Budgeting food stamps is a difficult task to manage even in the best of circumstances. One way that some families have learned to budget their food stamp benefits each month is to use bulk shopping options
The New Mexico Human Services Department handles the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is the food stamp program for the state. SNAP was designed to allow low-income families a chance at supplementing their budgets without sacrificing a bill or rent in order to pay for groceries. It is important to note that low-income families are also given nutritional value information by SNAP in order to purchase the right foods and construct a healthy diet on a budget. The federal government provides funds for the state program, so there are specific guidelines which define the eligibility for all those who apply. While anyone can apply for the food stamp program, not everyone will be accepted into the program. Food stamps can be used like cash at any food vendor that accepts SNAP or food stamps. The federal government makes the final decision on how much one household can receive from food stamps each month. A household is defined as those who live and eat together, cooking together, under one roof, including husbands, wives, children under the age of 22 and disabled persons. Those who live in the same household may also apply separately for benefits if they eat and prepare food separately from the rest of the members of the household.
To apply for benefits, you can download an application from the New Mexico Human Services Department. You may also file at a local ISD office. The form also allows you to apply for other cash benefit programs, such as LIHEAP and Medical Assistance. Once you have finished filling out the form, you mail it to your local Human Services Department Office. During the application process, you will need to prove your household income, a photo ID, a social security number for each individual living in the household, the highest electric or gas bill in the past 12 months, account history for your bank, a receipt for a wood purchase or a disconnect notice from your utility company. You can look at a Proof Checklist online. Once you have filed, you will be contacted for an interview to further access your eligibility for the program.
Eligibility to receive food stamps largely depends on your monthly income. It is important that you note how much you are making and what your resources are before applying. If you make more than $2,000 a month with three to four members in your household, you likely are making too much money to qualify. However, every situation is taken on a case by case basis. You can contact a local ISD office or talk to someone at (877) 636-5453 if you have more questions and want to find out more about eligibility. In many cases, your assets will also be a determining factor. For example, if anyone in your household owns a car worth more than $4,000, you may not be eligible to receive benefits. Once you are approved, you will receive a letter in the mail that will tell you the amount that you will receive each month and an EBT card, that you can use like cash at any participating grocery store or super market.
SNAP is the federal name for the food assistance programs. Every state has multiple SNAP locations. In fact, every county should have multiple locations where you can use your card. You can find specific locations near you using the SNAP retailer locator on the federal website. To talk to someone about finding a location nearest you or to request a form, you can call (877) 636-5453.