Applications can be mailed, faxed, or filed in person at a local Income Support Division (ISD) office. For a listing of the nearest ISD offices, call (505) 827-7250 or visit the Human Services Department website.
The application form is available here.
You will need to submit documents with your application that prove identity, income, expenses, residency, etc. For a list of documents, see page 16 of the benefits paper application form. In many cases, you must also provide a Social Security Number for the person who will receive assistance. Please note that parents who are applying for benefits for their eligible citizen children must provide the child’s SSN, but do not need to provide a Social Security Number for themselves or for other non-applicant household members. Medicaid applicants must also provide proof of citizenship or immigration status for the person who will receive coverage, but not for parents or other non-applicant family members.
Most public benefits programs are available only to certain qualified immigrants. But there are some programs that provide assistance regardless of immigration status. And remember, household members who are citizens (such as children) can always receive benefits even if their parents or other family members are not qualified for the program.
You can apply for the following programs and get help quickly if you meet certain guidelines:
Emergency Food Assistance (“expedited” SNAP): You may be able to get SNAP benefits within 7 days if:
Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility: Children and pregnant women can immediately get Medicaid coverage for 60 days by submitting an application through ISD or through a healthcare provider that is certified to make “presumptive eligibility” decisions (eg. hospitals, clinics, school nurses, etc.). The coverage starts immediately, but you should also complete the regular Medicaid application within the 60 days to continue getting coverage after that time.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Crisis LIHEAP may be able to help you with heating or cooling costs within 48 hours if:
The following tips may help your application go more smoothly:
Know your rights:
If English is not your primary language, the ISD office must provide you with interpretation services in a language you understand. This assistance is free of cost. If you prefer, you may have a family member or friend interpret for you, but ISD cannot require you to use a family member or friend. ISD must give you the option of receiving interpretation services at no cost.
If you have a physical or mental health disability that makes it difficult for you to complete the application process for any program, you have a right to be assisted in a way that makes it possible. You should tell the application worker the kind of help you need, such as help completing forms or gathering documentation. You may also request a home or telephone interview instead of coming to the ISD office.
If you or a family member encounter a problem when applying for public benefits that cannot be resolved with ISD, please contact us at (505) 255-2840 for help. Please be aware that the Center only provides legal assistance in limited circumstances, and may instead refer you to another agency.
The civil legal services system in New Mexico is an informal network of non-profit organizations, agencies, law-firms, and individuals who seek to ensure that low-income New Mexicans have access to justice. Civil legal services are legal and law-related services designed to help low-income individuals, families, and communities solve civil (non-criminal) legal problems that they experience. The civil legal services system helps low-income people defend and assert important legal rights that often involve the most fundamental aspects of life–personal and family safety, homeownership and shelter protection, healthcare, and economic security.
New Mexico Legal Aid helps low-income New Mexicans and their families maintain fundamental legal rights, protecting their livelihoods while ensuring health, safety, and security. Their legal services are intended to help clients at and below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines and victims of domestic violence, regardless of income. Services are available regardless of language, age, gender, education, and physical/mental limitations. Call 833-545-4357.