The Human Services Department of New Mexico has implemented a new method of distributing child support payment collections. The department is also increasing the amount of child support payments to parents under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
The TANF program assists parents or relatives struggling to meet the family’s basic needs. The State is the sole authority in deciding the program’s structure, the type of amount of assistance payments, the scope of services offered, and the criteria for determining who qualifies for benefits. The federal government has permitted the increase of child support payment without penalty to the State.
The amount of pass-through to be distributed will be based on the following criteria:
- An increment of $100 to $200 for households with two or more children.
- A $100 will remain for a family with one child
David R. Scrase, M.D., cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department, states: “This change will benefit low-income families and children in New Mexico. A pass-through of an additional $100 can make a real difference to a family living below the federal poverty line, which is what it takes to qualify for TANF cash assistance.”
The 2022 legislative session has allocated $1.74 million in funding for the HSD’s Child Support Program. The budget allows the HSD to have a larger pass-through to families currently receiving TANF cash assistance and change the method of distributing collection to families formerly on the TANF program. The new plan will take effect on January 23, 2023, benefiting as many as 8,000 families.