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Glossary of Terms


adjusted gross income:   total income minus certain deductions
administer:   to manage or run a program
Adobe Reader:   free software that allows you to view and print Internet documents and forms stored as PDF (Portable Document Format) files. Many online documents are PDF files. If you don't have Adobe Reader on your computer, you can download it for free from the Adobe Reader web page.
adult caretaker relative:   an adult relative living in the same home with a child under 19 whose parents are not present in the home; who is related to that child by blood, adoption, or marriage (or is the spouse or former spouse of one of those relatives); and who is the primary caretaker of that child
affidavit of support:   a legal form (I-864) required for most family-based immigrations to the U.S. after 12/19/97, in which a relative in the U.S. agrees to sponsor the immigrant and provide financial support if needed. This guarantee of financial support is to prevent the immigrant from depending on government assistance. The sponsor must promise support until the immigrant has 40 credits of work (about 10 years) or becomes a U.S. citizen.
Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)   Under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act, cash and/or medical support is provided from government funds to a parent or guardian on behalf of a child or children who do not have the financial support of one of their parents due to death, disability, or absence from the home. AFDC, the nation's welfare program, was replaced in 1996 by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, although the term AFDC is still used to refer to eligiblity criteria.
alien:   a person who is not a citizen of the United States
allotment:   the amount of benefits that has been approved for you
Amerasians:   certain individuals born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam after December 31, 1950, and before October 22, 1982, fathered by a U.S. citizen during conflicts in that region. Amerasians and their families are granted permission to enter the U.S.
appeal:   to ask someone in a higher position to review your case (for example, if you have been told that you cannot receive benefits)
assets:   money you have or property you own, such as cash, bank accounts, personal property, vehicles, real estate, and the cash surrender value of life insurance; also called resources
asylees:   people already in the United States who are legally allowed to remain in this country because they face persecution in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion
authorization:   official approval
base period:   a period of time, usually a year, used to determine your eligibility for unemployment benefits. You must have earned enough money during your base period to qualify. Your benefit amount is based on your earnings during your base period.
Basic banking program:   a bank account with a low monthly fee, which can be used for direct deposits
battered noncitizen:   a noncitizen adult or child who has been battered in the United States by a spouse, parent, or other family member living in the same household. To get benefits as a battered noncitizen, you must have a petition filed with the U.S. Immigration Service (by a spouse, parent, or self-petition), you must have proof of the battering, and the battered noncitizen must no longer be living with the abuser. You may also have to meet other requirements.

For more information, see How Do I Apply for Immigration Benefits as a Battered Spouse or Child? on the U.S. Immigration Service web site.
benefit group:   members of a family who apply for and get TANF benefits together as a group. A TANF benefit group must include a dependent child or a woman who is pregnant, and must also include certain other family members if they are living with the child: (1) siblings of the child; (2) the parent(s) or legal guardian; (3) the spouse of the parent, if any. Caretaker relatives and unrelated children living with the family may be included in the benefit group if they choose.
benefit period:   With Medicare coverage, this is the way that the Original Medicare plan measures your use of hospital and skilled nursing facility services. A benefit period begins the day you go to the hospital or facility and ends when you have not received any inpatient care for 60 days in a row. If you go to a hospital or facility after one benefit period has ended, a new benefit period begins and you must pay the inpatient hospital deductible for each benefit period. There is no limit to the number of benefit periods.
benefit year end (BYE)   one year from the effective date of your claim and the end of your benefit year
benefit year:   a 52-week period, starting with the effective date of your unemployment insurance (UI) claim. You may file a new claim for UI benefits only once during a benefit year. However, you may close and re-open an existing claim throughout the benefit year.
Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCC):   a breast and cervical cancer early detection program for low- and moderate-income New Mexico women age 30 or older. The program offers free breast and cervical cancer screening and counseling at locations throughout the state. For more information, call toll-free 1-877-852-2585 or visit the BCC web site at Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.
browser window:   a screen on which you see the information from a web page. More than one browser window can be open at a time. Sometimes a web page link will open a new browser window on top of the window you are already using.
browser:   a computer program that is used to view Internet web pages. Examples are Internet Explorer and Netscape.
capital gain:   profit from the sale of stocks, bonds, property, etc.
