Persons with disabilities in the state of New Mexico have several options for obtaining disability benefits to provide support when they are no longer able to do a substantial amount of work. Benefits are available through two federal programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or, if their injury or illness occurred on the job, through worker’s compensation insurance coverage. Eligibility for these programs can vary greatly, and some claimants with disabilities may not be eligible for any of them.
Social Security Disability Benefits Programs Defined
The two federal programs providing disability benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Some applicants may be able to receive benefits from both programs at the same time, while others may be eligible for one or none.
SSDI is available to those who have sufficient work credits through Social Security tax contributions in recent years. SSI provides monthly benefits to those who are facing financial difficulties due to low income and assets, qualifying them for disability payments as well as other benefits such as food stamps, energy assistance, and medical aid (Medicaid).
Medical eligibility for these two programs is the same and depends on whether you can engage in "substantial gainful activity" (SGA). The main definition of SGA is being able to earn at least $1,040 per month (in 2013). Whether you can do SGA is up to the claims examiners at New Mexico's Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state agency in charge of making disability determinations for the SSA. DDS falls under the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), which provides rehabilitation services like vocational retraining.
Contact information for DDS follows:
New Mexico Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 4588
Albuquerque, NM 87196
New Mexico's State Supplement to SSI
The State of New Mexico pays an additional monthly amount (called a state supplement) to disabled adults who can't live on their own and who receive SSI. Individuals who live in an adult residential facility or assisted living facility receive $100 per month in addition to the federal benefit of $710 (in 2013); a couple receives $200 additional per month. These supplements are supposed to help pay for personal care, such as eating, personal hygiene, dressing, and taking medicine. The New Mexico Human Services Department administers the state supplement; go to the New Mexico Human Services Department to get the application.
Disability Advocacy Resources in New Mexico
Unlike some other states, New Mexico does not offer any short-term disability insurance benefits to its citizens, but it does have a number of SSA field offices in the state, as well as advocacy and assistance organizations that a claimant may be able to call on for help applying for federal benefits, including:
Disability Rights New Mexico
1720 Louisiana, Northeast, Suite 204
Albuquerque, NM 87110
To arrange a consultation with a disability lawyer in New Mexico, use our disability attorney directory.