Dona Ana County public aid.

Low income families across Dona Ana County can get help from a wide variety of public and government benefits. Most of the aid is administered by the Department of Human Services, and it is a combination of state and federal funds. There is also a focus on senior citizens as well as the disabled in the county, however some form of assistance may be provided too all qualified applicants.

More information on the services are below, however they include applications to SNAP food stamps as well to LIHEAP energy bill assistance. Some of the most other commonly used programs in Dona Ana include Medicaid, also known as Centennial Care, as well as cash assistance from TANF or NMWorks.

Anyone seeking cash assistance from the Human Services Department needs to participate in case management and job training programs. This is a requirement as the public assistance offered is short term only, and the reason it is provided is to offer temporary relief while the resident works to get off of welfare and other government benefits.

  • NMWorks is the main Dona Ana grant or cash assistance program. There may be funds for paying for household expenses such as energy bills, rent, food, and related costs.
  • General assistance (GA) is for households with a child, disabled member, or someone that has no other options available. So money or even loans may be provided by Dona Ana County when a family has no other options available to them.
  • LIHEAP is the state's main public assistance program for paying utility bills. Grants may be provided to low income households, with a focus on seniors as well as disabled.
  • The disabled in Dona Ana County can get help from SSI, or supplemental security income. Public funds can be used for medical costs and basic living expenses of someone that is impacted by a disability that prevents them from working.

As far as food programs in Dona Ana County, families have a few options available to them. Each will offer some form of benefit to the poor and less fortunate, and the terms will vary. For example, there are programs focused on children, such as free school lunches or summer meals. Others will prioritize elderly families, and they can include CSFP.




  • Emergency Food Assistance is part of TEFAP. This is offered by local pantries and soup kitchens, and it can help in a crisis.
  • Food Stamps (SNAP) is a monthly benefit for the working poor and Dona Ana households in poverty. Vouchers and cards provided by the Human Services Department are used to help people buy groceries at the local store.
  • Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) can help single moms, pregnant women, and infants. They will be provided free formula and other food items that newborns need.

There is also assistance for medical needs. This is targeted at the very low income in Dona Ana County, and with the large number of under or uninsured in the region, this public benefit is in high demand. The state will help by offering basic health care coverage for medications and other items, and for more details on Centennial Care (or Medicaid) dial 1-855-637-6574.

Many of the resources are administered by MAD, or the Medical Assistance Division. The is a state agency that works with the local Dona Ana County office to ensure that people have access to the care and support they need. Centennial Care relies on public funds to keep operating, and it is targeted mostly at residents that have an income slightly higher than poverty levels.

Unclaimed/Indigent Cremation Program will help pay for funeral and burial expenses. The Health and Human Services Department of Doņa Ana County runs this, and it is for residents of the county that have a very low income and little or no assets available to them.

When seeking assistance or benefits from the county, the applicant will need to participate in social services, ranging from job placement to training. To help in this, public assistance can even help pay for child care expenses, if that is one of the barriers being faced by the family. The office is at 845 N. Motel Blvd., Las Cruces, New Mexico 88007, and more information is at 1-888-473-3676.



By Jon McNamara

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