New Mexico Unemployment Application Information
How to Apply for Unemployment
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The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program makes sure that you still have a regular monthly income even after you lose your job. In order to become an UI enrollee, you need to meet certain criteria and one of them is that you're currently unemployed through no fault no your own. This program will help you find a new job and it will provide you with much needed financial help during the times when you don't have a steady income.
This program is funded by employers who decide to support it by paying unemployment tax to the state and federal governments. These employers are usually referred to as "covered employers". This means that your wages are lowered by an amount of these taxes.
In order to become a UI enrollee, you'll first need to file a new claim. There are several ways to do this, and you find out more in "How to Apply" section of this text. It's advisable to file a claim as soon as you lose your job or if your work hours are reduced. All claims have a one week period which is called "waiting period" and which is unpaid.
You also need to know that if you want to use UI benefits, you'll need to do the best you can in order to find a new employment. You'll need to file weekly or sometimes biweekly claims in order to report your job searching activities, in order to have UI benefits deposited on your account. Actually, one of your first important obligations is to register for work with the appropriate department within 14 business days of filing your first claim.
The easiest way to register for work is to visit www.jobs.state.nm.us/ which is the official web address of the New Mexico Workforce Connection. This is online bank of available jobs, so you can always have the latest information on new job positions. Your weekly claims can show your activity on this website, which is considered as an active job search. In addition to this, you'll need to show that you're attending interviews with potential employers.
In case you're a union member, you don't have to register at the New Mexico Workforce Connection website. Instead, you'll need to show a proof of your union status and you'll need to follow the requirements of your union. You must be a union member in good standing as well as on the out-of-work list.
One of the most important responsibilities you'll have, as an UI enrollee, is to claim your weekly benefits. This means that you'll need to show to the New Mexico Workforce Solution that you're actively searching for a job and you'll be able to this by filing claims.
You'll be obligated to contact a minimum of two employers each week in order to meet the minimum work search requirement. This contacts need to made within the week for which you claim your benefits. Also, it won't be enough just to apply online for the available job position, since you'll need to show that you've made contact in-person, or by telephone.
You can file your weekly claims by telephone using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) at 505-841-2000. You can also do this online, by visiting the following link: www.dws.state.nm.us/UnemploymentInsurance/UITaxClaimsSystem In case you'd like to visit your local Workforce Solution office, you can use work search verification form: www.dws.state.nm.us/Portals/0/DM/UI/WorkSearchForm.pdf
Before calling IVR to file a claim, you'll need to have a certain information and documents. These are: Social Security number, PIN (Personal Identification Number), and information on total gross wages you earned during that week (Sunday through Saturday).
If you claim your certification on Sunday or Monday, it's possible that you will receive your UI benefits payment on Wednesday of the same week.
Speaking of the weekly benefit amount, it depends on your income during the previous period. First, you'll need to know your earnings during the base period (a period of previous four out of the previous five completed calendar quarters). Now you'll need to see during which quarters of your base period you've had highest earnings, and this period is usually called "high quarter". Now simply take that amount, divide it by 13 and multiply by 53.5% and that will be your weekly benefit amount.
You also need to know that, in order to get UI benefits, your previous employment needs to be in the "covered zone" under the UI Tax laws. Some examples of fields which are not covered are some religious organizations, non-profit organizations, commissions earned as a real estate agent or insurance agent, as well as the income earned as elected officials.
A minimum amount of financial benefits is $72, while maximum can be $386. You can expect receiving benefits up to 26 weeks, which depends on your past quarterly earnings. In some cases you can even extend this period, which is ruled by the federal government.
Most UI enrollees choose to apply for a State of New Mexico Visa debit card. This card is used by the Workforce Solution to deposit your weekly benefits. You can use it just like you would use any other debit card. This is a good solution even if you've got your own bank account, since it's more secure than carrying cash. In case your card gets stolen or lost, you will be reimbursed for any unauthorized transactions. You can always get some cash by using one of the ATMs that accept Visa card, without any additional fees.
In order to be eligible for UI enrollment, you'll need to meet general and UI-specific requirements:
- You need to be a U.S. resident or a legal alien.
- You'll need to prove this by showing your U.S. passport, driver's license or any other official state-issued document. In case you're a legal alien, you'll need to show documents which will prove your immigration status.
- You need to be a New Mexico resident.
- In order to prove this, you can simply show your ID card or driver's license.
- You need to show that you've lost your job through no fault on your own.
- Some cases of eligible situations are: if you were laid off because of lack of work; if your hours were cut back because of lack of work; if you were fired without a good reason; if you've quit your job because of the unhealthy or dangerous working conditions; if you were forced to quit.
- You need to be physically and mentally able to work.
- You need to show that you're actively searching for a job.
- You need to show that you've collected wages (had regular income) in two quarters of your base period.
- You need to show that you've worked in New Mexico.
- Finally, you need to show that you didn't file a different claim for UI benefits in New Mexico during the previous year.
Most unapproved claims show that applicants were not eligible due to the reason they've lost or quit their job. These are some of the situations which could make you ineligible for UI enrollment:
- If you've quit your job without a good cause, for example: if you didn't get along with your co-workers.
- If you were fired with a good cause, for example: if you misbehaved or if you were irresponsible
- If you've lost your job because you were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor
- If you don't plan on looking for a new job
- If you haven't collected wages in the last two quarters of your base pay period
Unemployment Application Instructions
In order to apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits, you'll need to turn in the UI application form as well as some additional documentation which will show your eligibility.
There are several ways to find and turn in an application form:
- You can visit : www.dws.state.nm.us/ Here you can find a lot of helpful information on Unemployment Insurance program. If you wish to apply, go to "Apply for Benefits", which is located under the "Unemployment Insurance" item on the main menu.
- This is where you can also find links which will take you to web pages where you can file your weekly claims, or review your personal information.
- You can also visit one of your local Workforce Solutions office, where you find application forms as well as any additional help you might need. A list of WC offices can be found here: : www.jobs.state.nm.us/vosnet/ContactUs
- In case you'd like to apply via telephone, you can call 1-877-NM-4-MYUI (1-877-664-6984).
Additional documentation is needed to prove your eligibility. You'll usually get a list of the needed documentation based on your case, but in most cases this is what you'll need to gather:
- Your identification
- Proof that you're a New Mexico resident
- In case an applicant is a non-citizen, alien registration number and expiration date are needed
- Social Security Number
- Family Income: salary stubs, payroll record, proof of SSS or Veteran's Administration benefits, bank books, real estate information and health plans
- Contact information of employers you worked for in last 18 months
- The starting and end dates of your last job
- In case you've worked during the week you are applying, you'll need to know the gross amount of your pay
After you've successfully applied for UI benefits, you can expect receiving a Notice of Initial Determination. This document should provide you some helpful information like:
- Your weekly as well as maximum benefit amounts
- The beginning date of your claim
- Amounts of your wages which will be used to calculate UI benefit amounts
- Amounts of wages reported by your employers during each of the four quarter from the base period. A base period is the first four out of the completed five calendar quarter, calculating back from the date you're applying for UI benefits.