In New Mexico, expedited benefits from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) are supposed to be granted on an emergency-basis to people in dire need within seven days. Regular applications take about 30 days.
But, in some recent cases, New Mexico residents haven’t been receiving their emergency food stamps on time, leaving them in extremely tight financial conditions.
According to ThinkProgress, there have been thousands of cases like this. Allegations against the food stamp administration in New Mexico maintain that administrators changed applications in order to disqualify people from receiving urgent SNAP benefits.
This practice of food stamp administrators tampering with applications has allegedly been going on since at least 2003. But, New Mexico’s inability to correctly and timely process applications for food and medical assistance dates back to the 1990s.
Disappointingly, nearly thirty years later, the state is still unable to fulfill federal requirements of providing food stamps to residents in need of benefits.
To make matters more complicated, nine whistle-blowing former and current Human Services Department employees have come forward and said that they noticed that their supervisors had altered application data in order to not comply with the seven day deadline for emergency food stamps.
In these cases, Think Progress reported that “assets were added and the applicant no longer qualified for the emergency benefits,” thereby allowing the Human Services Department to process the application in the usual 30 days.
The department did not entertain any queries from ThinkProgress when asked about the fraud.
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