New Mexico Unemployment Benefits

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) provides unemployment benefits to qualified candidates throughout the state. These enrollees are able to claim unemployment benefits in New Mexico if they meet certain financial eligibility requirements and if they are unemployed through no fault of their own. Unemployment insurance (UI), which is also called unemployment compensation (UC), is available to claimants on a temporary basis. This means that enrollees are only able to receive compensation for a fixed time. However, program acceptees may use UC benefits to support themselves and their families during their professional transitions.

Whether researching how to apply for unemployment online or what information is required in applications, there are several steps that go into the UC process. The sections to follow will explain what petitioners must do to prepare their applications, how the process progresses and the steps they must take to maintain their benefits.

What is unemployment in New Mexico?

The New Mexico unemployment insurance program is available to all individuals who work throughout the state. However, there are specific prerequisites petitioners must meet before they may begin to receive program benefits. In any case, unemployment insurance benefits are not intended to serve as a long-term support system for jobless workers and their families. Instead, the program functions as an interim assistance initiative while enrollees search for new employment opportunities.

As a result, beneficiaries are only eligible to receive unemployment insurance coverage in NM for a maximum of 26 weeks during a 52-week period. During this time, acceptees are required to search for new jobs and report any income they receive. However, enrollees will also be receiving UC funds during this time. The minimum weekly benefit amount (WBA) the DWS will pay enrollees with an active and current unemployment claim is $81. Likewise, the maximum WBA enrollees may receive is $433.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in New Mexico?

There is a set of NM eligibility for unemployment requirements petitioners must meet before they may be admitted into the program. These stipulations are uniform, and candidates are required to adhere to all of these prerequisites before they may receive UC benefits. In general, these requirements may be broken down into two overarching categories: financial and non-financial.

Qualifications for unemployment will assess how petitioners became unemployed. This is a critical aspect of the application process, and petitioners must accurately report how they lost their jobs. As a rule, only candidates who lost their jobs due to circumstances they could not control are eligible to receive UC. An applicant who was laid off due to work shortages would be eligible to receive UC. However, a petitioner who quit their job because they did not like their supervisor is not someone who qualifies for unemployment.

When determining unemployment insurance eligibility, the DWS also takes into account petitioners’ work aptitude and availability. In particular, candidates must be:

  • Able to work – Petitioners must be physically able to work. Candidates who cannot report to full-time jobs due to physical disabilities or illnesses are unlikely to qualify for UC.
  •  Available to work – Applicants are required to maintain schedules that permit them to work full-time. This means enrollees may not have obligations that prohibit them from working during traditional hours for their target jobs. As a result, petitioners who qualify for UI may not have transportation issues that prohibit them from working or limiting class schedules.
  • Searching for work – In order to receive UC, claimants must be actively searching for work opportunities. This shows the DWS that petitioners are making reasonable efforts to become reemployed after their job losses.

Furthermore, candidates must meet financial qualifications for UC in order to receive payment. In order to establish monetary eligibility, the DWS will examine how much income petitioners earned during their base periods. For UC purposes, the base period refers to the first four of the last five calendar quarters that concluded before petitioners filed their claims.

How can I sign up for unemployment in New Mexico?

Petitioners must know how to apply for unemployment online in New Mexico. Claimants must use an online application for unemployment. Alternatively, petitioners may also apply over the phone. In any case, applicants may call the DWS UI Operations Center during the weekdays if they have specific questions regarding the petition process. Regardless of how candidates choose to apply for unemployment benefits, they must provide the following information when they submit their materials:

  • Social Security Numbers Petitioners must submit their Social Security Numbers when they apply for UI benefits. Furthermore, candidates who plan on collecting dependent allowances must also include their children’s Social Security Numbers, as well.
  • Citizenship status – Applicants are obligated to disclose their citizenship statuses when they apply for UC.
  • Work history Candidates who apply for UI must provide their work history for the past 18 months. Within this summary, claimants must include their former employers’ names, office addresses and phone numbers. In addition, applicants will also need to provide the dates when they worked at those locations and disclose why they are no longer working there.

How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in New Mexico?

In some instances, claimants may need to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in New Mexico after they submit their applications. These conversations are not always required. However, they are routine enough that applicants should assume needing to participate in one means the DWS will deny their petitions. In most cases, the DWS will request claimants to take part in an unemployment phone interview. Depending on the reasons for these conversations, the department may also need to conduct an unemployment interview with the employer petitioners recently had. However, this would not affect the claimants because their interviews will always be held separately from their former employers’.

