New Mexico HSD hosts hiring event as SNAP, unemployment delays persist
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — More than half of the state population relies on SNAP benefits to keep food on the table, but many residents say the system is letting them down and delays have stretched on for months.
State leaders say staffing issues are making an impact on getting those claims processed.
“We do have a higher than normal vacancy rate, it sits at about 16% right now,” said Karmela Martinez, director of the Income Support Division with the Human Services Department.
That 16% rate comes out to more than 100 job openings, so the department partnered with Workforce Solutions to make some progress in finding employees. They held a rapid hire event Thursday at the New Mexico Workforce Connection Center in Albuquerque and 18 of the Workforce Solutions locations statewide.
DELAY IN SNAP, UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
One woman says she lost her job Aug. 31 and applied for SNAP and unemployment benefits the next day. She got a letter from the state’s Income Support Division saying there’s a delay in processing but doesn’t give a reason why. She says it’s frustrating.
“I’m in danger of losing my home, and my utilities being shut off. And, and my phone being shut off,” she explained. “When we do call to get updates, we can sit on hold for over two hours and still not talk to anybody.”
Other New Mexicans commented on social media about their experiences, saying they’ve been waiting three to six months for unemployment and EBT.