case manager:   a person trained to help you, who will look after you and guide you while you get the services you need
Cataracts   clouding of the eye's lens that affects vision
categorical eligibility:   when a household automatically qualifies for a program benefit without having to prove eligibility, because they are in a special category. For example, people who get SSI are categorically eligible for food stamps.
certification period:   the amount of time you have been approved for benefits
child care contracted slot:   a space at a child care center that is paid for by the government and set aside for children from low-income families
child care resource and referral agency (CCR&R):   an agency paid by the government to provide families with child care information and referrals, and to handle government child care vouchers
Child Care Services Bureau (CCSB):   the state agency responsible for all aspects of child care services in New Mexico
child care voucher:   a certificate given to a family by the government, that can be exchanged for child care services. It is proof that the child care provider will be paid.
chronic:   continuing or taking place again and again for a long time
closing costs:   money, in addition to the down payment, that a homebuyer must pay on the closing date. Closing costs include document preparation fees, lender's fees, and certain expenses like house insurance that you may be required to pay at the time you buy the house.
coinsurance:   the percentage of the cost of a service that you must pay. Your insurance pays the rest. For example, with Medicare, you must pay 20% coinsurance for most Medicare-covered services.
collateral contact:   a person (such as an employer or neighbor) who will give truthful information about you to a service provider who is checking your eligibility for benefits
Community Action Agency (CAA):   private, non-profit human service organizations in New Mexico that help people find jobs, housing, food, and educational opportunities. To find the CAA that serves your community, see the Community Action Agency Locations list.
community health center (CHC):   a local health care clinic that provides a wide range of outpatient health care services for its patients. CHCs usually offer medical, dental, social, and mental health services.
community service:   work done without pay to help others
community-based services:   long-term support services for people who need help with activities of daily living in their own homes and communities. These services help keep family members at home, rather than in state institutions or nursing homes. Services may include supported living, personal care assistance, day programs, transportation, and family support.
confidential:   kept private and not shared with anyone else
co-payment:   the part of the fee for a medical service that an insured person must pay. The insurance company pays the rest of the fee. A co-payment may be a fixed dollar amount (for example, $5 for each doctor's visit), or a percentage of the cost.
corrective lens:   a curved piece of plastic or glass, such as in eyeglasses or contact lenses, that lets you see more clearly
countable assets:   also called "countable resources." Money or property that you own that is considered in determining eligibility for a program benefit
coverage determination (Part D):   The first decision made by a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan about the drug benefits you may be entitled to get.
creditable prescription drug coverage:   Prescription drug coverage (for example, from an employer) that is expected to pay, on average, at least as much as Medicare's standard prescription drug coverage.
criteria:   rules that are used to make a decision (for example, to decide if a person is disabled, according to the government's definition)
critical access hospital:   A small facility that gives limited outpatient and inpatient services to people in rural areas.
Cuban/Haitian Entrants:   Cubans and Haitians who entered the U.S. illegally or were paroled into the U.S. at certain times in 1980 and 1981 and have lived in the U.S. continuously since then; and certain other Cubans and Haitians who enter the U.S. without visas and apply to stay here
custody:   having the home where a child usually lives, and the right and duty to meet the child's daily needs for food, clothing, shelter, discipline, etc.
deductible:   a dollar amount that you must pay toward your medical costs before your insurance will start paying benefits
deduction:   an amount that you are allowed to subtract from your income when deciding if you meet the income limits for an assistance program
default warrant:   a court order issued when an individual fails to appear in court or doesn't pay a court-ordered fine
demand-response service:   transportation service where individual passengers get door-to-door service at a time they request, usually via van or taxi
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):   the U.S. government agency in charge of federal rent assistance, fair housing laws, homeownership loans, and other housing programs.
dependency allowance:   an amount that is added to your weekly benefit, based on how many children you support
deportation:   government action that forces a non-citizen to leave the United States
Diabetic retinopathy   damage to the blood vessels in the retina of the eye as a complication of diabetes
diagnostic tests:   tests or procedures ordered by a doctor to see if a patient has a certain disease or condition (for example, x-rays or blood tests)
direct deposit:   a way to put money in your bank account electronically. (No check is mailed to you.)
disabled:   a person who has a permanent or temporary illness, injury, or incapacity. Each program that gives benefits to the disabled has specific requirements for eligibility.