The questions asked during the unemployment interview depend on why the department needs to host these conversations. As a result, no two conversations are the same, and there is no uniform way to prepare. Regardless, there are certain steps applicants may take to ensure they are ready for the UC phone interview. For example, petitioners may prepare relevant timelines and facts. DWS interviewers are interested in facts. It is their job to determine whether or not petitioners qualify for UC benefits. Therefore, claimants can most help their cases by preparing a timeline of events. This helps to keep their information factual and brief. Applicants must also expect to explain why they are no longer unemployed. Having a concise description of the events that led to their terminations will help the phone interview process.

How do I claim unemployment benefits in New Mexico?

After petitioners are accepted into the UC program, they must continue to meet requirements in order to claim unemployment benefits in New Mexico. These stipulations are twofold. On one hand, they help to ensure candidates are constantly working toward reemployment. On the other hand, these program requirements validate that enrollees who are claiming benefits for unemployment are receiving appropriate check amounts each week. In order to maintain an unemployment benefits claim, beneficiaries must:

  • Perform work search tasks. Each week claimants receive UC, they must certify to the DWS that they have completed at least two work search activities each week. Beneficiaries are responsible for keeping track of their progress in the state-issued Work Search Verification Log or by using another medium.
  • Claim any income they earned. Petitioners’ WBAs are not static. In order to receive their quoted eligibility amounts, applicants must report how much income they earned during the weeks they are claiming. This means enrollees must disclose how much monetary income or other reimbursement they earned those weeks.
  • Confirm work availability. Beneficiaries are responsible for reporting each week whether or not they were able to work throughout that time. Claimants who are ill or who lacked transportation during those weeks may not receive UC during those periods.

What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in New Mexico?

Claimants who are denied unemployment benefits in New Mexico have the option to appeal the DWS’ decisions. Similarly, employers who find the departments’ determinations to be unfavorable may file appeals, as well. Regardless of who files the UI appeal, requests must be sent to the state’s Appeal Tribunal.

After the unemployment denial appeal request is processed, relevant parties will receive a Notice of Hearing. These documents contain the times and dates when the appeals hearings will take place. The majority of these trials take place over the phone. Prior to the denied unemployment benefits hearing, petitioners must submit any evidence and the names of any witnesses they wish to support their claims. This is also the time when applicants and employers must arrange their own legal representation, should they favor this option. However, having a lawyer present is not required. When it is time for the hearings, all parties are responsible for calling their administrative law judge (ALJ) representatives. These individuals are the ones who are responsible for hearing all evidence and issuing redeterminations. After these denied UI benefits hearings end, the ALJs will mail their decisions to employers and claimants. If either party disagrees with these decisions, they will have subsequent opportunities to appeal.

How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in New Mexico?

A federal unemployment extension in New Mexico allows program participants to receive UC benefits beyond the state’s usual 26-week enrollment limit. In the past, the extension allowed enrollees to receive an additional 14 weeks of benefits. However, this unemployment benefits extension is not consistently available, and Congress is responsible for authorizing the addition. These expansions may be issued for individual states or across the nation. In either instance, an unemployment extension is only offered when many workers in an area are without jobs. The DWS will alert beneficiaries when these extensions become available.

How do I contact the New Mexico unemployment office?

There is a New Mexico unemployment office located in many major cities throughout the state. The UI office serves as a resource to petitioning candidates and their former employers as they navigate the UC process. Individuals have the option of calling the unemployment office call center phone number or visiting in person. The Albuquerque office is located at:

401 Broadway NE

Albuquerque New Mexico 97102

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long can a person be on unemployment in New Mexico?

In the state of New Mexico, unemployment benefits are available for a maximum of 26 weeks. However, this does not mean that every individual who qualifies for unemployment will continue to receive benefits for the full 26 weeks.

How much money will I get from unemployment?

The amount of your weekly benefits is directly related to your past income. In New Mexico, the amount is equal to 53.5% of your average weekly wage during your highest paid quarter. However, as of 2018, the minimum amount of weekly benefits is $81 and the maximum amount is $433.

When should I file for unemployment?

As soon as you can. You don’t get any credit for the time spent between losing your job and filing your unemployment claim. This is why you should always try to file an unemployment claim within the first week of losing your job. Even your first week is usually a “wait week” where your claim is being processed and you typically will not get paid.

New Mexico Unemployment Office Locations