The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions released unofficial numbers for new unemployment insurance claims filed for the period March 27 to April 2. The total number of new claims processed for the week was 28,344, but not all claimants will qualify for benefits. The number of weekly certifications for the same timeframe was 44,000. These include people receiving benefits and others who are in the system and awaiting determination. As of April 2, the current trust fund balance was $450 million. Individuals are required to certify every week after they apply for benefits, including the weeks before they receive their first benefit payment. The department encourages those who are able to complete their weekly certification online at http://www.jobs.state.nm.us or they may call 1-877-664-6984, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A video on how to file weekly certifications has been published on the NMDWS official YouTube channel, www.YouTube.com/NMDWS. “Governor Lujan Grisham wants all New Mexicans to be safe and healthy as we work through the COVID-19 crisis,” said Bill McCamley, secretary of the New Mexico Workforce Solutions Department. “Our staff is working as hard as we can to ensure that New Mexicans get the benefits they need and we very much appreciate the patience and kindness of our neighbors as we get through this together.” In recent weeks, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Unemployment Insurance filing system has faced an unprecedented increase in volume. In order to address this surge, the department has:
• Implemented a new, more efficient filing system based on the last number of the applicant’s Social Security number: 0 – 3 : Mondays; 4 – 6 : Tuesdays; 7 – 9 : Wednesdays; if you missed your day, you can call on Thursdays and Fridays.
• Streamlined the account creation process for New Mexico Workforce Connection Online System, resulting in over 95 percent of initial claims being filed online; • Waived the work search requirements;
• Dedicated 115 staff to the NMDWS Unemployment Insurance Operations Center telephone line, with plans to bring an additional 61 staff on board;
• Added a chat bot feature to the NMDWS website to provide guided information serving 96,973 sessions since 3/23, and;
• Waived the charges for new claims related to COVID-19 separations for both reimbursable and contributory employers.
Additional information for workers affected by COVID-19, including frequently asked questions, can be found at www.dws.state.nm.us/COVID-19-Info. For the latest announcements and updates, follow NMDWS on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.