Food Stamps Application Instructions

In order to apply you'll need to fill out an application form and turn it in, along with the additional documentation which will prove your eligibility.

There are a number of ways to apply for SNAP enrollment:

Download/Paper Application

You can print out an application form, and turn it in at your local Human Services Department office. You can find an application by following this link: 100 Application for Assistance Revised 4-15-11.pdf

Apply In-Person

You can also visit one of your local ISD (Income Support Division) offices, where you can find application forms. A list of ISD offices can be found here:

Apply by Phone

Finally, in case you're not able to turn in your application personally, you can apply by calling Income Support Division toll-free information at 1-800-432-6217.

The additional documentation that you'll need to gather can be separated into two groups:

1. Nonfinancial information:

  • Documents regarding your identity (ID card or driver's license)
  • Social Security numbers for each member of your household
  • Proof of citizenship or immigration status
  • Proof of residency
  • A list of your household members

2. Financial information:

  • Income documents like paystubs, tax return, Social Security Income checks or any other income documentation
  • Documentation regarding your resources like retirement and saving accounts, stocks and bonds, credit union accounts, etc.
  • Documentation regarding your household's expenses like rent, mortgage, utility bills, deductible medical expenses and any other regular monthly expenses

A process of approval usually takes several steps. First, you'll need to file an application. Next, you'll need to attend an interview where an ISD worker will review your case and this is when you'll be instructed which additional documentation you need to gather. You should expect receiving a definite answer on your SNAP enrollment within 30 days of the date you applied.

There's also an emergency (expedited) procedure, which is used when a household has very little money. In this case, an application will be processed in a period no longer than 7 days. You can use expedited service in these cases:

  • If your household has gross monthly income less than $150 and if savings and cash are less than $100
  • If your household has gross monthly income and resources less than your rent, plus utilities
  • If a household is comprised of seasonal or migrant workers with $100 or less in cash and savings.

You should be also aware that your SNAP enrollment comes with a certification period. This is the amount of time you have been approved for benefits. This means that you'll need to renew your application once a certification period comes to an end.

Most SNAP enrollees will have a 12-month certification period, while it can be extended up to 24 month in case of a certain cases.

When this period comes to an end, you'll receive a letter which will notice you that you need to reapply. It will also contain application forms which you'll need to fill out. This procedure is needed simply to re-check your status as a SNAP enrollee and to adjust your monthly benefits according to any changes in your household.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be approved for SNAP enrollment, you'll need to meet a certain requirements. These can be grouped into three groups: general, financial and work requirements.

  • You need to be a U.S. citizen or a legal alien
  • You need to be a New Mexico resident
  • You need to have a Social Security numbers (or you can apply for them)
  • You need to meet the current Federal Poverty Level guidelines which are specific for different household sizes. For the newest information on the current FPL, go to:
  • You need to meet a certain income limits

These income limits are specific to a different household sizes. In general, your household need to have gross or net monthly income below the current levels:

  • Family of one: gross monthly income: $1,180 / net monthly income: $980
  • Family of two: gross monthly income: $1,594 / net monthly income: $1,226
  • Family of three: gross monthly income: $2,008 / net monthly income: $1,545
  • Family of four: gross monthly income: $2,422 / net monthly income: $1,863
  • For each additional member of your household add $414 (to the gross income amount) and $319 (to the net income amount)

Your income can be: wages, salaries, SSI/TANF/GA income, workers' compensation, child support and alimony, rental income, etc. There are some types of income which could not be counted: child care, irregular income, tax refunds and rebates, private charities, fuel assistance, Medicare drug benefits, etc.


Most future SNAP enrollees need to meet a work requirement to qualify for assistance, but there are some cases where individuals are exempt from this rule. Adult SNAP enrollees will need to actively search for a job, or they can choose to take a part in a training program. These activities will be reviewed by the ISD, which will help you with finding a suitable employment.

You can be exempt from this rule these cases:

  • You're younger than 16, or older than 60
  • You're not able to work as a result of your mental or physical condition
  • You're taking care of a child under the age of 6
  • You're taking care of a disabled or incapacitated individual
  • You're taking part in the drug or alcohol treatment program
  • You're a student