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New Mexico Disability
New Mexico’s disabled adult residents can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if their disability interferes with their ability to work. This program also covers spouses and children for affected individuals.
Typically, an applicant needs to have previously contributed to Social Security by working enough hours. In the end, the amount paid out has to do with the amount that you have earned previously.
If additional help is needed, New Mexico residents with low-income and disabilities may be eligible for a second income assistance program. This program is known as Supplemental Security Income. This cash assistance program is still based upon the level of income earned. It is available for both affected adults and children.
These programs allow covered individuals to pay for various expenses, including living, consumables, and personal care, including healthcare payments.
Facts About New Mexico
CDC data shows that New Mexico’s disability is slightly higher than the national average, with nearly 28% of adults, or approximately 460,355 adults, affected in New Mexico.
Among functional disability types, cognition and mobility-related disabilities are most prevalent. Within cognitive disabilities, individuals have difficulty with decision-making, remembering, or even concentrating, among a host of other mental disorders.
Disability associated with independent living comes a close third, affecting about 1/10 of qualified adults in New Mexico. This will include an inability to complete errands independently or even take care of regular personal business.
Bear in mind that both programs, the SSDI and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are federal programs managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, eligible New Mexico residents may qualify for both.
How To Qualify for SSDI in New Mexico
Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits requires you to have previously had a job that contributed to Social Security. Additionally, you’ll need to have worked at this job long enough and in the recent past, which will determine your credits. You’ll typically need 40 credits to be eligible. Since you can only earn a maximum of four credits per year, younger applicants can qualify with fewer credits.
Even though the SSDI is a federal program, each state is responsible for using its own agency to qualify individuals for disability benefits.
For the state of New Mexico, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) of the New Mexico Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for disability adjudication and the implementation of the programs. While the federal government entirely funds SSDI, this state office will determine eligibility for all New Mexico applicants.
The DDS uses the following guidelines to define disability:
First, the department looks at your substantial gainful activity. If you are presently working full-time or making a certain specific amount of gross income every month, you are automatically ineligible.
If this is not the case, the next step is determining the severity of impairment by reviewing medical records. Only cases of severe disability are eligible for SSDI. There are set criteria used by DDS to determine severity. Your mental and/or physical impairment must meet these criteria.
DDS will also look at how much this impairment keeps you from carrying out your past work. To assist with this process, you must submit a list of places you worked in the past 15 years before you became disabled. Keep in mind, while you may have a severe disability, if you can still perform your past work, you will not qualify for Social Security benefits.
With the assistance of a vocational expert, DDS will also determine whether your disability stops you from performing other kinds of work with reasonable accommodation. To qualify for SSDI, the vocational expert will need to determine that your impairment prevents you from performing a different kind of work too.
Once you meet all of these requirements, you will be eligible for disability benefits. Note that there are special exceptions for persons that are blind, dependents of a deceased worker, disabled children, wounded warriors, and disabled veterans.
How To Apply for SSDI in New Mexico
You can apply for SSDI in New Mexico by completing an online application for benefits. You can also apply over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213. The phones are open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm.
If you’d rather apply in person, you can fill out a paper disability application and submit it at your local Social Security office. There are many field offices in New Mexico. Simply visit the office closest to you. You’ll find offices in Albuquerque, Carlsbad, Clovis, Farmington, Gallup, Hobbs, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Rio Rancho, and Roswell.
No matter which method you choose to apply for SSDI, you’ll need to make sure you have all documentation ready when you apply. You’ll need records of your personal information, your latest tax return, a listing of your employment over the last 15 years, and copies of your medical records from all health care professionals that have treated you for your impairment.
How To Appeal a Denial in New Mexico
Many SSDI claims are denied. However, you do have a right to appeal this decision. Your denial will come as a letter, which will contain all information related to filing an appeal. If you want to appeal, you will need to file it within 60 days of receiving your denial.
You can file an appeal for reconsideration online. If you are still denied after reconsideration by a disability examiner, you can appeal for an administrative law hearing. If your appeal is still not resolved or denied, you could move to the Appeals Council. A final review may be carried out expectedly by a federal court.
For many people, filing an appeal can be overwhelming, which is why they hire a lawyer. A disability attorney can provide legal advice, help make the process smoother, and can help increase your chances of winning the appeal for your SSDI benefits.
Disability attorneys are typically paid only if you win benefits. Their payment is a certain percentage of benefits once awarded, with a legal cap of $6,000 on the percentage they can charge.
More New Mexico Benefits
If you are disabled and still struggling to make ends meet, additional programs are available to eligible New Mexico residents. New Mexico’s efforts in disability assistance have been nationally recognized, especially the state’s vocational rehabilitation.
SSI benefits are available to New Mexico residents who are disabled and low-income. To qualify for SSI, you’ll need to meet the definition of disability used by New Mexico’s DDS and the SSA, as well as meet income/asset requirements.
New Mexico also offers a supplement to SSI for disabled individuals who live in an adult residential facility or assisted living facility. This program, known as the New Mexico State supplement, provides an additional $100 over SSI benefits for personal care, including eating, hygiene, or medicine.
New Mexico Medicaid
You may also be eligible for the New Mexico Medicaid program. Eligibility is based on your modified adjusted gross income and is linked to the federal poverty level for the year. Eligible groups include pregnant women, children, caretaker relatives or parents, and some other adults. Note that the eligibility criterion for children is quite lenient.
New Mexico Unemployment
New Mexico unemployment benefits are available for workers that are unemployed through no fault of their own. You must be a resident of New Mexico, have worked in the state over the past year (minimum), have earned over a specific minimum wage, and be actively seeking work.
Veterans Benefits in New Mexico
If you are a disabled veteran of the United States military, you may be eligible to file a disability claim with the VA if you are suffering from injuries or illnesses related to your military service. This particular disability program is administered by the Department of Veteran Affairs, which uses a different set of defining a disability and determining eligibility for veterans benefits.
New Mexico Social Security Offices
|SSA Field Office Locations in New Mexico|
|Albuquerque SSA Office||500 Lead Ave SW|
Albuquerque, NM 87102
|Roswell SSA Office||Room 122|
500 N Richardson Avenue
Roswell, NM 88201
|Santa Fe SSA Office||1922 5th Street|
Santa Fe, NM 87505
|Gallup SSA Office||2070 East Aztec Avenue|
Gallup, NM 87301
|Clovis SSA Office||1208 Arcineiga Dr Odar|
Clovis, NM 88101
|Las Cruces SSA Office||2141 Summit Court|
Las Cruces, NM 88011
|Farmington SSA Office||4650 N Butler|
Farmington, NM 87401
|Rio Rancho SSA Office||4433 Jager Dr NE|
Rio Rancho, NM 87144
|Hobbs SSA Office||501 E Bender Blvd|
Hobbs, NM 88240
|Las Vegas SSA Office||2520 Ridge Runner Rd|
Las Vegas, NM 87701
New Mexico Hearing and Appeal Offices
New Mexico is in Region 6 (Dallas), which services Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
|Region 6 – SSA Office of Hearing Operations in New Mexico|
|SSA Hearing Office – Albuquerque||555 Broadway, NE Suite 200|
Albuquerque, NM 87102
|SSA Hearing Office – Albuquerque||201 3rd Street, NW Suite 400|
Albuquerque, NM 87102
|SSA Hearing Office – Albuquerque||555 Broadway Boulevard, NE|
Albuquerque, NM 87102