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Financial Resources for Elders

Financial Assistance Programs

Native woman standing in front of home in desert

Help with Utilities

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal program that helps low-income households pay for gas and electric bills, and fuel such as propane, firewood, and pellets. Your income must be below a certain level to qualify for. Click the link or call the New Mexico Human Services Department at (800) 283-4465 to apply.

If you are a member of Apache, Cochiti, Jemez, Jicarilla, Laguna, Nambe, Navajo, Sandia, Santa Ana, Zia, or Zuni Tribes, your Tribe runs its own LIHEAP program. To locate the LIHEAP program for your tribal community, see the LIHEAP Map Tribal Contact Listing on the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services website. Click on the state you live in or the state where the tribe is located to see programs and contact information.

Help with Phone/Internet

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission offers several telephone assistance programs, such as Lifeline, Tribal Lifeline, and Link Up. You can call (888) 427-5772 to learn more. 

The Federal Communications Commission also offers a Lifeline Program that provides phone, Internet or bundled services to low-income people. If you are already enrolled in LIHEAP or another assistance program like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), you are likely eligible for the Lifeline Program. Visit the Lifeline Support website to see if you qualify and to apply.

Help with Housing

The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) is a mortgage lending company that may help you find affordable housing, or rehabilitate, weatherize, and evaluate your home for energy efficiency and safety. See their website or call (505) 843-6880 to learn more about available services.

Food and Nutrition

Home-delivered or group meals are likely available at your local Senior Center. View this Indian Area Agency on Aging brochure for a list of Tribal senior centers and contact information. Visit the New Mexico Aging and Long-term Services Department website or call (800) 432-2080 for more information about meal programs for seniors.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, is a state and federal program that provides financial assistance to help low-income people buy food. To qualify, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. You can apply online at the New Mexico Human Services Department website, or call (800) 432-621 to find the nearest Family Community Resource Center.

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a state program that provides USDA commodity foods to low-income seniors over 60 years of age. See the New Mexico Food and Nutrition Services Bureau for further information.

The ECHO Food Bank provides food for seniors. To find a distribution site in San Juan County and Northwest New Mexico, call (505) 326-3770. To find a distribution site near Albuquerque, Arroyo Seco, Belen, Bernalillo, Estancia, Grants, Jemez, Las Vegas, Medanales, Mora, Pecos, Peñasco, Questa, Ranchitos, Rivera, Santa Fe, Santa Rosa, Socorro, or Taos, call (505) 242-6777.

The New Mexico Association of Food Banks has detailed information on their website on food banks available in Gallup, Farmington, Clovis, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque. You can also call their Food Assistance Line at (505) 349-5340.

The Santa Fe Indian Center provides food and clothing distributions, and emergency financial assistance. See their website for further information or call (505) 660-4210.

Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren

If you have dependent children under age 18 and meet the income requirements, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program helps pay for monthly basics like housing, utilities, and clothing. Your Tribe may have its own program or you can apply with the state. If you have a disability and have dependent children or grandchildren, but you don’t qualify for any other forms of state financial assistance (like TANF), you may qualify for monthly assistance from the General Assistance for Disabled Adults and Unrelated Children program. Apply for assistance at the New Mexico Human Services Department website, or call (800) 432-6217 to find a Family Community Resource Center near you.

If you have adopted a grandchild whose biological parents are deceased or disabled, you may be able to get Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for the child. Visit the Social Security Administration website to find your local Social Security Administration office or call (800) 772-1213 for further information.

When you file your taxes, you can apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Child Tax Credit. You can get free help filing your taxes from CNM Tax Help New Mexico. See their website or call (505) 224-4829 to find an office near you.

It is important that young children or grandchildren have health insuranceDepending on your income, they may qualify for free or low-cost health insurance through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Talk to the Benefits Coordinator at your local IHS or Tribal clinic or a Native American counselor at BeWellNM at (855) 241-8137.

If you need legal help regarding adoption or guardianship, you can get free legal advice from the New Mexico State Bar Association. Visit their website or call (800) 876-6657. New Mexico Legal Aid has a Native American Program Office located in Santa Ana Pueblo at 51 Jemez Canyon Dam Road, Suite 102 in Bernalillo, New Mexico. You can contact them at (833) 545-4357 or (505) 867-3391. Other New Mexico Legal Aid locations include Albuquerque, Clovis, Gallup, Hobbs, Las Vegas, Las Cruces, Roswell, Santa Fe, Silver City, and Taos. You can download a complete list of locations and their contact information.

In Northern New Mexico, Las Cumbres Community Services offers a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support group. Call (505) 753-4123 in Española, (703) 864-5789 in Santa Fe, or (505) 470-4798 in Taos to learn more.

TEWA Women United have an extensive Family and Teen Resource List on their website.

Homeless Programs

Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless (ABQHCH) provides medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare, art therapy, and counseling. See their website or call (505) 766-5197.

The Santa Fe Public Schools Adelante Program provides support, food, clothing, school supplies and financial emergency aid to students and their families experiencing homelessness. See their website or call (505) 467-2524.

In Santa Fe, the St. Elizabeth Shelter provides meals, case management, counseling, supportive housing, and referrals to other services. Emergency shelters and a legal clinic are also available. Call (505) 982-6611 for further information.

In Northern New Mexico, El Centro Family Health provides medical, dental, and behavioral health services. See their website for a list of clinics by county or call (505) 753-7218.

New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness supports a number of programs throughout the state. See their website for a list of programs by city or call (505) 982-9000.

Unemployed Elders

If you are unemployed, earned a certain minimum amount in the year before you became unemployed, and are able to work and actively searching for work, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits in New Mexico are 53.5 percent of your previous weekly wage and last about 6 months.

To apply for unemployment benefits, you must file a claim. Visit your local New Mexico Workforce Connections office or call (877) 664-6984.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and New Mexico Senior Employment Program are federal and state programs that enroll low-income unemployed seniors (age 55 or older) in 20 hours a week of training and work. Call (866) 451-2901 to learn more about these programs.

If you need additional assistance and information about all the above services, you can talk to someone at the New Mexico Aging and Long-term Services Department about your needs at (800) 432-2080 or TTY (505) 476-4937.

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