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Information For Individuals Experiencing Financial Hardship, including those who no longer receive the $600 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared a state of public health emergency in New Mexico as a result of the novel coronavirus disease (also known as COVID-19). In the midst of this unprecedented public health crisis, the negative impact to the economy has caused many individuals and families to suffer severe financial difficulties. The state and private companies have taken measures to mitigate financial hardship and the state is diligently working to identify additional sources of relief and to advocate for a full measure of federal support. Congress has yet to act on extending the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which expired in July. There are many programs you might be eligible for if you have lost that important benefit.

Jobs

I lost my job. What do I do now?

You may be eligible for unemployment compensation if the situations described below apply to you:

  • Workers who have had their hours reduced or lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19.
  • Workers who are self-isolated or directed to be isolated or who have immediate family who is isolated.

For more information, click here.

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has waived the work search requirements for any of the above impacted workers until further notice. To start looking for another job, register as a job seeker at www.jobs.state.nm.us or by calling your local New Mexico Workforce Connection Center.

For more information click here for an Unemployment 101 FAQ.

I lost my $600 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payment. Where can I go for help?

Congress has yet to extend the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which provided an additional $600 weekly benefit to individuals receiving state or federal unemployment insurance.  FPUC was part of the CARES Act and, absent action by Congress, will not be paid for any week of unemployment ending after July 25th.  The final $600 payments to New Mexicans are being made the week of July 27th.

Click Here for information regarding Child Care Assistance, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC),  Health Care Coverage, and Housing Information.

Child Care

Schools have been closed and I need affordable child care for my children. What can I do?

Please know that families are eligible for Child Care Assistance up to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (which translates to an income of $52,400 for a family of four).

To seek child care, please visit https://www.newmexicokids.org/coronavirus/parents-and-families.php or call 1-800-691-9067.

Click Here to Learn More

Housing

I can’t pay my mortgage. What can I do?

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would provide payment forbearance to borrowers impacted by the coronavirus. Forbearance allows for a mortgage payment to be suspended for up to 12 months due to hardship caused by the coronavirus.

FHFA has also directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days (beginning March 19) due to the coronavirus national emergency. The foreclosure and eviction suspension applies to homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage.

Many mortgage lenders in New Mexico are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and will follow these directives accordingly. Please contact your lender for information specific to your mortgage.

If you have received an eviction notice, please call the state’s COVID-19 general hotline at 1-833-551-0518.

For more information, click here.

I can’t pay my rent. What can I do?

The New Mexico Supreme Court has issued an order placing a temporary moratorium on evictions for inability to pay rent during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Judges will stay the execution of writs of restitution that property owners can obtain and give to law enforcement to force the removal of a tenant.

If your landlord has filed a petition for a writ of restitution (an eviction or collection proceeding) against you for nonpayment of rent or any other reason you must participate in the hearing set by the judge. If you want the court to stay your eviction for NONPAYMENT OF RENT during the public health emergency, you will need to provide the judge with evidence of your current inability to pay your rent at the hearing on the petition.

The hearing will be held by video or phone, unless the parties file a motion for an in-person hearing. The summons you receive from the court will give you directions about how to participate in the hearing.

If you would like assistance with your eviction proceeding please contact:

  • New Mexico Legal Aid – 833-LGL HELP (833-545-4357)
  • Senior Citizens Law Office – (505) 265-2300, (Serves residents of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance counties who are 60 or older.)
  • Legal Resources for the Elderly Program, 800-876-6657 statewide; 505-797-6005 in Albuquerque, (Statewide free legal helpline for NM residents 55 and older.)

The Supreme Court’s order is the latest restriction and precautionary measure imposed on operations of state courts to protect public safety and safeguard the health of New Mexicans. Other measures provide New Mexican additional time to pay fines and fees, require the use of audio and video teleconferencing for court proceedings that need to continue and allow self-represented litigants to submit case filings to local courts by email and fax to help them avoid courthouse visits.

Click Here to Learn More

Bills - Utilities & Telecommunications

I can’t pay my utility bills. What can I do?

If you are unable to pay your electricity bill during the public health emergency, your electric utility should not shut off your electricity.  The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has issued a moratorium on residential electricity shut offs statewide during the public health emergency.

Many utility companies, including electric, gas and water authorities, have publicly committed to suspending shut-offs due to non-payment for a period of time during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Payment plans and reduced rates for low-income individuals may also be available.

If one or more of your utility services has been shut off and you require assistance to contact your provider, please call the state’s COVID-19 general hotline at 1-833-551-0518.

For more information about your providers or to inquire about your bill, click here.

I can’t pay my internet or cell phone bill. What can I do?

All major internet service providers and telecommunications companies in the state have signed onto the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep America Connected Pledge. The companies have pledged for the next 60 days (through May 12th) to:

  • Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus epidemic;
  • Open Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them. 

If your internet or cell phone service has been terminated and you require assistance to contact your provider, please call the state’s COVID-19 general hotline at 1-833-551-0518.

For more information about your provider’s response to COVID-19 or to inquire about your bill, click here.

I need free internet access. What can I do?

The New Mexico Department of Information Technology (NM DoIT) is assembling a WiFi Parking Lot Hotspot Locator within the Online Broadband Map. 

