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SELF-EMPLOYED, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, AND GIG ECONOMY WORKERS

The COVID-19 stimulus bill will expand Unemployment Insurance benefits, known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). We are setting up our system to process these claims. There is no need to call the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center at this time. The department will announce when you are able to starting filing your initial claim. 

Haga clic aquí para ver Información para Trabajadores y Negocios Afectados por COVID-19

Information for New Mexicans Affected by COVID-19

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared a state of public health emergency in New Mexico as a result of the novel coronavirus disease (also known as COVID-19). All New Mexicans should follow best practices to minimize the risk of community exposure.

The Governor has instructed New Mexicans to remain in their homes or places of residence except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare.

Other precautionary steps recommended by the Governor and the New Mexico Department of Health include:

    • Avoid public gatherings of more than 5 people
    • Avoid all non-essential travel to affected out-of-state areas
    • Take precautionary steps to protect your individual health:
        • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
        • Clean “high-touch” surfaces daily with regular household cleaners
        • Avoid sharing personal household items
    • Don't panic, but be prepared

Find updates, more information, and resources on COVID-19 in New Mexico at www.newmexico.gov

COVID-19 UI Header

UI Virtual Town Hall

Virtual Town Hall

The Virtual Town Hall will be available as a recording on this page shortly, as well as answers to questions asked during the town hall.

In light of the Governor's declaration, certain workers may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. You may be eligible if the situations described below apply to you:

    • Employers may lay off some or all of their workforce as a result of the impact of COVID-19; for example, a restaurant that sees a significant reduction in business due to lack of customers dining out during this time, or an event facility that cancels all events until a later date, or bus drivers who are out of work due to temporary school closures.
    • Workers who are self-quarantined or directed to be quarantined, or who have immediate family who is quarantined.
    • Workers who have their hours reduced as a result of COVID-19.

Apply for Benefits

Getting Started with My Workforce Connection

For more information, please review the COVID-19 UI Fact Sheet below and the FAQs on this page.

COVID-19 UI Fact Sheet - PDF
COVID-19 UI Hoja de Hechos - PDF

I got a letter about unemployment insurance. What does it mean?
Recibí una carta sobre el seguro de desempleo. ¿Qué significa eso?

Frequently Asked Questions

Claimants

Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims are processed by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS), and there are two ways to file an unemployment claim:

Whether you file online or by phone, you will need the following information to file a new claim:

    • Social Security Number (SSN)
    • Mailing address and phone number(s) of employer(s) you worked for in last 18 months
    • The starting and ending dates of your last job (or jobs if more than one employer in last 18 months)
    • If you are a non-citizen, have your alien registration number and expiration date
    • If you worked during the week you are filing your claim, be sure you know the gross amount (total dollars and cents before any deductions) of your pay before filing
    • Pencil and paper to write down questions and instructions

NMDWS will be waiving the work search requirements for four weeks. After you have applied for benefits, you must file a weekly certification for each week for which you are applying for benefits. Weekly certifications may be filed online or by phone.

PLEASE NOTE: The first eligible week of any new claim is a “waiting week.” You will not receive benefits for this week and it is not included in your weeks of payment.

If you need to file a claim for benefits or complete your weekly certification, you may do so any day of the week, 24/7 online at www.jobs.state.nm.us, or over the phone at 1-877-664-6984 Monday-Friday, 8:00a.m.- 4:30pm.

PLEASE NOTE: The first eligible week of any new claim is a “waiting week.” You will not receive benefits for this week and it is not included in your weeks of payment.

The department will advise claimants if the waiver will be extended beyond the 4 weeks.

If you have been directed to self-quarantined or are taking care of an immediate family member that is quarantined due to COVID-19, and you have a return to work date, the separation reason you would select on your claim is “Leave of Absence.” If you answer that it is paid leave of absence, you will be found ineligible for benefits because you are still receiving payment from your employer. If you answer that you are not receiving payment you will potentially be eligible to receive benefits.

If you do not have a return to work date, please select Discharged/Lack of Work due to COVID-19.

Certain questions within the questionnaire are dependent on the first answer you provide. If you say “yes” that your employer posted the information in the workplace about your right to file a claim, you should skip the next question. You would only complete the next question if you answered “no” to the question “Did you know you could file for benefits?” Read each question and instructions carefully when filling out questionnaires.

You may be eligible if the situations described below apply to you:

    • Employers may lay off some or all of their workforce as a result of the impact of COVID-19; for example, a restaurant that sees a significant reduction in business due to lack of customers dining out during this time, or an event facility that cancels all events until a later date, or bus drivers who are out of work due to temporary school closures.
    • Workers who are self-quarantined or directed to be quarantined, or who have immediate family who is quarantined.
    • Workers who have their hours reduced as a result of COVID-19.

Quitting your job because you do not have childcare is not considered good cause under New Mexico law and you would be disqualified for the receipt of Unemployment Benefits.

Regardless if you were full-time or part-time and have your hours reduced you will be eligible for unemployment benefits as long as your earnings are under your weekly benefit amount. Please remember that all earnings must be reported on your weekly certifications at the time the wages were earned, not when they are paid.

Under New Mexico law quitting because of a medical concern is not considered good cause. The department encourages you to work with your employer to discuss options to limit your exposure.