disqualified:   not allowed to get benefits because of failure to follow program rules or requirements
distribution:   when something is handed out to different people or groups
documentation:   written or printed paper giving information or proof about something
domestic violence:   violence that takes place within the family, between spouses, ex-spouses, partners, ex-partners, or parents of the same child
down payment:   the part of the price of a house that a buyer pays for in cash. It is the difference between the purchase price and the amount of your mortgage loan.
drug formulary:   a list of prescription medicines that are approved for coverage by a health insurance plan
earned income disregard   exemption of a portion of income for applicants/recipients
earned income:   money you make by working, either at a job or in your own business
EBT card:   Electronic Benefits Transfer card. A plastic card, like a bankcard, that you are given when you qualify for TANF cash assistance, food stamps, or other types of benefits. You use your EBT card to get cash from your account or to pay for food at the supermarket.
eligibility:   whether or not you qualify to get benefits
eligible noncitizen:   a person who is not a U.S. citizen, but whose immigration status has been approved for a particular benefit program. Eligible noncitizens must still meet the other program eligibility requirements (income limits, for example) to qualify for benefits.
eligible:   qualifying for benefits
emancipated:   a child who is no longer legally under a parent's control.
emergency assistance:   disaster benefits, shelter, and other forms of assistance during an emergency
emergency care:   care given to a patient with a severe or life-threatening illness or injury that requires treatment right away
emergency shelter:   a place for homeless families and individuals to live until they can find permanent housing. Emergency shelters usually provide beds,meals, and support services.
end-stage renal disease (ESRD):   permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant
enrollment:   when you sign up for a service and agree to the rules of that service
equity value:   the fair market value (the amount of money you would get if you sold something) minus the amount you owe on it
eviction:   the legal process when a property owner tries to remove a renter from an apartment or other rental unit
exception:   A formulary exception is a decision to cover a drug that is not on the formulary. A tiering exception is a decision to charge you a lower tier amount for a drug that is on a non-preferred drug tier. Another exception can be a decision not to apply a limit, like a dose or quantity limit.
exempt:   not having to meet a requirement. For example, if you are disabled, you are exempt from TANF work rules.
expedited:   faster than usual; without delay
fair market rent:   the average rent (including utilities) being charged in a community for safe, clean, modest apartments
fair market value:   the amount of money you would get if you sold something
family cap rule:   In states with a family cap rule, TANF benefits do not increase for any child born 10 months or more after TANF assistance begins (with certain exceptions). There is NO family cap rule in New Mexico.
Fannie Mae:   the Federal National Mortgage Association, called Fannie Mae for short. A privately owned corporation approved by the Federal government to make homeownership more affordable for low and moderate-income households. Fannie Mae offers many affordable housing mortgage programs, including several low or no down payment products.
feasible alternative housing:   any other place to live that is safe for your family, including doubling up with friends or relatives
feasible:   possible; something that can be done and is likely to work
Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG):   income limits set by the U.S. government each year as a measure of poverty, used to decide eligibility for some assistance programs. For current dollar amounts, see Poverty Guidelines from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG):   income limits set by the U.S. government each year as a measure of poverty, used to decide eligibility for some assistance programs. For current dollar amounts, see Poverty Guidelines from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
fee-for-service health plan:   a health plan that allows you to use any doctor, specialist, or hospital that accepts the plan's terms, conditions, and payment rate. It is different from an HMO because the health plan pays the health provider a fee for each service rather than paying a salary or a set amount per month per patient.
felony:   a serious crime with a possible sentence of a year or more of jail time
filing unit:   those people whose assets and income are counted in determining financial eligibility for a benefit program. The filing unit may include people who are not eligible for benefits but are legally required to support eligible household members.
financial eligibility:   whether or not you qualify to get benefits, based on the amount of money you receive from your job or other sources, or the value of the things you own
financial:   having to do with money
first-time homebuyer:   a person who has not owned a home in the previous three years. If you owned a home with a former spouse, if you are a single parent, or if you owned a home without a foundation, you still qualify as a first-time homebuyer.
fixed route bus service:   public bus service along regular routes at scheduled times. Bus stops are usually marked, and printed timetables are available.
food co-op:   a group of people who work together to buy high quality food at low prices for their members. Much of the work is done by member volunteers.
food stamps   now known as the supplemental nutrition assistance program (or SNAP), a type of government assistance to help people pay for food
foreclosure:   when a homebuyer stops making required payments on a house loan, and the bank or other lender takes over the house and sells it to repay the loan
formulary exception:   A decision to cover a drug that is not on the formulary.
formulary:   A list of drugs covered by the plan.
fraud:   trying to get benefits for which you do not qualify, by giving false statements or withholding important information
Freddie Mac:   the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, called Freddie Mac for short. A privately owned corporation approved by the Federal government to make mortgage funds available to more American families.
