New Mexico families can access several public assistance resources and social services. Programs range from temporary cash assistance, medical care, food, and utility help. The state will usually offer short term financial help for paying bills and basic needs at the same time as providing case management, referrals, and other aid.
Cash Assistance, which is called NMWorks, is the states version of the federal government TANF Temporary Assistance for Needy Family program. Each and every month a cash voucher or benefit is provided to qualified low income families to help them pay their bills and basic living expenses. Public funds can be used to pay for rent, utilities, and clothing costs.
The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) helps lower income families determine whether or not they qualify for any type of cash assistance from the state. If someone does qualify for help, then the monthly cash assistance / government aid needs to be used for basic needs, such as housing, clothing, food, and electric bills. Clients also need to commit to looking for a job and case management.
Another program for utility bills is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. This service helps families and persons with paying for their heating and cooling bills. Dial (800) 283-4465.
Financial assistance is offered to children and disabled adults from General Assistance (GA). This is a limited state of New Mexico funded public assistance program that is focused on very low income families. It combies grants with other basic needs.
The primary objective of the general assistance program is to provide cash and monetary aid to disabled adults as well as their dependents. There will also be support for needy children who are not eligible for any other support or resources under a federally matched cash assistance program. So it can help people that are not qualified for the federal program of supplemental security income (SSI) or New Mexico works (NMW). If this public aid program is not available to a household, then find other resources that offer low income families financial help.
Receive free food and government commodities from the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Eligible New Mexican's can use this food program throughout the state. Several food pantries across the state contract with numerous non-profit organizations and charities to provide distribution of the TEFAP USDA commodities to eligible New Mexican's.
Another food resource offered by the New Mexico Human Services Department is SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Thousands of low-income households, including many with children, can get assistance with buying the food they need to stay healthy. SNAP Benefits are very easy to use when you purchase food products at your grocery store, and they can be bought with a debit card type system.
While it is a federal government run public assistance program, the Human Services Department will help applicants determine whether they qualify for SNAP. Criteria include how much money someone’s earns and their total assets.
Other government food programs exist as well. TEFAP provides United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) commodities and foodstuff to eligible families and individuals throughout the state. Another option is NMCAP, which is a New Mexico Human Services Department program that makes it easier for people who are currently receiving public assistance from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to get free food assistance.
Women, Infants and Children Program, or WIC, is a nutrition program that helps new mothers, pregnant women, and young children stay healthy by eating well and getting the nutrition they need. WIC provides counseling and nutrition education, free nutritious foods, and help accessing health and dental care to low-income families, including women, infants, and children.
Programs for paying child care are available to parents who are in school or that are currently employed. Public funds can be issued to families in order to help pay a portion of their costs. There are several other components of this New Mexico program as well, including assistance in finding a quality, yet affordable, day or child care provider. The focus is on ensuring the child is well cared for. More information.
Students from households receiving welfare, or TANF, can be provided additional public assistance to pay for school supplies. The Human Services Department in New Mexico will provide their parents with more money during the summer months so they can buy clothes, items for the classroom, and other items for the student. Learn more on the New Mexico TANF school supply program.
The government agency Medical Assistance Division, or MAD, manages the New Mexico Medicaid program. Medicaid is a joint state government and federal funded program that pays for health care and medical bills to New Mexicans who are eligible for Medicaid and government benefits.
The Human Services Department's oversees MAD. Public health care programs in New Mexico that are based on Medicaid include New MexiTeens, Salud!, and New MexiKids. Other services are Family Planning and Pregnancy, the Working Disabled Individuals (WDI) program, the Coordination of Long-Term Services (CoLTS) program, and The Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. MAD is responsible for all Fee for Service (FFS) provider payments as well.
In addition to traditional federal government funded Medicaid services, MAD also administers Insure New Mexico! Solutions. These are federal and state funded health insurance plans for individuals, small businesses, as well as non-profit organizations. They can also offer expanded coverage options for pregnant women and children. These programs include Premium Assistance for Maternity (PAM), State Coverage Insurance (SCI), and Premium Assistance for Kids (PAK).
Call the New Mexico Human Services Department at 1-888-473-3676. They can review all of the public benefits as well as entitlements above. There are also other social services that can be explored.
Residents can also contact their local office for information on how to apply for government assistance, whether federal or state of New Mexico programs.
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