We need your help TOMORROW so New Mexicans with disabilities have access to federal disability benefits!

HM 18: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Legal Data is scheduled to be heard TOMORROW at 8:30 a.m. in the House Health and Human Services Committee. We need your help to get it passed.

Please join the virtual committee hearings tomorrow and provide public comment in support of the bill. A Zoom link will be available on the PDF calendar posted here.

Everyone should be able to meet basic needs, especially New Mexicans living with disabilities. House Memorial 18 would ensure the Legislature hears about a New Mexico Human Services Department pilot program that provides 150 New Mexicans with legal assistance to help them transition from the state-funded General Assistance (GA) to federally-funded disability, known as Supplemental Security Income or SSI. 

SSI more than triples a GA participant’s income from $245/month to $841/month, alleviating deep poverty while increasing housing stability and food security. The state can also recoup any GA benefits provided to an adult who is ultimately approved for SSI.

It can be very difficult to get federal disability benefits without legal assistance. This is why other states have invested up front in legal advocacy to help GA participants access federal disability. Other models have eliminated the need for state funding to support GA programs because the funding is self-sustaining. 

The HSD pilot is a first step in New Mexico to ensure more New Mexicans get the help they need. Help make this happen by supporting HM 18 so the Legislature hears important information from HSD and community stakeholders about the pilot. 

HM 18 Summary

HSD launched a pilot program to assist more adults living with disabilities win their SSI claims. This Memorial asks HSD to report to the Legislature on the pilot’s success.

HM 18 Asks

  1. Legislative Health & Human Services to hold interim committee hearings and take testimony from HSD and advocates for GA participants; and
  2. HSD to report key data and outcomes from the SSI advocacy pilot and the GA cash assistance program to LHHS.

Public Comment Instructions

When: 8:30 a.m., Friday, January 28, 2022
How: Click here or on the PDF calendar available here for a Zoom link..

What to Expect During the Hearing

The committee will be taking public comment. The chair of the committee will announce the bill and ask who supports HM 18. At that time, to provide a comment use the Zoom reaction button and raise your hand. The chair will call your name and unmute your zoom when it is your turn to speak.

Tips

  • Keep your remarks brief and to the point.
  • If you have a personal story about a family member, friend, or community member who had difficulty accessing SSI benefits, please share it.
  • Close the Legislature’s webcast page when you give your comment so there is not an echo during your remarks.
  • Make sure you are not muted when it is your turn to speak.
  • Do not rely on your phone or computer for notes. Write them down on a piece of paper or print them out in case your computer or phone freeze.
  • Close other tabs and windows in your browser to make sure your connection is good.
  • If your microphone or internet connection doesn’t work then be prepared to call in on your phone using the number at the same link above.