GED:   General Educational Development, a program that gives adults the chance to earn a high school equivalency diploma
General Assistance (GA):   a state-funded cash assistance program for children and disabled adults in New Mexico who are not eligible for TANF or SSI.
general eligibility:   whether or not you qualify for benefits, based on where you live, your family situation, your citizenship, or other non-financial information
generic drug:   a drug that has the same ingredients and effectiveness as a brand-name drug, but is usually less expensive because it does not have the brand-name label
Glaucoma   an increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision
Global trauma   injury or trauma to the whole body
good cause:   circumstances beyond your control, that prevent you from meeting certain program requirements
grant:   an amount of money given to someone
green card:   a card issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service showing you are a legal permanent resident of the U.S.
gross income:   all of the money you receive from all sources before any deductions
guardianship:   having the right to make long-term decisions about a person's life. Guardianship may apply to children or to adults who cannot make decisions for themselves. The guardian can make decisions about health care, finances, education, activities, etc.
health insurance premium:   an amount you must pay on a regular basis, usually monthly, to pay for your health insurance
Health Insurance/Benefits Assistance Corps -HIBAC:   HIBAC (Health Insurance and Benefits Assistance Corps) is a free health insurance and benefits counseling program sponsored by the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department. HIBAC's goal is to help elderly and disabled adults understand Medicare, Medicaid, and other public benefits. For more information, visit Benefits Information.
health insurance:   insurance that pays for all or part of your health care expenses such as hospitalization, doctor's visits, and lab tests. Health insurance companies usually charge a monthly fee (called a premium) for this coverage. Medicaid is free (or low-cost) government health insurance for eligible New Mexico residents.
health maintenance organization (HMO):   a group of doctors and other health care providers who work together to provide health care for their members. When you join an HMO, you must go to the doctors who are part of the HMO.
health plan:   an organized way for doctors and other health workers to give medical care to people covered by the plan. Health plans have rules about which doctors you can see and which services are included. Some health plans are only available in certain areas.
Healthy Start:   a health care program offering free prenatal and obstetrical care to low-income uninsured women in New Mexico
hematocrit:   a measurement of the percentage of red blood cells in your blood
hemoglobin:   the part of the blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body
homebound:   unable to leave your home without help because of illness, disability, or frailty
hospice services:   medical care for patients who are dying, and support services for their families. Hospice services may be provided in the home or in a medical facility.
household:   people who live together, buy food together, and prepare meals together
immigrant:   a person who comes from another country to settle permanently in the United States
immigration status:   a classification given to people from other countries when they enter the United States (for example, refugee, asylee, or lawful permanent resident). Immigration status is determined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
immigration:   the act of coming into a country that is not your native land, to live there permanently
immunization record:   a paper signed by a doctor or clinic showing the dates that immunizations (shots to prevent disease) were given
immunization:   medicine that prevents a serious disease. It is given by a doctor or nurse either by injection (a "shot") or by mouth. Children in New Mexico must be immunized before they can attend school.
impairment:   a physical or mental condition that limits your ability to work and do normal daily activities
Incapacity Review Unit (IRU):   the unit within the Income Support Division that collects and reviews information about a disabled person who has applied for public benefits, and decides if that person meets the disability requirements for those benefits
income disregard:   money that is not counted when adding up your income to see if you meet the income limits for an assistance program
Income Support Division (ISD):   the state agency in charge of cash assistance, food stamps, and other services for eligible low-income New Mexico families and individuals.
income:   money that you receive, either earned or unearned, on a regular basis
income-eligible child care:   a program providing financial help to pay for child care for New Mexico families who are working, in school, or disabled
indigent:   not having enough money to pay for basic food or shelter
informal child care:   also known as in-home/relative care. This is child care provided by an adult in the child's home or by a relative in the relative's home and does not require a license. It may or may not meet state standards.
inpatient care:   care given to a patient who is admitted to a hospital or other medical facility and stays there overnight or longer
institution:   Medicare definition--A long-term care facility, nursing facility, or skilled nursing facility.
