ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An estimated 62,000 self-employed workers in New Mexico, and others who were previously not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits will be allowed to file a new claim under the recently-passed COVID-19 stimulus bill. However, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions is urging them not to apply for a few weeks.
The department says people who now qualify for expanded benefits, referred to as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, include independent contractors, the self-employed, and gig economy workers.
Officials say they should not rush to call to file a claim because the benefits won’t be available for a few weeks. That’s when the department is expected to receive the funds and guidance for administering the benefits from the federal government. Also, additional calls will continue to back up the phone lines.
“At this time, there is no need for potentially eligible individuals impacted by this bill to call the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center,” the department stated in a press release Saturday. “Notifications and updates will be made available to announce when the additional benefits will be offered and assist with filing a claim. “
In anticipation of the surge of claims that will be filed by other people in the meantime, the department will be implementing a new, more efficient call-in filing system that will start on Monday, March 30. The most efficient method for filing an initial claim will continue to be on the Workforce Solutions website.
People calling the UI Operations Center will have a designated day to call based on the last number of the applicant’s Social Security Number:
0 – 3: Monday
4 – 6: Tuesday
7 – 9: Wednesday
If you missed your day, you can call Thursday or Friday.
Filing later in the week will not delay payments or affect the date of an individual’s claim since all claims are effective on the Sunday of the week in which they are filed. You can call the Operations Center Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
New Mexico Coronavirus Resources
- Tracking Coronavirus in New Mexico: Latest # of Presumptive Positive Cases
- COVID-19 Testing Sites – New Mexico
- State Stay-at-Home ordered issued because of Coronavirus – New Mexico closures
- FAQ: What you need to know about the New Mexico ‘Stay-at-Home’ order
- New Mexico School Closings: What you need to know
- Job changes due to coronavirus – Here’s what you need to know
- Jobs: These businesses are looking to hire due to coronavirus
- How to help people in need during coronavirus outbreak
- Resource for New Mexico Seniors
- New Mexico School Meal Sites – Complete List
- Schools, Colleges, University open/closed because of Coronavirus – New Mexico