If you have been asked to self-quarantined, are admitted into the hospital, or are caring for a family member who is quarantined as a result of COVID-19 you may apply for unemployment benefits.

Yes, if you are unable to work as a result of the schools being closed due to COVID-19 you may apply for unemployment insurance benefits.

Yes, you can file for unemployment insurance benefits if you have been separated as a direct result of COVID-19.

Drivers for Lift and Uber are self-employed and would only be eligible for benefits if they have worked for another employer whose wages are part of your base period. If the federal government institutes DUA (Disaster Unemployment Assistance), a self-employed individual could be eligible for benefits.

The department does not deny anyone the right to file a claim for unemployment benefits. Asking someone to work without providing any payment is a violation of the law and you should submit a wage claim to the New Mexico Wage and Hour Bureau to receive payment for hours worked.

We understand that federal lawmakers have passed a COVID-19 stimulus bill that will expand Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Once the department is provided with instructions on how to obtain additional funds from the Federal Government, we will make an announcement through news outlets and on the department website about benefit eligibility for independent contractors, those who are self-employed, and business owners who will soon be able to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Independent contractors or self-employed individuals would only be eligible for benefits if they have worked for another employer whose wages are part of your base period. If the federal government institutes DUA (Disaster Unemployment Assistance), a self-employed individual could be eligible for benefits.

If you haven’t submitted your claim, the system will allow you to modify any information you have already entered on your claim. If you want to add another employer and have already submitted your claim, you must call the Operations Center at 1-877-664-6984, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you want to add a dependent and have already submitted your claim, go to your Home Page, select “View and Maintain Account Information” from the left-side menu, in the drop-down menu, select “Dependent Information” option and then add the dependent(s) on the screen provided.

If you want to change from debit card to direct deposit (or vice versa), go to your Home Page, select “View and Maintain Account Information” from the left-side menu, from the drop-down menu select “Payment Method Options and Tax Information.” From the Payment Methods Options and Tax Information, select the “Edit” button and make your change.

First, you will need to make sure your internet browsers are closed. From the email you received, select the link to reset password. You must physically type in the temporary password (rather than copy and paste) from the email you received and then the system should allow you to change the password.

Yes, your old account is still available. If the error message is on the Unemployment Insurance Tax & Claims System, type in your Social Security Number (SSN) and then select “Forgot Password.” If the error message is on your “My Workforce Connection” account, select “Forgot Username/Password” and follow the prompts.

If you had an unemployment insurance claim prior to 2013 and have never logged into it online, enter your SSN and the last four digits of your SSN as your password. You will then be prompted to set up a password. Once your new password is set up, it will take you back to the login screen to enter in your SSN and new password.

If you have previously logged in but do not remember your password, please enter in your SSN and then select “forgot password”.

No. Unemployment Insurance benefits are funded by an employer tax. It is against the law for employers to deduct unemployment taxes from your wages.

Use this helpful tool to find answers to frequently asked questions about letters you may receive.

Under New Mexico Unemployment Insurance law every claimant must serve a one-week unpaid waiting week before they receive benefits.

No, you would not be eligible to receive payment if you are serving compensable weeks due to a prior fraud determination until all compensable weeks are served.

Log in to your online account (www.jobs.state.nm.us) regularly to check for any correspondence from the department. You will remain responsible for any communication from NMDWS including requests for information and responses to notices of determination, hearings or decisions issued by the Department.

The department has extended online initial claims filings to include Saturdays. At this time, the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center hours have not been extended. The normal hours of operation continue to be Monday- Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., MST.

If the system has reached the maximum calls in the regular queue and the call back telephone queue, the system has no other option than to hang up. We apologize for the system issues, but due to the large volume of calls received each day the system is working at capacity.

At this time, New Mexico has not met USDOL’s qualifications to offer extended benefits. If/when New Mexico does qualify to offer these benefits, eligible claimants will be notified.

USDOL has not declared an approval to offer DUA benefits at this time.

You can check what pending issue you have by logging into your unemployment insurance account, selecting the menu option “View and Maintain Account Information” and then select “Issues and Determinations”. Scroll down towards the bottom of your screen and you can see what is pending. Please be advised that the department adjudicates issues in the order they are received.

Every claim in the State of New Mexico must serve a waiting week, which is the first week you certify for. If you earn over your weekly benefit amount on your first week, it cannot be used as your waiting week and you will have to serve the waiting week on the next week certified.

After your waiting week is served, your next week certified will be your first paid week. Payment is normally released within 72 business hours from the date of certification if you are eligible to receive payment. Payment may be put on hold if a work item requires adjudication and holds payment until completed.

Additional Resources

NMDOH COVID-19 Website - cv.nmhealth.org

State of New Mexico COVID-19 Updates - www.newmexico.gov

Coronavirus Health Hotline: 1-855-600-3453
(
Please use the number above if you have HEALTH related questions about the coronavirus.)

Coronavirus Information Hotline: 1-833-551-0518
(Please use the number above if you have questions about school closures, job issues etc.)

Senior Food Hotline: 1-800-432-2080

Information for Individuals Experiencing Financial Hardship

National Coronavirus Updates

Stop the Spread of Germs Bilingual Poster - PDF

APS Grab & Go Meals for Students

NMEDD Help for Businesses

Information for Employers

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