Help for Single Mothers in NEW MEXICO

New Mexico, NM

The economic landscape of New Mexico is making it more difficult for lower income families to make ends meet. Given their meager earnings, it is even much harder for single mothers to cope day-to-day, financially — despite working more hours.

New Mexico Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) #

New Mexico's Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) is the state’s equivalent of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that helps put money back in the pockets of hard working New Mexicans.

The New Mexico’s refundable credit is now worth 25% 1 over and above the allowable credit you get from the federal government. That’s additional $250 for every $1,000 you claim on your federal tax return.

How much is NM Working Families Tax Credit?

If you’re eligible to receive $600 from the federal government, the state will send you a check of $150.

  • Family Size Maximum EIC
  • 0 $150
  • 1 $998
  • 2 $1,651
  • 3 or more $1,857

New Mexico is also one of a handful states to expand the credit to filers as young as 18 and expand eligibility to ITIN filers.

New Mexico Works (NM Works) #

New Mexico Works (NM Works) — New Mexico’s version of TANF, is the essential part of the safety net for very low-income families in New Mexico, providing time-limited cash assistance to families who qualify.

While cash benefits are meager — about $549 per month for a family of three, NM Works provides the much needed assistance for thousands of New Mexicans each month.

With a few exceptions, NM Works recipients must spend 20 to 30 hours per week in activities to help them get work skills that will allow them to leave the program for suitable jobs.

How do I apply for cash assistance in New Mexico?

Applications for all public assistance in New Mexico can be done online via Yes! New Mexico — the official portal for people in New Mexico to apply, renew & check benefits at the comfort of their home.

New Mexico Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) #

New Mexico SNAP, previously called “food stamps”, helps low-income families in New Mexico to afford healthy foods. A low-income family is defined as one whose income is no more than 165% of the federal poverty level.

The amount of monthly SNAP benefits may vary family to family depending on the size of the family, income, and expenses. Eligible family of three in New Mexico with no income may receive up to $740 a month in SNAP benefits.

What is the maximum monthly income for SNAP in New Mexico?

Family Size 100% 165%
1 $1,215 $2,005
2 $1,643 $2,712
3 $2,072 $3,418
4 $2,500 $4,125
5 $2,928 $4,832
6 $3,357 $5,538
7 $3,785 $6,245
8 $4,213 $6,952

Gross income limit applies to most households, except those in which at least one person is 60 years of age or older, or receives disability income.

How do I apply for food stamps in New Mexico?

Applications for SNAP in New Mexico can be done online via Yes! New Mexico. Once your application is verified, you will be notified by letter within 30 days as to whether or not your SNAP assistance is approved.

For more information about SNAP, call
(800) 432-6217

New Mexico Free School Lunch Program #

New Mexico's National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally-subsidized meal program that provides nutritious, low-cost or free lunches to eligible students each day.

Before the pandemic, New Mexico students were eligible for free or reduced breakfasts and lunches if their household income is 130% (free) or 180% (reduced) of the federal poverty guidelines.

Starting in the 2022—23 school year and beyond, no K-12 student in New Mexico will have to pay for their meals, making New Mexico the fifth state to make universal school meals a permanent policy.

New Mexico Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) #

New Mexico WIC helps low-income families with checks or vouchers to buy healthy supplemental foods from WIC-authorized vendors. It also provides nutrition education, and help finding health and dental care and other community services.

In New Mexico, WIC serves women, infants, and children whose income is at or below 185% of the federally poverty. Priority is given to women and children with the most serious health risks.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $2,248
  • 2 $3,040
  • 3 $3,833
  • 4 $4,625
  • 5 $5,418
  • 6 $6,210
  • 7 $7,003
  • 8 $7,795

How do I apply for WIC in New Mexico?

There are over 110 WIC sites throughout New Mexico. Call the Family Health Bureau’s WIC number at 505-476-8800 to find a site nearest you and set up an appointment.

New Mexico Centennial Care #

Centennial Care, the new name for Medicaid in New Mexico, is the largest program providing medical and health-related services to state’s poorest residents — including children from low-income families and pregnant women.

Eligibility for Medicaid requires that individuals meet certain federal guidelines. These include citizenship, residency and income requirements.

Families who do not qualify for Centennial Care may be eligible to receive cost-saving subsidies that can help pay for health insurance premiums in a Marketplace.

What is the highest income to qualify for Medicaid in New Mexico?

As New Mexico is expanding Medicaid coverage, nearly all uninsured adults age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL) may now gain coverage.