The site includes WiFi hotspots generously deployed by Internet Service Providers (ISP) and public agencies. Users will find the location of nearby libraries, schools, and city facilities allowing the use of WiFi. When clicking around the locator users will find pop-ups with facility names, addresses, hours of operation, password requirements, and/or contact details. Please note tribal locations are only available to tribal members.

In using these sites, the NM DoIT stresses the importance of following social distancing policies, individuals must wear masks and maintain a 6 feet distance from others. All COVID-19 Safe Practices can be found on NewMexico.gov, cv.nmhealth.org or https://adobe.ly/3etTWdK 

The NM Online Broadband Map: https://nmbbmapping.org/mapping/

How do I apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP)?

The Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP) helps with heating and utility costs. This includes help paying for gas, electricity, and propane. It also helps buy bulk fuel like wood and pellets. LiHEAP can be used year-round. You can apply once per year. You can apply online here.  Or call 1-800-283-4465.

Healthcare

I need health coverage. What can I do?

Protect your family’s health! You may qualify for health coverage. We are here to help.

The New Mexico Medicaid Program, beWellnm (New Mexico’s Health Insurance Exchange), and the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool are working together to help you find health coverage during this unprecedented and challenging time.

If you have had a recent change in employment or income, have lost your current plan or wish to become insured for the first time, we may have a good option for you.

All three programs cover comprehensive benefits like doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, prescriptions, mental health services and more. All testing and treatment related to COVID-19 will be covered at no cost to you.

Download Resource Flyers:

Click here to learn more.

Food

I'm a senior that needs food. What can I do?

Senior & Disabled Adults Food Access Hotline:
1-800-432-2080

New Mexico’s Aging and Long Term Services Department (ALTSD) leadership acknowledged the wonderful community partners throughout the state who have stepped up to assist our senior and vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including many corporate and local grocery stores that are offering special shopping hours. Many have adjusted their hours, typically opening early, to allow these individuals to beat the crowds and reduce their risk of exposure, as the virus is more dangerous to the elderly and immunocompromised, and many essential items have been difficult for seniors to find. The early hours have the additional benefit of allowing seniors to shop while shelves are well stocked.

Click Here to Learn More

I am running low on food and need help. What can I do?

Below is a list of resources for food assistance:

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides financial assistance to eligible New Mexicans with low income and limited resources to purchase food products. SNAP benefits are simple to use to purchase qualifying food products at participating grocery stores.

Click Here to Learn More

I need help paying for food. Where can I get help?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest food-aid program in the United States. It helps families buy food. It can be used in many places where you already shop. Those who get SNAP will get a dollar amount to spend each month. To use SNAP, you will get an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to buy food.  To learn more about the SNAP program, click here.  You can apply for SNAP online at www.yes.state.nm.us.  You can download a paper application at www.hsd.state.nm.us.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) helps low-income pregnant, postpartum and nursing (breastfeeding) women, infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk. WIC provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating including nursing support and promotion and referrals to healthcare.  Determine your eligibility without leaving your home by applying online at www.nmwic.org or calling 1-866-867-3124.

Legal

I can’t pay my taxes. What can I do?

Taxpayers who are unable to make timely payments in certain tax programs may have extra time to submit those payments without incurring penalties and interest  under a bill passed during a special session of the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

To qualify, taxpayers must still file timely returns.  

Penalty and interest waivers are available on the following tax programs:

 

Tax Program

Taxes Due these Dates Are Eligible for Penalty and Interest Relief

Deadline to File Tax Returns to Avoid Late-Filing Penalty

Deadline to Pay in Full to Qualify for Relief

Personal Income Tax and Corporate Income Tax

April 15, 2020 – July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

April 15, 2021

Withholding Tax

March 25, 2020 – July 25, 2020

July 25, 2020

April 25, 2021

Gross Receipts Tax/Compensating Tax

March 25, 2020 – July 25, 2020

Original due dates

April 25, 2021

Property Tax

April 10, 2020 – May 10, 2020

NA

May 10, 2021

More information can be found in the updated tax Bulletin100.35, which is available in the Forms and Publications section of tax.newmexico.gov.

I have a fine or fee due to New Mexico Courts and I can’t pay. What can I do?

The Supreme Court has issued an order extending the payment of fines and fees for 30 days to help financially struggling New Mexicans during the COVID-19 public health emergency and reduce the number of people who appear in courthouses to resolve traffic and other cases. 

The Supreme Court’s order will add 30 days to the payment deadline imposed by a magistrate, metropolitan, district or municipal court for fines and fees that must be paid between March 19 and May 29, 2020. The extension does not apply to amounts past due. 

If you have questions about your payment deadline, contact the court that imposed the penalties. A list of courts and contact information can be found here.

Click here to learn more.

Additional Resources:

Senior & Disabled Services

  • Senior Food Hotline: 1-800-432-2080
  • Ombudsman Office- request communication device for loved one in a facility- 1-866-451-2901

  • Medicaid, Medicare, Disability Waiver Services- 1-800-432-2080

  • Report Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation- 1-866-654-3219

  • Emotional Crisis, Mental Health, or Substance Abuse- 1-855-662-7474

  • Grandparents raising Grandchildren Resources- 1-800-432-2080