Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND) & Aid to the Blind (AB)

What are AND and AB?

Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND) and Aid to the Blind (AB) are state-funded programs that provide direct cash assistance payments to disabled or blind individuals who are without working capacity for at least six (6) months.

These programs provide an interim income until a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application is approved. If approved for SSI, any AND/AB benefits may be repaid from any SSI backpay. AND/AB pays a maximum monthly benefit of $248 per person (effective 4/1/2022); this amount is reduced dollar-for-dollar if there are any other sources of income. 

Those individuals approved for SSI but receiving less than the maximum monthly AND/AB benefit may continue to receive a partial benefit concurrently with SSI.

Who is eligible for AND/AB?

To receive benefits, individuals must:

  • be aged 18-59, and
  • have income less than the maximum monthly benefit, and
  • have resources of less than $2,000 ($3,000 for a couple), and
  • be certified as disabled without work capacity for at least six months OR certified as meeting the legal definition of blindness without work capacity by a Colorado licensed doctor, or optometrist or ophthalmologist respectively.

Applicants must also:

  • pursue all other benefits and sources of income first, and
  • apply for SSI and submit verification of that application if requested, and
  • sign an Authorization for Reimbursement of Interim Assistance form for the state to be repaid if SSI is approved.

Individuals with a primary diagnosis of alcoholism or substance abuse are limited to a maximum 12 months of benefits and must submit to treatment and random testing (those who fail tests will be disqualified from benefits).

Individuals who have income above the maximum monthly benefit and are above 60 may eligible for Old Age Pension, which has higher benefits and does not require any medical diagnosis.

How to apply for AND/AB

Apply for AND/AB online through Colorado PEAK or by submitting a paper Application for Public Assistance (standard Medicaid application). When applying for AND/AB, check the box for “Adult Financial” assistance.

Individuals must also apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Applications may be initiated online, or completed with the local Social Security office.

After applying the county department of human services will schedule a medical examination for the individual to evaluate capacity for work. The physician will make a determination of disability based on medical or mental factors, or a determination of low visual acuity. The physician will complete a form (Med-9) which must be provided to the department of human services. Note: This medical examination is different from the comprehensive medical determination of eligibility for SSI.

Once approved, AND/AB benefits begin from the date of application or the date all other requirements for eligibility are met, whichever is later.

AND/AB benefits are paid by direct deposit or through electronic benefits transfer (EBT) to a prepaid debit card.

Need help with AND or AB?

AND and AB are administered by the county department of human services, who can answer any questions about specific cases or payments. 

For questions or assistance with AND or AB, including application completion, call CGS at 303-333-3482. Our benefits counseling team can help answer questions and navigate the process.