Centennial Care 305% 255% 138%
1 $44,470 $37,180 $20,120
2 $60,150 $50,290 $27,210
3 $75,820 $63,390 $34,310
4 $91,500 $76,500 $41,400
5 $107,180 $89,610 $48,490
6 $122,850 $102,710 $55,590
7 $138,530 $115,820 $62,680
8 $154,210 $128,930 $69,770

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

How do I apply for Medicaid in New Mexico?

To apply for Centennial Care online, visit Yes! New Mexico and create an account if you don’t already have one or call 1-855-637-6574 to complete an application by phone.

New Mexico Child Care Assistance Program #

New Mexico Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) subsidizes the cost of child care for eligible families that are working, seeking work, and/or attending school.

The subsidy amount may vary based on the your gross monthly income, family size, and type and cost of care AND since it is a subsidy, you may be required to pay a portion of child care costs on a sliding scale.

What is the income limit for child care assistance in New Mexico?

New Mexico now has the broadest eligibility for free child care in the nation. CCAP now covers families earning up to 400% of the poverty level. That's about $8,287 a month for a family of three to qualify.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 2 $6,573
  • 3 $8,287
  • 4 $10,000
  • 5 $11,713
  • 6 $13,427
  • 7 $15,140
  • 8 $16,853

How do I apply for child care assistance in New Mexico?

Families are encouraged to apply online through Am I Eligible. If you need help selecting a child care provider, please call Child Care Resource and Referral at 1-800-691-9067.

New Mexico Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) #

New Mexico's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists eligible New Mexico residents and families with their heating and cooling costs.

Applicants must qualify as low-income according to the guidelines set by LIHEAP; that is at or below 150% of federal poverty level, or about $3,108 per month for a family of three.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $1,823
  • 2 $2,465
  • 3 $3,108
  • 4 $3,750
  • 5 $4,393
  • 6 $5,035
  • 7 $5,678
  • 8 $6,320

Eligible households may receive a one-time credit of up to $490. Priority is given to those who are truly vulnerable — the lowest-income households with the highest heating costs.

In addition to the energy assistance benefit, households that are eligible for LIHEAP may also qualify for crisis intervention and weatherization services — including LIHWAP assistance to pay your water bill.

How do I apply for LIHEAP in New Mexico?

Complete the online LIHEAP application through the Yes! New Mexico. You will be notified by letter within 45 days as to whether or not your LIHEAP assistance is approved.

For additional information on LIHEAP, please call
(800) 283-4465

New Mexico Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) #

New Mexico LIHWAP is a temporary, federally-funded water assistance program for low-income households in New Mexico to help offset the costs of water and wastewater bills.

Eligible households may receive a benefit of up to $1,500 each, to pay for reconnection of services and for arrearages, including all past due amounts, reconnection fees, and associated late fees if applicable.

How do I get help paying my water bill in New Mexico?

If you are in danger of falling behind on your water bills and need help, you may apply online for LIHWAP at Yes! New Mexico or by phone at 1-800-283-4465.

New Mexico Unemployment Insurance #

New Mexico Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary cash benefits to eligible workers who lost their job through no fault of their own.

As a condition of eligibility, you must search for work each week that you file a claim for benefits. If you fail to do so, you may be denied benefits until you confirm that you are actively looking for a job.

How much do I get for unemployment in New Mexico?

The current maximum weekly benefit amount in New Mexico is $514, which does not include any additional dependency allowance.

If you have dependent children under 18, you can also receive a weekly allowance of $25 per child, for up to two children.

How do I file for unemployment in New Mexico?

There are two ways to file for unemployment in New Mexico, either electronically at New Mexico Workforce Connection online system or by phone 1-877-664-6984.

New Mexico Student Incentive Grant #

Student Incentive Grant is in place to encourage New Mexico students with unmet financial need to pursue higher education at New Mexico public colleges or universities.

SIG is awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need — those with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and least ability to pay for college.

Eligible students may receive up to $2,500 per year depending on financial need and may be renewed on an annual basis until the student graduates.

As funding is limited, it is always in your best interest to file your FAFSA as early as possible on or after October 1.

New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship #

New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship is a tuition-free college program that covers up to 100% of tuition and required fees for eligible New Mexico residents pursuing career training certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor's degrees at New Mexico public colleges and universities.

The scholarship covers up to 90 credit hours for an associate's degree and 160 credit hours for a bachelor's degree. It also covers up to $50 per credit hour for course-specific fees.

There is no application needed for the Opportunity Scholarship. Legislation does not require a FAFSA, however, SFCC requires a current FAFSA to aid in accurately evaluate eligibility.


  1. The Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Gov. Lujan Grisham enacts measure effectively slashing taxes for New Mexico working families.

If this is not your state, please select yours here.
Share this article