interest:   money (usually a percentage of the amount you borrow) that a bank or other lender charges you to let you borrow money for a period of time
legal immigrant:   a person who came to the United States from another country and has government permission to stay here
licensed adult residential care home:   a facility with no more than 15 residents, that has a home-like atmostphere and provides help with activities of daily living. Must be licensed by the state.
licensed child care provider:   a child care provider who has been inspected by the Child Care Services Bureau and meets the state rules for health, safety, and education
lifetime reserve days:   In the Original Medicare Plan, these are additional days that Medicare will pay for when you are in a hospital for more than 90 days. You have a total of 60 reserve days that can be used during your lifetime.
LIHEAP fuel assistance :   a government program to help low-income households pay their heating bills during the winter and/or cooling costs during the summer. LIHEAP stands for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
liquid resources:   cash or other resources that can be converted to cash quickly. Liquid resources include checking accounts, savings accounts, and stocks and bonds.
long-term care facility   a home, such as a nursing home, for people who need ongoing medical attention for a long period of time. Long-term care facilities provide medical care, supervision, assistance with personal care, and social and recreational activities.
long-term care:   all of the care you need if you are not able to care for yourself for a long period of time because of a chronic illness or disability. This includes care in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or your own home.
Macular degeneration   medical condition that results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field
maternity leave:   period of time away from work due to pregnancy or childbirth
median income:   the middle income for a group. Half of the group will have incomes above the median, and half will have incomes below the median.
Medicaid:   a government health insurance program for low-income people of all ages, including children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, the elderly, and some working families
Medicaid:   a government health insurance program for low-income people of all ages, including children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, the elderly, and some working families
Medical Assistance Division (MAD):   the state agency that runs the Medicaid and New MexiKids health insurance programs in New Mexico
medical referral:   when your primary care doctor authorizes you to see a specialist or to get other health care services that your primary doctor cannot provide
medically necessary:   health care services that diagnose or prevent an illness or disability, or that cure conditions that are life-threatening or cause illness or pain.
Medicare Advantage Plans:   A type of Medicare plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. Also called Medicare Part C.
Medicare Cost Plan:   A type of HMO. If you get services outside of the plan's network without a referral, your Medicare-covered services will be paid for under the Original Medicare Plan and your Cost Plan pays for emergency services or urgently needed services.
Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan:   A medical savings account for medical expenses. Combined with a high-deductible Medicare Advantage Plan.
Medicare Part A:   Hospital insurance that helps pay for inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.
Medicare Part B:   Medical insurance that helps pay for doctors' services, outpatient hospital care, and other medical services that are not covered by Part A
Medicare Part C:   A type of Medicare plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. Also called Medicare Advantage Plans.
Medicare Part D:   A stand-alone drug plan offered by insurers and other private companies to people who get benefits through the Original Medicare Plan, through a Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plan that doesn't include prescription drug coverage, a Medicare Cost Plan, or Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan. Also called the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan:   A stand-alone drug plan offered by insurers and other private companies to people who get benefits through the Original Medicare Plan, through a Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plan that doesn't offer prescription drug coverage, a Medicare Cost Plan, or Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan. Also called Part D.
Medicare:   a national health insurance program for people 65 and older and younger people with disabilities, that helps pay for medical care and hospital costs. To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, and either you or your spouse must have worked at least 10 years in a Medicare-covered job.
Medicare-approved amount:   In the Original Medicare Plan, this is the amount a doctor or supplier that accepts assignment can be paid. It includes what Medicare pays and any deductible, coinsurance, or copayment that you pay.
Medicare-covered employment:   A job where your employer has withheld Medicare taxes (included in FICA taxes) from your wages, or where you are self-employed and have paid Medicare (FICA) taxes yourself.
Medigap:   Medicare Supplemental Insurance sold by private companies to fill "gaps" in Original Medicare Plan coverage. There are 12 standardized Medigap plans, labeled A through L.
mortgage insurance:   insurance to protect the bank or other lender in case you stop making payments on your mortgage loan
mortgage:   a loan to pay for a house that you buy. You agree to pay back the loan plus interest over a number of years. If you don't make your payments, the bank can take the house back from you.
motor vehicle excise tax:   an annual local tax on your car or other vehicle, based on its value
net income:   your gross income minus deductions
New Mexi Kids   health insurance for New Mexico children and teenagers who are uninsured and not eligible for Medicaid. Offers primary and preventive care. Cost depends on family size and income.
