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NM offers virus relief to elderly, immigrants

SANTA FE – New Mexico officials are opening up applications for the second round of cash payments to residents who are ineligible for federal stimulus funds, including immigrants in the country without legal permission.

The application window for the $5 million program opens Monday, the Human Services Department announced Thursday, and closes June 25.

Applicants must be New Mexico residents who didn’t qualify for the $1,400 federal stimulus checks.

Immigrants in the country illegally were among those who applied in the last round, often using their tax identification numbers and state driver’s licenses to prove residency.

Others eligible for the money include elderly residents who can be claimed as dependents by caretakers and others excluded by IRS rules.

The department says it will prioritize the lowest-income applicants and may dole out less than the $750 authorized by the state legislature in order to help the most people with the highest need. Around 15,000 people received checks of about $465 each from a similar round of state funding in December, excluding around half of those who applied.

The New Mexico state legislature funds the program with an appropriation from federal pandemic relief funds. Cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe have similarly aided residents ineligible for federal payments, using their own pandemic relief dollars.

State and local officials have also distributed billions of dollars in pandemic relief to businesses and individuals who are also eligible for direct federal relief payments.



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