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Information on Assistance & Resources in New Mexico

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NewMexicoResources.org and SHARE New Mexico have combined forces to provide detailed information about a variety of government-funded assistance programs available to low and moderate-income individuals and families living in New Mexico. Here at SHARE New Mexico you can find practical information on what benefits are available, eligibility requirements, how to apply, benefit amounts, answers to commonly asked questions and much more.

Browse the categories below to find the information you are looking for and follow the links to learn about the various federal, state, and local programs in New Mexico to help you. For some programs, you can also download an application form.

SHARE New Mexico is an independent web site and is not affiliated with the U.S. federal government or the New Mexico state government.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs give financial support to low-income people so they can provide for their basic needs. Some cash assistance programs also provide education and job training to help eligible families and individuals become self-sufficient. Various cash assistance programs are available in New Mexico to help those in need. Please note that this is not a complete list of cash assistance programs that may be available to you.

  • General Assistance is a New Mexico state-funded program that provides financial assistance to dependent needy children and disabled adults who are not eligible for assistance under a federally matched financial assistance program such as New Mexico Works (NMW) or the federal program known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a cash assistance program for people who are 65 or older and for people of any age who are disabled or blind, and who have little income and resources.

  • Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) is program that gives cash assistance to low-income families with dependent children. In New Mexico, it is managed by New Mexico Works and is sometimes refered to by this name. More broadly, TANF may be known as "welfare" or "public assistance." You must have a child or be pregnant to qualify for TANF, and you must have little income and few resources. Many families must also meet work and school requirements.

Education Programs

All children in New Mexico, including homeless children and undocumented children, and some qualifying adults, have the right to public education. Public education is free and funded by taxation.

  • Free education is available for adult learners, aged 16 and older, who seek to learn basic literacy skills, obtain a GED, enroll in post-secondary education programs, and learn English as a second language (ESL) and civics; assistance with placement and retention in employment and workplace programs is also available.


    The GED is a test for individuals who have not completed high school. The GED test measures how well an individual has mastered the skills and general knowledge that are acquired in a four-year high school education. Individuals who pass the GED earn the equivalent of a high school diploma.

  • Public education is free education provided by the government, usually paid for by taxes. New Mexico offers several types of public school programs for children in elementary and secondary schools. The New Mexico Public Education Department oversees all public schools in the state.  

  • Head Start and Early Head Start are free early childhood preschool programs for pregnant women and children from birth to age five. The goal of these programs is to help children from low-income families get a healthy start and prepare for school.


    Both programs give children and their families a wide range of educational and social services. Head Start is a free preschool program for three- to five-year-old children from low-income families. Early Head Start serves pregnant women, infants, and toddlers.

  • Income-eligible child care is child care provided at a reduced cost to low-income families in New Mexico who are working, in an education or job training program, or a teen parent. Child care is provided for children 6 weeks old up to the month a child turns 13 and older children with special needs.


    The Office of Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) Childcare Services Bureau administers the program and determines eligibility.

  • Special education is based on the belief that children of all learning abilities, including those with physical and mental differences, should learn together, with equal access to the general education curriculum. Support is provided in a variety of settings that best meet the needs of exceptional children, while maintaining compliance with state and federal laws, so that they may become productive members of society.

Employment & Job Training

This section currenlty covers information about unemployment insurance in New Mexico. 

  • Unemployment Insurance gives temporary cash payments to people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Energy Assistance

There are several programs in New Mexico to help low-income families and individuals pay for their heating and cooling costs. Government help is also available for weatherization assistance. In addition, low-income customers may be able to get telephone discounts and utility shutoff protection.

 

Please note that this is not a complete list of energy or utility assistance programs that may be available to you. 

  • The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), sometimes called heating assistance or fuel assistance, helps low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills. Eligibility is based on gross household income. The program is for homeowners and renters. Depending upon availability, some energy assistance households may also qualify for other utility related assistance programs, such as weatherization and emergency furnace repairs.

  • HEAT New Mexico is the New Mexico Gas Company's heating assistance fund to help low income families pay their home energy bills.

  • The PNM Good Neighbor Fund is to help low income families pay their electric bills. 

  • The NM Energy $mart program provides weatherization assistance to New Mexico low-income homeowners and tenants. The program is designed to create energy efficiency in a home, allowing households to spend less on energy bills. Benefits include things like repair or replacement of broken windows, weather stripping, furnace repair or replacement, and similar measures. The program is coordinated by the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority and administed by four agencies located throughout New Mexico.

Financial Programs

Certain program are available in New Mexico that help low and moderate income residents with personal finances, using credit wisely, and building savings.

 

Please note that this is not a full listing of programs that may be available to you.

  • Consumer credit counseling programs are programs for people who are having trouble paying their debts or have other financial questions. Credit counseling programs offer financial counseling, debt management plans, bankruptcy information, foreclosure prevention, and other money management services.

  • An individual development account (IDA) is a special matched savings account that helps individuals and families with low-income put money aside for education, homeownership, a small business or other assets.

Food Programs

In New Mexico there are several different food programs that provide free food, low cost food, and information about good nutrition to low-income families and individuals.

 

Please note that this is not a complete list of food assistance programs that may be available to you.

 

  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was known as Food Stamps. In October of 2008 the name was changed in order to reflect the new focus of eating and cooking health and receiving assistance with purchasing food. SNAP allows low-income people to buy healthy foods and still have enough money to pay their other bills.

