.

Employment information

When you first apply for low-income child care assistance, your child care worker may contact your employer by phone to verify hours and wages. You have 30 days to give written verification of your employment or education program. If verification is not completed, you will not receive benefits. Let your child care worker know immediately if you cannot get the verification information.

Selecting a child care provider

You are responsible for selecting a child care provider for your children. You can select a licensed child care center, a licensed family child care home, or a friend, neighbor or relative caretaker. You will have to decide the type of care that is best for your children and meets your family's needs. When choosing a provider, look for signs that your child will be safe, comfortable, and encouraged to grow and learn. The Colorado Shines child care search identifies licensed providers that accept CCCAP and provides helpful tips to find child care.

Before you take your child to your chosen provider, you need to contact your county department of human/social services so they can authorize care. They will need the name, address and phone number of the provider along with whether or not they are licensed. Failure to notify the county may require you to pay the provider directly for any child care costs incurred.

Notifying the county of changes

While in the low-income child care program, you must notify your county department of human/social services of any change in your eligibility activity within four weeks of the change. You must also notify the county if your income is greater than the maximum allowed amount of 85% of the State Median Income. If your children need a child care schedule change, you must also report this to the county.

Completing your low-income redetermination

Every 12 months, you will be sent a Redetermination of Eligibility Form. The county department of human/social services uses this information to determine if you still meet the eligibility requirements of the program. You must turn in the signed form along with supporting verification, such as 30 days of paycheck stubs and your work schedule, in the time specified or your child care benefits will end.

Other child care assistance programs

Work with your Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) technician to receive Colorado Works child care assistance.

​Work with your Child Welfare worker to receive child welfare child care assistance.

Child Support Services

Child Support SupervisorHelen Martinezhelen.martinez@state.co.us

Colorado Division of Child Support Services

The Mission of the Colorado Child Support Services Program is to assure that all children receive financial and medical support from each parent. This is accomplished by locating each parent, establishing paternity and support obligations, and enforcing those obligations.

We are authorized by law to:

  • Establish child/medical support orders and paternity
  • Modify child/medical support orders
  • Enforce child/medical support orders, including spousal maintenance when combined with child support
  • Process payments through the Family Support Registry (FSR) once an FSR account number is assigned to you, you will be able to register on the Child Support Services website to view your account information online
  • Collect past due child support from the non-custodial parent's federal and state tax refunds and lottery winnings
    • If a federal tax intercept occurs, a $25 fee will be deducted from the intercept
    • Federal joint tax refunds can be held for up to six (6) months
    • Interest will not be paid on funds that are held
  • Collect past due child support from the non-custodial parent through other enforcement measures
  • Ask another state's child support agency to establish, modify, or enforce an order on your behalf
 

LEAP

Eligibility SupervisorSherryl Slanesherryl.slane@state.co.us

LEAP is a federally funded program that helps eligible hard working Colorado families, seniors and individuals pay a portion of their winter home heating costs. 

It is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating, but rather to help alleviate some of the burden associated with the colder months.

If your income is up to 150% of the federal poverty index, you may qualify for heating assistance this winter through LEAP.

The amount of the energy assistance benefit varies depending on a variety of factors, including the primary heating fuel costs and income. The program does not provide financial assistance for any type of temporary or portable heating. In most cases the energy assistance benefit is paid directly to the household energy supplier. 

You may qualify if you: 

  • Pay home heating costs, either directly to a utility company or to a landlord as part of rent. 
  • Are a permanent legal resident of the United States and a Colorado resident or you have household members that are U.S. citizens. 
  • Provide proof of lawful presence in the U.S. Valid forms of identification include: 
    • Colorado Driver’s License or Colorado Identification card 
    • United States Military Identification Card or Military Dependent’s Identification card 
    • United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card 
    • Native American Tribal document 
  • Earn a maximum family household income that does not exceed 150% of the federal poverty index. 

It is easy to apply for LEAP. 

Download the English or Spanish application (you will need the latest version of Adobe Reader to view the application).

You must submit the completed application and all required paperwork to the office location serving your county. Click here for address information.

Assistance may be available to you while the LEAP program is closed. Please call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) for more information.

(If you have trouble viewing or downloading the application, it may be due to an 

outdated version of Adobe Reader. Get the latest version for free by clicking here).

  • Call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to have an application mailed to you. 

If you received LEAP last year and still reside at the same address, a LEAP application packet will be mailed to you on or before November 1. Please use the return business-reply envelope provided in the packet to submit your application. 

Completed LEAP applications can be faxed, mailed, emailed (if the county LEAP office has email capacity) or delivered to the appropriate county LEAP office. Applications are processed according to the date they are received and may take up to 50 days to process a non-emergency application. 

OPTIONS FOR LONG TERM CARE

SupervisorJackie Stephensjackies@riograndecounty.org

OPTIONS FOR LONG TERM CARE

OPTIONS for Long Term Care provides case management for publicly funded programs for individuals receiving skilled, or non-skilled care in the community. OPTIONS also provides Medicaid nursing home admissions when the recipient enters the nursing home from the community.  Programs available through OLTC include Home and Community Based Services and Home Care Allowance.  Recipients must be eligible for, or receiving Medicaid.  OPTIONS also provides private pay case management for individuals.

Home Care Allowance (HCA)

HCA provides personal care to people who need minimal services and support to stay in a community residence.  The HCA program provides a small payment that is used to provide in-home services by a provider of choice.  HCA services have spending limits and are not intended to provide 24 hour care.

Home and Community Based Services

HCBS waivers provide medical and non-medical services in the client’s home or in an assisted living facility.  Clients must meet financial, medical and waiver criteria to access services.  Case managers will assist in developing a care plan to meet the individuals needs in the community.

Additional Resources:

State of Colorado Department of Human Services

State of Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

PEAK

QUALITY ASSURANCE

Quality Assurance InvestigatorMichaela Estradamichaela.estrada@state.co.us

QUALITY ASSURANCE

State Wide Fraud Hotline

1-877-WFINFO-1

1-877-934-6361

 

This unit’s responsibility is to ensure public assistance program integrity by using innovative and prescribed investigation methodology, to prevent, detect, and prosecute welfare fraud.  This unit investigates fraud in all program areas handled by the Department of Social Services.  This unit also collects all claims, judgements, and recoveries by utilizing all collection methods, including monthly billing, demand letters, and state hearings.