SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state of New Mexico is assisting workers whose hours are reduced or who are laid off because of the COVID-19 public health emergency with applications for unemployment insurance benefits. Under the emergency provision to the Unemployment Insurance rules, the requirement for “work search” has been waived for up to four weeks.

Friday, in the above video, Secretary of Workforce Solution, Bill McCamley, provided an update on Unemployment Insurance, including information for the self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers.

Businesses that are forced to temporarily close, permanently close, or significantly reduce operations are encouraged to inform affected employees of their eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits.


A claimant may be eligible for benefits if their hours are reduced significantly even if the claimant was not a full-time employee prior to the reduction. This is an exception to the regular UI partial benefits provisions and will only apply to claimants affected by COVID-19 during the time the state is under a state of emergency.

  • Employers may lay off some or all of their workforce as a result of the impact of COVID-19; for example, a restaurant that sees a significant reduction in business due to lack of customers dining out during this time, or an event facility that cancels all events until a later date, or bus drivers who are out of work due to temporary school closures.
  • A claimant that is directed to self-isolate or is caring for an immediate family member that is self-isolated will be eligible for these provisions, even if they are eventually not diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Workers who have their hours reduced as a result of COVID-19.

If a claimant is receiving sick leave, annual leave, personal time off, or administrative leave, they may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Self Employed

The the coronavirus stimulus bill ensures all workers are protected regardless of their place of work and includes employees at small, medium, and large businesses as well as the self-employed and those in the gig economy.

How to File a Claim

  • Online by going to the New Mexico Workforce Connection Online System at Individuals can then access the UI Tax & Claims System. The online system is available to take initial claims and weekly certifications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • By phone at 1-877-664-6984. The UI Operations Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

What do I need to file my claim?

  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Mailing address and phone number(s) of employer(s) you worked for in last 18 months
  • The starting and ending dates of your last job (or jobs if more than one employer in last 18 months)
  • If you are a non-citizen, have your alien registration number and expiration date
  • If you worked during the week you are filing your claim, be sure you know the gross amount (total dollars and cents before any deductions) of your pay before filing
  • Pencil and paper to write down questions and instructions

What to Expect When You File

  • When applying for benefits, claimants must file a weekly certification for each week they are applying.
  • The first eligible week of any new claim is a “waiting week.” Claimants will not receive benefits for this week, and it is not included in their weeks of payment. 

For more information on Unemployment Insurance please refer to the UI fact sheet 

For more general information on the state’s response to COVID-19 and accommodating workers affected by the fallout, visit