  • WIC is a government program that provides nutrition education and free healthy food to women, infants, and children who are at risk of developing medical or nutritional problems. 

Health Care Programs

Health care programs offer free or low-cost health services to eligible families and individuals. Health care programs help pay for medical care given by doctors, clinics, HMOs, hospitals, and pharmacies. Different health care programs have different eligibility requirements. All low-income children are eligible for free health insurance.


Please note that this is not a complete list of health insurance-related programs that may be available to you.

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is improving access to quality healthcare for all Americans by helping to reduce the inequalities in access to healthcare experienced by many Americans. This section will help you to understand your rights under the law and the resources and protections afforded to you by the law.

  • Medicaid is a state health insurance program, funded by both the state and federal governments, that pays medical bills for eligible low-income families and individuals living in New Mexico.

  • Medicare is a national health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain people under 65 with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure). Medicare is basic protection, and does not cover all medical expenses or most long-term care. Medicare includes Part A Hospital Insurance, Part B Medical Insurance, Part C Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D Prescription Drug coverage.

  • There are programs in New Mexico to help people with special health care needs or in certain financial situations. Each of these special programs has its own eligibility requirements, benefits, and application process.

Housing and Homeless Programs

Housing programs help low and moderate-income New Mexico families find and pay for clean, safe, affordable housing in public or privately owned units. For homeless people or those at risk of becoming homeless, homeless programs provide prevention services and emergency shelter.

 

Please note that this is not a complete list of housing and homeless programs that may be available to you.

  • Homelessness prevention programs help individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

     

  • Homeownership programs help low and moderate-income first-time homebuyers buy their own homes. There are also programs for existing homeowners that help them make necessary improvements or repairs to their homes as well as to prevent foreclosure.

     

     

  • Public housing is affordable government-owned rental housing for low and moderate-income families and individuals, seniors, and people with disabilities.

     

  • Section 8 tenant-based vouchers help low-income families pay their monthly rent costs. Families with tenant-based vouchers can use their vouchers for any rental unit they choose that meets the program requirements. If you are a landlord who would like to know more about the Section 8 program, see our Landlord's Guide.

     

Legal Assistance

There are two Legal Services programs in New Mexico that provide free legal assistance to low-income residents. New Mexico Legal Aid and DNA - People's Services, Inc. offer legal help with family law, landlord/tenant problems, consumer rights, public benefits, tribal law, job discrimination, and other non-criminal legal issues.


There are several hotlines for New Mexico residents to call when in need of legal help. Law Access New Mexico, a state-funded hotline, offers free legal advice on all types of non-criminal legal matters. Other hotlines handle specific types of legal problems.


NOTE: this is not a complete list of legal assistance programs that may be available to you. 
 

  • There are several hotlines for New Mexico residents to call when in need of legal help. Law Access New Mexico, a state-funded hotline, offers free legal advice on all types of non-criminal legal matters. Other hotlines handle specific types of legal problems.

  • Legal Services programs offer free legal help to low-income people. They are funded by the Legal Services Corporation and other government and non-profit sources.

Tax Credits

Certain tax credits are available from both the federal government and the State of New Mexico to eligible individuals and families. These tax credits can serve to lower the amount of tax you owe or, for some programs, result in receiving a cash payment even if you don't owe any taxes. Several of these programs offer substantial tax credits or payments to those who are eligible and it could be worthwhile to see if you may claim any of them.

 

Please note that this is not a complete list of tax credits that may be available to you. 

  • The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a federal tax credit for low and moderate income families with dependent children under age 17. The purpose of the Child Tax Credit is to lower the tax burden of families who are raising children. The maximum CTC is $1,000 per qualifying child.

  • TAX HELP New Mexico is a free tax return preparation service for individuals whose income is $51,000 or less, or who are 65 or older.

  • The Earned Income Credit (EIC), also known as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), is an important anti-poverty and work incentive program that is run by the federal government. The EIC helps individuals and families who earn low to moderate wages, especially working families with children.

     

    If you qualify for the EITC, the tax credit will lower or eliminate any taxes you owe. If you are not required to pay any taxes, or if the credit is more than the taxes you owe, you will get a cash payment ("refund") from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after you file your tax return.

     

    New Mexico has a a state EITC called the Working Families Tax Credit for workers who live in the state and who get the federal EITC. Workers who qualify for and receive the federal EITC can claim an additional 10% of the federal EITC amount on their state income tax return.

  • New Mexico has a "Low-income Comprehensive Tax Rebate" for certain state income taxpayers. 

Transportation Services

Residents of Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe may find information on local transportation services. Click on a city to learn more about its transportation.

  • Albuquerque public transportation includes ABQ Ride, the city-wide bus service; SunVan, curb-to-curb bus service for people with disabilities and qualifying seniors; and the NM Rail Runner Express, a train service that runs from Belen, NM, to Santa Fe, NM.

  • Farmington public transportation includes the Red Apple Transit, which provides bus service to the cities of Farmington, Aztec, Bloomfield and Kirtland; special bus service are also available to people with disabilities and qualifying senior citizens.

  • RoadRUNNER Transit provides public bus transportation along fixed routes in Las Cruces. Seniors, those with disabilities, and children who ride the buses are eligible for special discount bus fares.

  • Santa Fe Trails provides public bus transportation along fixed routes in Santa Fe. Seniors, students, people with disabilities, and children who ride the buses on regular routes are eligible for special discount bus fares. Working people who are income eligible qualify for transportation discounts to work and work-related activities.