ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - With so many of New Mexico's federal workers wondering how long they'll be out of work, one state agency has its hands full.
The Department of Workforce Solutions is seeing a huge spike in phone calls and questions from furloughed feds asking about unemployment benefits.
The department is urging any federal worker, full or part-time, who's affected by the shutdown to file a claim.
Secretary Celina Bussey says processing those claims and getting workers a check won't be easy, though. With many federal agencies operating at the bare minimum, verifying wages could be a bit of a headache and take several weeks.
Bussey says some of those agencies may pay their employees for the time they missed when things are straightened out. Until then, unemployment benefits will only be about half of what those workers would normally take home.
Bussey says many people are asking, “When will it all end?” It's a question she wishes she had the answer to.
"I can't sympathize with them enough,” Bussey said. “I think our entire country is a little concerned and frustrated and a little bit confused by what's going on in Congress right now.
“We absolutely want to be there for these individuals. We're just looking for a whole lot of answers and direction from Washington, D.C., at this point.”
Bussey says that all federal agencies are handling things a little differently, and the most someone can take home every week once benefits start is $400.
Since phone lines are so busy, Workforce Solutions is asking people to visit its website where claims can be filed online.
Police responded to dozens of weather-related crashes in only a matter of hours Sunday.
A small plane crashed at about 8 a.m. Sunday morning on the Canyon Rim Trail near N.M. 502 and the entrance of Los Alamos.
Sunday night in Albuquerque and around the world people gathered for candlelight vigils to remember the loss of their children.
Department of Agriculture officials are warning customers to not get burned when buying firewood.
Church groups, parents and teachers met Sunday at the 20th annual Albuquerque Interfaith Convention. State education reform was their central focus.
Police officers were called out to Lovelace Hospital on Saturday after a patient woke up to find his laptop missing.