HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT NEWS
Federal court dismisses significant portion of 30-year old litigation for the Debra Hatten-Gonzales, et al., consent decree
The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) achieved a 96 percent monthly processing standard for Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications for more than 12 consecutive months, with not a single office falling below 94 percent for two consecutive months. Thus, the Honorable Kenneth Gonzales in his opinion and order dated April 24 ruled that HSD had fully complied with the timely eligibility processing requirement and that “good cause” existed to eliminate that requirement from the consent decree.
“HSD employees are dedicated and work hard to ensure New Mexico families receive timely and accurate benefits,” stated Income Support Division Director, Karmela Martinez. “They understand that no family should have to go hungry or be without health coverage because – there are plenty of HSD staff from senior management to front-line workers who have had a time in their life where they too needed help.”
During the last sixteen months, HSD has worked diligently and collaboratively with Plaintiffs’ attorneys to address all remaining requirements of the Decree.
The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to more than 1 million New Mexicans through several programs including: the Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Support Program, and several Behavioral Health Services.