HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT NEWS
$300 one-time lump sum payments for those behind on utility payments
The New Mexico Human Services Department has received $5.3 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act (CARES Act). A one-time $300 payment will be provided to utility vendors for households that received a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) payment and are at least one month behind in their utility payments. LIHEAP is a program that assists approximately 70,000 New Mexico households with their home heating and cooling costs.
Eligible households will automatically be identified through a partnership between the Department and existing LIHEAP vendors; there is no need to submit an application for this one time lump sum payment. The Human Services Department will issue the $300 payment directly to utility vendors on behalf of eligible New Mexico households that meet the following criteria:
· The household must have received or will receive a LIHEAP benefit from the Human Services Department between October of 2019 through September 2021; and
· The household must have an arrearage after April 1, 2020.
“New Mexico low-income households continue to struggle with the effects of COVID-19. This one-time payment will help lessen the household’s burden to meet their utility responsibilities,” said Angela Medeano, Deputy Secretary for the Human Services Department.
The distribution of these funds will continue until all funds are exhausted but, no later than September 30, 2021.
New Mexicans who qualify for this benefit will receive a notice indicating that a supplemental payment was made on their behalf to their utility vendor.
Individuals who have questions about the process can contact the Income Support Division Customer Service Center at (800) 283-4465.
Frequently asked questions:
Do I need to apply for this benefit?
No. Human Services Department will work directly with utility vendors to identify people who meet the criteria.
What is the criteria to qualify for this payment?
You must receive a LIHEAP benefit from Human Services Department between October 2019 and September 2021 and have an arrearage after April 1, 2020.
How do I apply for LIHEAP?
Will my other Income Support benefits be impacted?
No. This one-time benefit amount will not be considered in determining your eligibility for any program administered by the Human Services Department. This includes food, cash, energy, or medical assistance.