Ranchers say USDA not giving insurance payments

Argen Duncan A number of New Mexico ranchers say the U.S. Department of Agriculture isn’t giving them the insurance payments they paid for and need. Last year, the USDA Risk Management Agency offered a pilot program in which ranchers in New Mexico and other states could work with private insurance companies to buy policies they […]

Debt plan would tamp down COLA

Military retirees, Social Security recipients and others drawing federal payments were tempted to grumble at Congress or the White House when the past two Januarys brought no cost-of-living adjustment. The real culprits were a deeply distressed economy, which drove prices down, and a logical process, set up 40 years ago, to track inflation and adjust […]

Federal program aimed at helping homeowners with mortgage payments

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Alisa Boswell: Freedom New Mexico Eastern Plains Housing Development Corporation Executive Director Monica Gutierrez and associates, from left, Chandra Hall, April Uribe and Anna Avila, go over dates for housing plans Friday. Gutierrez said the corporation is in full support of a new federal homeowners loan program, which helps pay mortgages for struggling homeowners. Alisa […]

VA issues first payments to caregivers

American Forces Press Services WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs officials will send out more than $430,000 in stipend payments in July to nearly 200 family caregivers of veterans. These family caregivers were the first to complete their caregiver training under the program of comprehensive assistance for family caregivers. The first payments to 96 recipients […]

Tax law changes could drive up house payments

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CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Curry County Deputy Assessor Shelly Brown goes through property cards Wednesday afternoon. The assessor’s office often receives calls from homeowners whose escrow was calculated incorrectly after property tax laws were changed in 2005. Sharna Johnson Homeowners who purchased residential property since 2005 may get struck with lightning — tax lightning […]

Bill would stop payments on 23-year-old suit

By Steve Terrell: The Santa Fe New Mexican State Sen. Rod Adair is sponsoring legislation that would cease payments to lawyers in a 23-year-old lawsuit against the state and earmark that money to help those with developmental disabilities. Adair, R- Roswell, says the Jackson vs. Ft. Stanton lawsuit has served its purpose in improving care […]

VA officials to begin recovery of GI Bill advance payments

Courtesy of American Forces Press Service from a Department of Veterans Affairs news release. WASHINGTON —Veterans Affairs Department officials are beginning the process of recovering advance payments made available during the fall 2009 semester to veterans and servicemembers who applied for education benefits. “The advance payments were a huge success and helped thousands of student […]

Local institutions say no problems with veterans’ tuition payments

Staff and wire reports Although many universities and colleges are still waiting for tuition payments for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who attended school last fall under the new GI Bill, representatives of local institutions say they’re not having a problem. The Veterans Affairs Department says the number of veterans with claims unprocessed is now fewer […]

Software glitch delays GI payments

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Amanda Collier started college last August armed with a certificate of eligibility to use Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits that her dad, a Coast Guardsman of 22 years, had earned and transferred to her. Next week Amanda will take final exams for her first semester at the University of Central Oklahoma. […]

Press release: More than $18 million in CRP payments going to New Mexico farmers

ALBUQUERQUE – Salomon Ramirez, State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in New Mexico today announced that USDA has almost completed issuing over $18 million in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments to eligible producers in New Mexico. More than $1.7 billion in CRP payments are being made on 31 million acres across the country. […]

Payments more of burden than help

By Paul Gessing: Guest columnist In case you haven’t heard, there will be no cost of living increase for Social Security recipients next year. This has spurred outrage and consternation on Capitol Hill. After all, seniors vote in large numbers and are a politically powerful voting bloc, so efforts to placate senior citizens are usually […]

Another gaffe in retro pay project

By Tom Philpott: Syndicated columnist As many as 39,000 disabled military retirees have been left out of the VA Retro Pay program by mistake, say officials at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) who are calculating the amount of money owed. This latest and perhaps most serious gaffe in the problem-plagued VA Retro Pay […]

Press release: USDA says MILC payments on way to dairy farmers

ALBUQUERQUE – Brenda Archuleta, Acting Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency in New Mexico announced today that because of low dairy prices across the country, producers participating in USDA’s Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program will soon begin to receive payments. “As a result of low dairy prices, we will soon begin distributing MILC […]

Payments coming from your pocket

By Tibor Machan: Freedom New Mexico columnist It was as if President George Bush became Santa Claus. An MSNBC anchor announced the president signed into law a bill that extends unemployment compensation payments to jobless Americans and said, without flinching, this is “good news.” Only mainstream nonpartisan media can carry this off. For starters, extending […]

Stimulus payments being used for daily living costs

Staff and wire reports Many Americans allowed themselves to fantasize about large-screen TVs, bigger vacations and other luxuries when they learned of the federal rebates they’d be getting this spring and early summer. Or maybe they’d pay off a credit card or set the rebate aside for a big purchase in the future, notwithstanding Washington’s […]

IRS to begin mailing stimulus notices

The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Don’t be alarmed. More than 130 million households will get letters from the Internal Revenue Service beginning next week and the news is good. The letters are part of an effort to ensure people do not miss out if they are eligible for a tax rebate check under the recently […]

Senate passes $286 billion farm bill

Staff and Wire reports WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday approved a $286 billion farm bill with an election-year expansion of subsidies for growers and food stamps for the poor. The bill, passed on a 79-14 vote, expands subsidies for wheat, barley, oat, soybeans and several other crops and creates new grants for vegetable and […]

County taxes due today

By Jean Verlich: CNJ News Editor Today is the last day Curry County property owners can pay the second half of 2006 property taxes without interest or penalties. The first half was due Nov. 10 and taxpayers had until Dec. 10 to make on-time payments, many paying their taxes in full, according to Curry County […]

Retro pay reaches 31,000, averages $1,500

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Two months into a year-long review of pay records and disability compensation histories for 140,000 military retirees have produced a total of $45 million in back pay to 31,000 disabled retirees, say officials in charge. The lump-sum payments average about $1,500. Ten retirees have received more than $25,000 each, a […]

Back payments doled out to retirees

By Tom Philpott: Military Update A small group of disabled military retirees this month will be the first of 133,000 to receive lump-sum back payments, which are tied to start-up challenges for two “concurrent receipt” programs enacted since 2003. That’s according to officials with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). The trickle of back […]