SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – State lawmakers are being asked to approve more money for SNAP and Medicaid benefits next year. When it comes to Medicaid, officials say they expected 83,000 more people to become eligible next year putting 916,000 New Mexicans in the program. That’s nearly half of New Mexico’s population. The agency is asking for $128 million more.

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One participant said it’s important to help those in a tough spot but questioned if some of the help is being counterproductive and used his grocery delivery driver as an example. “She’s talking to my wife and whatever job she had before COVID, she was actually laid off. But she says now, that she is making more money now delivering groceries than she ever made in her life but I bet you she’s still on Medicaid,” said the participant.

The Health and Human Services Department is also asking for more money to continue to supplement SNAP benefits for about 560,000 New Mexicans. The extra federal benefits end this month. They say that’s translated into an extra $6,000 a year for the average family.