Department of Workforce Solutions Provides Guidance to Federal Employees

Oct 9th, 2013
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Department of Workforce Solutions Provides Guidance to Federal Employees

Unemployment Insurance Initial Claims Can Be Filed Via Online System or By Telephone

(Albuquerque) - Federal employees who are laid off, including those furloughed during the temporary shutdown of the federal government, can file for unemployment benefits through the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS). Individuals can apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) by logging in at www.jobs.state.nm.us, Sunday through Friday from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. They can also contact a Customer Service Agent in the NMDWS UI Operations Center at 1-877-664-6984, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  UI provides temporary, partial wage replacement to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

 

“We are encouraging federal employees to apply online or contact the UI Operations Center to submit their initial claim,” said Cabinet Secretary Celina Bussey. “Since the federal government shutdown on Tuesday, October 1, approximately 47% of our initial claims have been federal claims.”

 

Due to higher call volume in the UI Operations Center with the shutdown of the federal government and the number of federal employees applying for benefits, individuals are encouraged to log in to the online system (www.jobs.state.nm.us) to submit their initial claim. All individuals applying for and receiving UI benefits are required to log into the New Mexico Workforce Connection Online System (www.jobs.state.nm.us) first in order to access the UI Tax & Claims System. UI claimants are required to maintain usernames and passwords for both the online jobs system (www.jobs.state.nm.us) and the UI Tax & Claims System.

 

Computers are available at the local New Mexico Workforce Connection Centers and local libraries. A list of New Mexico Workforce Connection Centers is available at www.dws.state.nm.us by clicking “Office Locations.”

Whether over the internet or by telephone, individuals will need the following information to file a new 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 (before any deductions) of your pay before filing

·         If you have dependents, have names, dates of births, and SSNs for all of your dependents

·         Pencil and paper to write down questions and instructions

It is important to note the effective date and “waiting week” provision of the UI program. UI claims becomes effective the Sunday of the week an individual submits their initial claim.  The first week of unemployment during which all eligibility requirements have been met is the waiting week.  The waiting week cannot be a week in which wages are earned equal to or in excess of the weekly benefit amount, a week for which there is ineligibility for any reason, nor a week which occurred prior to the effective date of the claim.  The waiting week is not a payable week.

 

If an individual has worked part of a week, the wages they earned might offset the unemployment benefit they would be paid. Additionally, if Congress pays federal employees retroactively for the furlough period, any unemployment benefits a worker received must be paid back to the state.

It is important to note that NMDWS must verify the wage information for all UI applicants with their most recent employers, in this case the federal agencies which have issued furloughs.  Federal employees should be aware that this process will be more difficult due to federal agencies being completely shut down or having very minimal staff available to answer questions.   Individuals with questions about how NMDWS will verify their wages can contact the UI Operations Center at 1-877-664-6984.

 

Additional information about the UI program and the NMDWS is available at www.dws.state.nm.us. NMDWS has also launched the “Unemployment Insurance Informational Video Series,” which includes the “What You Should Know About UI” video. The videos are available on the NMDWS website at www.dws.state.nm.us, under “Unemployment Insurance,” and “What You Should Know About UI.” For the latest announcements and updates, follow NMDWS on Twitter (twitter.com/NMDWS) and the official YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/nmdws).