How to Apply for SNAP in New Mexico?
This information is current as of June 20, 2022.
Because of life circumstances, sometimes simply getting a meal on the table becomes challenging. Are you a New Mexico resident who could use some help accessing healthy foods? The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in N.M. is here to help.
For those wondering how to apply for SNAP in New Mexico, follow these simple steps:
- Check if you’re eligible for SNAP
- Create an online account on YesNM OR head to an Income Supporting Division (ISD) office near your home
- Complete the application
- Have an interview
- Await a decision
Let’s break each step down in more detail.
Who Can Receive SNAP in N.M.?
SNAP in New Mexico is for low-income residents who yearly make fewer than these limits. In addition, you must reside in the state legally, have an official I.D., cannot owe child support, and provide information on your household members and their income. SNAP income limits are determined by the federal government but supervised state-by-state.
These limits include any income for everyone in your household. Your household is anyone you buy food or share meals with, including those who are related to you and live with you. However, individuals over 60 who cannot prepare meals may be considered separate households.
SNAP limits include:
- All your income.
- Even money from unemployment benefits.
- Child support.
- Cash that’s given to you by family members or friends.
The good thing about SNAP’s income analysis is that they also deduct your significant expenses, like childcare, housing, and more, to calculate your final income.
When applying for SNAP, you’ll go through a vetting process where the ISD office ensures your application is truthful. You may have to provide certain documents to prove your situation. So long as you complete this process, you can soon start to receive your SNAP benefits in N.M.
A Bit About SNAP
Before applying for a government assistance program like SNAP, you must understand what you’re signing up for. Knowing more about SNAP, its benefits, criteria, and rules help ensures you get all the benefits you deserve and avoid any mishaps around the application process.
SNAP began as the Food Stamp Program of 1939, almost 85 years ago. While the program has shifted a lot over the years, the goal remains to address the food insecurity concerns among low-income Americans.
SNAP later replaced the Food Stamp Program; eventually, the paper coupons for food were no more. Instead, we use an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, like a debit card. If you hear someone speak about food stamps, SNAP, or EBT cards, they refer to the same nutritional assistance program.
SNAP helps thousands of individuals put healthy food on the table every year. In 2018 alone, 12% of U.S. families had received SNAP benefits within the past year. In addition, most of these families had at least one person in the workforce, showing the need for food assistance even for employed individuals who do not earn a living wage.
SNAP does not give every person the same benefit. The amount you’ll receive depends on how many people are in your household, your total income, and other factors.
The minimum monthly benefit for 1-2 people is $20 in most U.S. states. The maximum monthly benefit amounts are shown in the table below.
|Household Size||Maximum Monthly Benefit|
Note: Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have different limits that can be found here.
Once your income and expenses have been considered, your nearest ISD office will determine how much you qualify for. This amount will be automatically put on your EBT card by the first of the month. Most benefits roll over for at least a few months before expiring. Still, you should check with your ISD office before making any assumptions.
The money on your EBT card can and should be used to buy various nutritious foods. In addition to many ingredients, SNAP provides low-cost recipes, online videos, and ways to get creative regarding food shopping. Plus, check out our post on cooking healthy meals with SNAP.
Some fresh and healthy foods you can buy with SNAP include:
- Meat, chicken, and fish
- Dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese, etc.)
- Bread and cereal
- Non-alcoholic drinks
- Seeds and plants to grow food
As with any government program, SNAP has rules you must follow if you want to continue receiving benefits.
The most important rule is to be honest. When it comes to your application, don’t leave out any information that may be required. Once you’re already receiving SNAP benefits, you must still update your ISD office on any changes in your income, household, or living situation. If caught hiding any changes or information, you could be banned from SNAP altogether, fined, or imprisoned.
SNAP also has certain restrictions for those convicted of drug-related offenses or offenses against SNAP in the past. For example, you may be asked to list the relevant criminal histories of yourself and everyone in your household.
SNAP benefits cannot be sold or transferred. Your EBT card is for your use and your use only.
With SNAP, you cannot buy:
- Alcoholic drinks
- Vitamins, supplements, and medicines (check the label)
- Live animals (except shellfish)
- Hot meals
- Nonfood items like pet food, cleaning supplies, or hygiene items
How to Receive SNAP in N.M.
To apply for SNAP in New Mexico, you’ll need to complete the application, attend an interview, and await a decision. For extra help and information, check out the official N.M. SNAP website.
1. Complete the Application
You can apply for SNAP online through the YesNM platform or in person at an ISD office.
To apply online, you’ll need to create a username and password and follow the prompts. Applying online is quick and easy. You can use the same platform to apply for:
- Water assistance (LIHWAP)
- Cash assistance (TANF)
- Energy assistance (LIHEAP)
You can also use this platform to monitor your SNAP application and benefits, including recertifying for SNAP every year or so.
Do note that you can also apply online and call the helpline at 1-855-309-3766 if you get stuck and need to speak to someone about the process. There is also a Consolidated Customer Service Center option at 1-800-283-4465.
Your local ISD office can provide that for those who prefer paper applications or more guidance. Find your local office and call ahead to see if they require an appointment for SNAP services.
For links to the Spanish versions of applications and instructions, see here.
2. Go to Your Interview
After submitting your application with all documentation, you’ll be asked to come for an interview in about ten days. You will be assigned a staff member to tell you what to bring. This interview will only be used to verify your information, so don’t worry.
Be sure to bring in all supporting documents and arrive on time. The more information you have, the faster the worker can determine your benefits.
After your interview, the worker will tell you any further steps you need to take. For example, you may need to gather more information and submit it before the deadline.
3. Wait for Your Benefits
Once everything is submitted, you will wait for the office’s decision by mail. This will happen within 30 days. If you are denied benefits, you have the right to ask for a “Fair Hearing” to review the decision.
If you are granted benefits, you’ll soon receive your EBT card. Once it’s activated and you’ve created your PIN, you’ll be able to use your benefits. As a bonus, most benefits will begin from the day of your initial application, so you’ll have plenty to get started grocery shopping from day one.
4. Stay Up-to-Date Online
We highly recommend setting up a YesNM account so that you can stay up-to-date on your SNAP benefits. This portal lets you apply, check, update, and renew your benefits for most assistance programs.
If you don’t have internet at home to access YesNM, find out how to get free internet access through a government assistance program here.
Applying for SNAP in New Mexico could be done in a few easy steps. First, you’ll need to create an account online or head to your local ISD office to apply in person. After your application is reviewed, you’ll be called in for an interview. If your documents are in order, you could receive your SNAP benefits in just a few weeks.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet and buy enough groceries for your family. You’re not alone. SNAP in New Mexico is waiting to give you a helping hand!
Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service
Did you know that if you qualify for SNAP, you may also be eligible for Lifeline or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)? Both Lifeline and ACP are government-run programs designed to help low-income consumers receive free or heavily discounted communication services.
Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.