New Mexico Department of Labor (NMDOL)::   the New Mexico department in charge of unemployment insurance and state employment/training programs.
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission:   the agency in charge of regulating public utilities, telecommunications companies, and insurance companies in New Mexico. The job of the NMPRC is to watch over these companies to make sure they provide good service at a reasonable cost. The NMPRC also handles consumer complaints about utility companies.
New Mexico Workforce Connection:   the New Mexico agency in charge of employment service programs and the One-Stop Career Centers.
New Mexico Works (NMWorks):   a program to help New Mexico families enter or re-enter the work force. Includes job skills assessment, education and training, job placement, and case management, to help people find good jobs and keep them.
noncountable assets:   assets that are not considered in determining eligibility. For most cash assistance programs, these include your home, your household belongings, and your vehicle.
nonimmigrant:   a person who comes to the U.S. for a temporary period of time for a specific purpose. Examples are people coming to the U.S. for business, education, medical treatment, or social visits, or as members of sports teams or performing groups.
non-liquid resources:   items of value that cannot be converted into cash easily. Examples of non-liquid resources are real estate, cars and boats, and certain retirement accounts.
nutrition:   having to do with food and healthy eating
nutritionist:   a person who knows about food and diet and can help you choose the right foods to stay healthy
online:   while you are using a computer connected to the Internet
open enrollment:   a time period during which a health plan allows new members to join, usually held once a year
Original Medicare Plan:   A federally sponsored fee-for-service health plan consisting of two parts: Part A (Hospital) and Part B (Medical).
outpatient care:   care given to a patient in a doctor's office, hospital, or other medical facility when the patient is not admitted and does not stay overnight
paratransit:   any type of shared-ride transportation (such as a van) that is not general fixed route public transportation. Paratransit service usually provides curb-to-curb service. You must call ahead to schedule your trip.
parolees:   noncitizens who are allowed to enter the United States under emergency conditions or for the public benefit. Examples are emergency workers, people attending funerals, people with medical emergencies, and people testifying in court. Parolees cannot usually apply for permanent legal resident status.
Penalty:   An amount added to your monthly premium for Medicare Part B or for a Medicare drug plan (Part D), if you did not join when you first became eligible. You pay this higher amount as long as you have Medicare.
permanent:   lasting for a very long time; not temporary
picture ID:   a card or paper that has your name and address and your picture to prove who you are
Point-of-Service:   A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) option that lets you use doctors and hospitals outside the plan for an additional cost.
portability:   being able to take a benefit with you when you move or change situations, for example, being able to keep a rent voucher when you move to a new city or state
Portable Document Format (PDF):   a special computer file format that allows people with different types of computer systems to view and print documents from the Internet. To view or print PDF files, you must install a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. This program is free from Adobe Systems at
postpartum:   the period of time after childbirth
preexisting condition:   a medical problem that you had before the date your health insurance coverage began
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan:   A type of health plan available in a local or regional area in which you pay less if you use doctors, hospitals, and providers that belong to the network. You can use doctors, hospitals, and providers outside the network for an additional cost.
preliminary eligibility check:   a quick unofficial check to see if you are likely to qualify for a service, often done before putting your name on a waiting list for that service
premium assistance:   payment of all or part of your monthly health insurance fee (premium)
premium:   a fee for insurance coverage, usually paid each month
prenatal:   before birth
preschool:   children from age 2 years, 9 months through age 5 but not yet eligible for kindergarten
prescription:   a written order from a doctor for drugs or medical devices that are only available from a pharmacy and cannot be bought without a doctor's permission
preventive care:   medical care for healthy people whose purpose is to prevent future illnesses, such as routine checkups, lab tests, and immunizations
primary care doctor:   the doctor you choose to be in charge of your medical care. Your primary care doctor does your checkups, treats you for certain illnesses and conditions, and refers you to a specialist when needed. Also called a primary care physician (PCP).
principal:   the amount of money you borrow to buy a house
priority:   being given attention before others who may be waiting
Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plan:   A type of Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) in which you may go to any Medicare-approved provider that accepts the plan's payment. The insurance plan, rather than the Medicare program, decides how much it will pay and what you pay for the services you get.
private health insurance:   health insurance that is not paid for by the government. It may be offered by your employer, or you may buy it on your own.
privately owned subsidized housing:   affordable rental housing that is not owned by the government, but is owned and managed privately. The government gives financial assistance to the owners to help keep rents low.
project-based rental assistance:   rental assistance that is assigned to a particular apartment in a housing development. You can only use project-based rental assistance if you stay in your apartment. You must give up the rental assistance if you move.
