New Mexico residents who have difficulty affording their monthly groceries may be eligible for food stamps. Residents can seek assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is designed to help supplement the cost of nutritious groceries to keep families fed. Low-income households, the elderly and the disabled may qualify for this benefit.
The SNAP program is a national program funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered at the state level. In New Mexico, the program is managed by the Income Support Division of the state Human Services Department. The sections below go over what the eligibility requirements for NM SNAP food stamps are, how to apply for the program and how to use your benefits. To learn more about the program, download our free guide.
Learn About New Mexico Food Stamps Requirements
Before you submit an application for benefits, you should confirm if you meet the food stamps eligibility requirements. The requirements may change if you have an elderly or disabled member of your household. However, in general, you must meet the standard requirements regarding citizenship, income and assets in order to receive benefits.
The SNAP income guidelines depend on the federal poverty level (FPL). In general, your gross income — also known as your income before taxes — should be no more than 130 percent of the FPL or 165 percent of the FPL if you meet categorical eligibility.
If you are a family of three, you may qualify if you earn no more than $2,379 per month in gross income.If you have a household of three and at least one member is elderly or disabled, you may qualify with a monthly gross income of $3,020.
However, the state deducts certain expenses – such as for utilities, shelter, and dependent care – from your income when calculating your eligibility. Therefore, you may still qualify for benefits if you earn more than that.
In addition, you must not have more than a certain amount in assets to meet NM SNAP eligibility requirements. Generally, you should have no more than $2,500 per household in assets, or $3,750 per household if you have an elderly or disabled member. Assets include your checking, savings, bonds, money market funds and more. You can leave out the value of one property and one vehicle in calculating your assets. However, additional properties or vehicles must be counted.
Another SNAP eligibility requirement involves your citizenship. You must have or qualify for a Social Security Number to receive benefits. If you are an unqualified immigrant or an undocumented immigrant, you are not eligible for the food stamps program. You can still receive benefits if some members of your household are not eligible for benefits. However, you will only receive benefits for the eligible members of your household.
How to Apply for Food Stamps in New Mexico
Residents can apply for food stamps in New Mexico by mail, in person or online depending on their preference. In order to apply in person, individuals should schedule an appointment with the nearest field office. To apply by mail, applicants should download the food stamp application from the state website, fill it out and mail it to the address indicated on the form. To apply for food stamps online, individuals should create an account on the YesNM online portal and submit the application.
Regardless of how you choose to apply for SNAP, you must provide the same information. In general, this includes:
- The names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers for all household members
- The income sources for all household members
- The assets of all household members, including checking accounts, savings accounts, most trust funds, any vehicles and any properties. You can exclude the value of one primary residence and one primary vehicle.
- All household expenses, including utilities, child support or childcare.
It is important to fill out the form accurately and completely. If you leave out important information, that may delay your application or result in a denial. Additionally, you must provide certain documents to prove your financials when you apply for SNAP. This can include utility bills, mortgage or rental agreements, W-2s, tax returns and more.
After you submit your application, the HSD will call you for an in-person interview at your nearest field office. You must bring all your required paperwork to the meeting, including a form of identification for yourself. At the meeting, you can answer any remaining questions and verify the information in your application. The office may also seek permission to contact your employers and landlords to further verify the information in your application. Within 30 days of completing your interview, you will receive a final decision regarding your SNAP application.
Learn About SNAP Benefits in New Mexico
If you are approved for SNAP benefits in New Mexico, you will receive an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card where you will receive your funds. Your EBT card will be reloaded monthly with your benefits. You can use it like a debit card at participating grocery stores and farmers’ markets to buy fresh groceries.
How much you are entitled to receive in SNAP benefits depends on your household income and makeup. You may receive less than the maximum benefit allowed for your household size based on your assets or how much you earn. If you are a three-person household in New Mexico, your maximum monthly allotment is $658.
The state will determine the precise amount you receive. It is up to you to budget your benefits appropriately to last you throughout the month. If your financial or household situation changes, you must inform the office as soon as possible. You may be eligible for more benefits in some cases. To learn more about SNAP food benefits, download our free guide.
You can only use your NM food stamp benefits to purchase groceries that you prepare at home. For instance, you can use it to purchase dairy products, meats, grains, fruit and vegetables, canned goods, snacks and beverages. You can also use your benefits to purchase seeds for food you can grow at home, such as vegetables and herbs. However, you cannot purchase the following:
- Alcohol and cigarettes
- Pet food
- Paper products
- Household supplies
- Hot meals
- Prepared meals
Along with SNAP food benefits, you are also eligible for the SNAP Nutrition Education program. This program offers free classes to children and adults to go over the importance of nutrition and physical exercise. Courses are designed to show you how to make your benefits go farther while maintaining a healthy diet.
Name: New Mexico Income Support Division
Phone Number: (505) 827-7263
Address: P. O. Box 2348, Sante Fe, New Mexico 87504
Director: Karmela Martinez
Last Updated: September 30, 2022