Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps many low-income households buy the food they need to stay healthy, productive members of society. SNAP Benefits are simple to use when you purchase food products at your grocery store.
The Federal Government sets the rules for who qualifies for SNAP Benefits and determines the amount of SNAP Benefits that you can receive each month. The Human Services Department (HSD) will help you determine whether or not you qualify for SNAP. This normally depends on how much money you earn each month, and it also depends on what you own.
Basic SNAP Rules
- You must have proper identification
- You must be a U.S. citizen or a qualified lawful resident
- You will have to list who lives and eats with you (your household)
- You will have to provide information about how much money your household receives each month. Click the following to check the Food and Cash Assistance Income Guidelines
- You will have to provide information about what your household owns (property, bank accounts)
- You will have to provide information about what your household pays for things like rent, utilities and child care.
- Work program participation is required for some SNAP recipients
- The house you live in does not count for SNAP eligibility
- There are special rules for the cars and trucks you may own
SNAP Pre-Screening Tool
Find out if you could be eligible for SNAP benefits by using the USDA Pre-Screening Tool
This Pre-Screening Tool is not an application for SNAP
An application for SNAP must be made at your local ISD field office
Can I get SNAP Benefits right away?
You may receive SNAP Benefits in as soon as seven days if:
- You have very little or no money
- Your shelter costs are more than the money you earn
- You are in a migrant worker household
- There are other rules for becoming eligible for SNAP right away
How do I ask for SNAP Benefits?
You need to fill out an application. You can use this same application to ask for other kinds of assistance, such as free medical care. Fill in as much information as you can, then turn it in to your local HSD office. Applications for assistance are at your local HSD office. These offices are listed in your telephone book under State Government, Human Services Department. You can also call this free number (800) 432-6217.
What happens after I ask for SNAP Benefits?
You will be asked to come in for an interview with an eligibility worker in about ten days. Your assigned worker will give you a list of things you need to provide. This information will tell your worker about you and your household so he or she can determine if you qualify for SNAP Benefits. Bring as much of the requested information as you can to the interview. This will help us to help you faster. If, after your interview, you need to provide more information, your worker will make a list of things you need to do. Your worker will explain the time allowed and ask you to gather the information as soon as you can. If later, you still need more time, or you can't get the information required, let your worker know as soon as possible.
When will I know if I can get SNAP Benefits?
You will be notified by letter within 30 days as to whether or not your SNAP Benefits application was approved. If you do not agree with the letter, you can ask for a Fair Hearing on the decision. Remember, our job is to serve you. It is our policy to ensure that everyone who applies for and qualifies for SNAP Benefits receives these benefits in a timely manner and in accordance with the law.
What is the EBT card?
When you are approved for SNAP Benefits, you will be issued an Electronic Benefits
Card (EBT). Your
EBT card is used like a bank debit card. Each month your
SNAP allotment will be deposited into your
EBT account. You will then use this card to purchase food
items at most grocery store. For information about the EBT card click
For more information about when you receive your SNAP allotment click here
The Nutrition Education Program can help you stretch your SNAP dollars. You can also learn tasty and nutritious new recipes. These free classes are taught at sites throughout New Mexico. For information about classes in your area, call tollfree 1-877-993-3637.
All programs administered by the Human Services Department (HSD) are equal opportunity programs. If you believe you have been treated unfairly because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, you may file a complaint. Complaints of discrimination may be filed with the New Mexico Human Services Department central office or the local Human Services county office. Complaints of discrimination about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may be filed with the USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave, S.W. Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 1-866-632-9992 or 202-401-0216 (TDD). Complaints of discrimination about Cash Assistance and Medical Assistance programs may be filed with the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health & Human Services, 1301 Young Street, Suite 1169, Dallas, TX 75202 or call 1-800-368-1019 (voice) and 1-214-767-8940 (TDD). (08/16/11)