PRUCOL:   a person "permanently residing (in the U.S.) under color of law"; in other words, a person with questionable immigration status who is known to the Immigration and Naturalization Service and is allowed to remain in the U.S.
public charge:   a person who depends on government cash assistance for support, or to pay for long-term care in an institution
public housing:   housing owned by the government and managed by a local public housing authority
Railroad Retirement Board (RRB):   An independent agency of the Federal government that handles benefit programs (including Medicare) for the nation's railroad workers and their families
references:   statements from people who know you, telling the kind of person you are. For example, a statement from a previous landlord saying you are a good tenant, or a statement from a former employer saying that you are a good worker.
referral:   when a service provider gives you the name of a person or agency where you can go to get help or information
Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP):   a program offering case management, cash and medical assistance, and employment services (job skills training, job placement, and English language instruction) to newly arrived refugees who meet the income limits. The program's objective is to help refugees find jobs as quickly as possible. RRP regulations are available at 8.119 NMAC
refugee status:   an immigration status granted by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) to people who meet the definition of refugee: "a person outside of his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinions." Refugee status is granted on a case-by-case basis after an interview with a USCIS officer.
refugees:   people who have left their native country and cannot return because they face persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion
register:   to sign up for a program or service
rent allowance:   extra money included in the payment given to benefit recipients living in private unsubsidized housing to help pay the higher costs of this type of housing
rental arrearage:   overdue back rent
resources:   money you have or property you own; also called assets
restraining order:   a court order to prevent one person from doing harm to another
retroactive:   starting or taking effect at a date in the past
Section 8:   a federal government housing assistance program for low-income families and individuals. Section 8 assistance may be in the form of rent vouchers given to tenants to help pay their rent; homeownership assistance to help pay a mortgage loan; or project-based subsidies used to keep rents low in specific private housing developments.
security deposit:   money you have to pay to a landlord when first renting an apartment to pay for any damage you might do or any unpaid rent. The security deposit, minus any amount you owe, is returned to you when you move out of the apartment.
self-declaration:   a statement that is accepted as true because you said so, without other proof. If you have no other documents to give as proof of eligibility on an application, some programs allow self-declarations.
self-sufficient:   able to take care of one's own needs (for food, housing, etc.) without public assistance or help from anyone else
service need:   the amount of help someone needs to solve a problem. For example, the number of days and hours of child care a parent needs to be able to go to work.
service provider:   the person who helps you when you go to a public agency
shelter costs:   the amount you pay for rent or mortgage, utilities, taxes, and house insurance
Skilled Nursing Facility Care:   A level of care that requires the daily involvement of skilled nursing or rehabilitation staff.
sliding fee scale:   a list of costs for a service (such as child care) that are based on your income. For example, if you have a small income, you will pay less for a service than someone with a larger income.
SNAP   a type of government assistance to help people pay for food and receive training in nutrition and healthy cooking (formerly known as food stamps)
Social Secuity:   a social insurance program that offers basic retirement, disability, survivor, and Medicare benefits to workers in the United States
Social Security number:   a 9-digit U.S. government identification number for people living in the U.S. Each number is unique to an individual.
soup kitchen:   a place where people cook and serve food to those who do not have the money to buy and cook their own food. The meals are free.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP):   A period during which you can enroll in Medicare Part B if you did not sign up when you first became eligible. Generally, this period is any time you are otherwise eligible for Medicare but you or your spouse is still working and covered under a group health plan from your employer or union, or during the 8-month period following such employment or the termination of health care coverage.
