NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – After a months-long gridlock, Congress is expected to pass a $900 billion stimulus package Monday night. It includes another stimulus check and a boost for people on unemployment but it could be a while before New Mexicans see money in their bank accounts.
The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has been inundated with unemployment-related calls all year. They ask that people continue to be patient with this next expected round of money because they too are still waiting for federal guidance. “We are monitoring the situation, we are pushing as hard as we can both the U.S. DOL and, frankly, Congress and the president to sign this and get this moving quicker. We’ve been asking for this for months and I guess, better late than never,” said Cabinet Secretary for Department of Workforce Solutions Bill McCamley.
Congress is expected to pass the latest stimulus bill that includes $600 payemnts to people making less than $75,000 a year and their dependents. As well as a temporary $300 a week boost for people on unemployment. The feds will handle the distributing of the $600 payments and Workforce Solutions will deal with unemployment.
McCamley says before they can do anything, they have to wait for the bill to be officially passed for the U.S. Department of Labor to put out rules and regulations. In the meantime, they’re still working to distribute the one-time $1,200 checks being given to New Mexicans on unemployment. “Most of those went out last week. We had about 120,000 of them go out. We have another run of payments of those go out this Tuesday night and another one on the 28th. So we’re doing as much work as we can to get those dollars into people’s pockets,” McCamley said.
McCamley says at this point, there is no reason to call the department to ask about this latest round of federal money. McCamley says doing so will only clog up the already overwhelmed phone lines, filled with people waiting for help on existing claims. People who make more than $75,000 a year and couples who make more than $150,000 will get reduced stimulus payments for themselves and their dependents.
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