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Information For Individuals Experiencing Financial Hardship

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.

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 is waiving the work search requirements for any of the above impacted workers for up to four weeks. To start looking for another job, register as a job seeker at www.jobs.state.nm.us or at your local New Mexico. Workforce Connection Center. Creating an account and registering in the New Mexico Workforce Connection system is required within 14 days of your initial claim for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

For more information click here for an Unemployment 101 FAQ.

Childcare

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

To seek childcare, please visit www.newmexicokids.org 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 – (505) 633-6694
  • 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?

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.

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

Legal

I can’t pay my taxes. What can I do?

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke announced March 20 that New Mexicans will have an extra 90 days to file and pay their 2019 personal income taxes in recognition of the economic hardships many are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taxpayers will have until July 15 to file and pay any taxes due.

The deadline for 2019 corporate income taxes also will be extended until July 15. In addition, the state is extending deadlines for employers to remit withholding taxes.

For more information, please visit the Tax and Revenue Department’s fact sheet here.

If you have filed a return and you are due a refund, the Department is processing those returns and refunds. You can check your refund status through the Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) here.

Click here for more information.

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