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Some felony convictions can affect your ability to get assistance

Felony convictions can sometimes affect your ability to collect government assistance that can sometimes help you get on your feet when you get out of prison or try to start your new life. This sad situation is one that can have a huge negative impact on a person who is trying to live the right life after having run-ins with the law. Fortunately, people who have been convicted of felonies in Colorado, including those with drug felonies, have ways that they might be able to qualify for assistance programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

States have the option of opting out of the federal ban that prohibits people with drug felonies from collecting benefits. Colorado is one of the states that exercises that option. In the case of SNAP benefits, which are foodstamps, a person who has a drug felony and has completed treatment or is in treatment can receive benefits. In the case of TANF, or cash assistance, a person can receive benefits if he or she has completed his or her sentence or in full compliance with court orders.

Drug felony convictions can also have other effects on the assistance you might be able to receive. One example is federal student aid. Drug convictions can limit your eligibility for some aid programs.

If you are facing drug charges, your best option is to get to work on a defense. While you might not be able avoid a conviction completely, you might be able to minimize the penalties that you face. In all cases of a conviction, make sure that you remain in compliance with court orders so that you might be able to receive assistance if you need it to help you get back on your feet.

Source: Legal Action Center, "Opting Out Of Federal Ban On Food Stamps And TANF," accessed June 14, 2016

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