Special Needs Plan:   A special type of Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) that provides more focused and specialized health care for specific groups of people, such as those who have both Medicare and Medicaid, who reside in a nursing home, or have certain chronic medical conditions.
special needs:   physical or mental problems that prevent a person from being able to care for himself
specialist:   a doctor or other health care provider who has special training and knowledge about a particular disease or part of the body
sponsor deeming:   when the income and assets of a noncitizen's sponsor are counted in determining financial eligibility for government assistance. Some assistance programs require sponsor deeming; others do not. Deeming usually only applies to sponsored noncitizens who came to the U.S. on or after 12/19/97 and whose sponsors have signed an affidavit of support (form I-864).
sponsored noncitizen:   a noncitizen allowed to enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident with the condition that a sponsor will provide financial support for the noncitizen to prevent the noncitizen from becoming a public charge
SSDI:   Social Security Disability Insurance, a cash benefit program for people who have worked at jobs covered by Social Security and then become disabled. Monthly benefits continue until you are able to work again.
SSI:   Supplemental Security Income, a government cash assistance program for people who are 65 or older, and for people of any age who are disabled or blind
state median income (SMI):   the middle value in the distribution of incomes for New Mexico families of a particular size. The SMI is set each year by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and is used to decide income eligibility for some assistance programs.
subsidized housing:   housing where the government pays part of the tenant's rent
subsidy:   financial help given to a family or individual by the government to help pay for a needed service such as housing or child care
substance abuse:   when the use of alcohol or drugs takes over a person's life and prevents that person from living a normal healthy life
substandard housing:   housing with serious problems or code violations that threatens the health, safety, and well-being of the people living there
substandard housing:   housing that is not in good repair or unsafe
supplemental insurance:   insurance that adds to the insurance you already have, by paying some of the fees you would otherwise have to pay, or by adding new benefits
surcharge:   an extra charge on top of what you already have to pay
TANF:   Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, a government cash assistance program for low-income families with children under age 18. Commonly known as "welfare." Includes a time limit and work requirement for most families.
Telemedicine:   Medical or other health services given to a patient using a communications system (like a computer, telephone, or television) by a practitioner located away from the patient.
tenant-based voucher:   a type of rent voucher that can be used for any rental unit of the tenant's choice, as long as it meets program standards. The tenant is free to move from one apartment to another and continue to use the voucher.
tiering exception:   A decision to charge you a lower tier amount for a drug that is on a non-preferred drug tier.
Title II   Title II provides benefits under Social Security, including Social Security Disability Insurance.
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS)   the federal agency in charge of immigration law
Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program:   a special program to resettle refugee and asylee youth who are without parents. Minors are placed in foster care or independent living situations, depending on their needs. They are given intensive case management, including counseling, medical care, education, financial support, recreation, English classes, independent skills training, and legal assistance. For more information, see The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program from the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.
undocumented immigrant:   a person who is in the United States without permission of the U.S. government
undocumented noncitizen:   a person who is in the United States without permission of the U.S. government
unearned income:   income you receive without working for it (interest, unemployment compensation, pensions, etc.)
unemployment compensation:   cash payments made to eligible unemployed people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, worked in qualifying jobs for a certain period of time, are looking for work, and who file a proper claim. Benefits are NOT based on need.
Unemployment Insurance Bureau:   the agency in charge of the Unemployment Insurance program in New Mexico
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):   the government agency in charge of immigration and citizenship services, including family-based and employment-based petitions, asylum and refugee processing, naturalization, special status programs, and immigration documents. Part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The USCIS official web site is
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):   the department within the U.S. government that is in charge of food and nutrition programs, food safety, conservation, national parks, agricultural research, and international food aid
unsubsidized housing:   housing where the tenant pays the full rent (without any help from the government)
urgent care:   health services needed to treat a sudden and serious illness or injury, which, if left untreated for more than 24 hours, would be harmful but not life-threatening
utility:   a service such as gas, electricity, water, or sewer, that is provided to the public and regulated by the government
VA benefits:   benefits received through the federal government's Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Voluntary Agency (VOLAG):   a national organization that contracts with the government to provide resettlement services for refugees when they first come to the United States.
volunteer:   a person who willingly does a job without pay
voucher:   a certificate given by the government that can be exchanged for housing, child care, or other services. It is proof that the government will pay for the service.
waive:   to put aside (for example, to not enforce a rule)
waiver:   when a rule is not applied because of special circumstances
weatherization:   home repairs, such as insulation and weather-stripping, that make your home more energy-efficient and help lower your heating costs.
web browser:   a computer program that is used to view web pages on the Internet. The two most common web browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, but other web browsers are also available.
weekly benefit amount (WBA)   the amount payable to the claimant for each week of unemployment in the benefit year.
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