Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
SANTA FE — More than 15,000 low-income New Mexico households began receiving a one-time payment this week of $465 in emergency financial assistance.
The funds are provided under a program administered by the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) in partnership with the state Taxation & Revenue Department.
The program was made possible through a $5 million appropriation of federal CARES Act money approved in House Bill 1 during the December special session of the New Mexico Legislature.
An additional $2 million also was made available from the Cares Act Fund. The one-time payment is for low income residents who didn’t receive a federal coronavirus economic impact payment in the spring.
“New Mexico is proud to be delivering millions of dollars in critical support payments to many of the state’s most vulnerable families,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “As we remain vigilant in our fight against COVID-19, the state will use every available tool to ensure all New Mexicans receive the help and support that they need.”
Online applications were accepted via an online portal for seven days. A total of 32,331 submissions met the basic requirements for the New Mexico financial assistance payment. The $465 per household assistance was allocated to 15,118 low-income New Mexicans who did not receive an economic impact payment pursuant to the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
To qualify for the new relief, individuals needed to be residents of New Mexico and were required to have a social security number, individual tax identification number or driver’s license number.
“The teams worked quickly to ensure as many low-income New Mexicans as possible received this financial assistance before the holidays,” Human Services Secretary David Scrase, M.D. said.
Both departments worked within a very tight timeframe to ensure the aid was distributed prior to a Dec. 28, 2020 deadline set in House Bill-1. Payments were issued this week by the Taxation and Revenue Department via direct deposit or check. Each applicant will receive a mailed letter informing them of the final disposition of their application.
Eduviges Hernandez from Hobbs received the $465 direct deposit this week. Her husband is self-employed as a semi/trailer mechanic whose income has greatly been reduced by the pandemic and were not eligible for unemployment nor the federal stimulus rebate. The couple has a teenage daughter in the home. Hernandez suffers from diabetes and has incurred debt over the last year from medical bills, including doctor visits and medicine.
“This pandemic has impacted all of us economically and emotionally,” Hernandez said. “By providing this relief, the legislature and the administration considered the financial hardships of New Mexicans who were left out of the federal stimulus program. I have medical bills piling up from my diabetic condition, and this money will help. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”