March 24, 2020 - From the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions

Mar 24th, 2020
Topics: General Blogs
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The Daily Source 

On March 23, 2020, New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel announced a new public health emergency order suspending operations of all businesses and nonprofit entities except for those deemed essential, and further restricting mass gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All New Mexicans must immediately heed the directive to stay home except as needed to maintain continuity of functions critical to public health and safety.

This list does not include government services, which are unaffected by this order. State government has already implemented telework policies for all employees who are able to work from home; local governments have been strongly encouraged to do the same.

See the full list of what businesses and services are deemed essential here.

 

Things to note:

  • The department has implemented a “Chat Bot” feature on the NMDWS website. This feature is fully automated at this time and will answer claimants most common questions. An employer side will be added soon.

  • This past Saturday, an instructional step-by-step video was released on the NMDWS YouTube channel. This video takes a new claimant through the process of creating an account in the New Mexico Workforce Connection Online System and what a claimant will need to file their initial claim. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckVseXSDNCA&feature=youtu.be.

  • Workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own, had their hours reduced, or were directed to self-quarantine by a doctor or the CDC, as a direct result of COVID-19, are eligible to apply for UI benefits.  

  • Workers who are not eligible for benefits are those who are self-employed, still being paid for full-time work, and those who are using PTO/sick/annual leave for full-time work, and part-time employees earning more than $461 per week.

 

The latest information on COVID-19 and resources around the state can be found at https://www.newmexico.gov/.

Be safe, practice social distancing, and please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

 


 

Below are the latest FAQ’s that have been added to the NMDWS COVID-19 website https://www.dws.state.nm.us/COVID-19-Info.

 

Q. Am I eligible to collect benefits if I am a driver for Uber or Lyft?

A.Drivers for Lift and Uber are self-employed and would only be eligible for benefits if they have worked for another employer whose wages are part of your base period. If the federal government institutes DUA (Disaster Unemployment Assistance), a self-employed individual could be eligible for benefits.

 

Q: How do I make updates to my claim online?

A: If you haven’t submitted your claim, the system will allow you to modify any information you have already entered on your claim. If you want to add another employer and have already submitted your claim, you must call the Operations Center at 1-877-664-6984, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you want to add a dependent and have already submitted your claim, go to your Home Page, select “View and Maintain Account Information” from the left-side menu, in the drop-down menu, select “Dependent Information” option and then add the dependent(s) on the screen provided.

If you want to change from debit card to direct deposit (or vice versa), go to your Home Page, select “View and Maintain Account Information” from the left-side menu, from the drop-down menu select “Payment Method Options and Tax Information.” From the Payment Methods Options and Tax Information, select the “Edit” button and make your change.

 

Q: I received a temporary password while setting up my login for My Workforce Connectionand it did not accept my temporary password or let me change it – what do I need to do?

A: First, you will need to make sure your internet browsers are closed. From the email you received, select the link to reset password.  You must physically type in the temporary password from the email you received and then the system should allow you to change the password.

 

Q. Is the department extending UI hours due to the COVID-19 Emergency?

A.The department has extended online initial claims filings to include Saturdays.At this time,the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center hours have not been extended. The normal hours of operation continue to be Monday- Friday, 8:00a.m.– 4:30 p.m., MST.

 

Q. Why does the number to the Operations Center (877-664-6984) keep hanging up on me?    

If the system has reached the maximum calls in the regular queue and the call back telephone queue, the system has no other option than to hang up.  We apologize for the system issues but due to the large volume of calls received each day the system is working at capacity.

 

Q. I received an error message that my social security number is being used, is my old account still active?

A.Yes, your old account is still available. If the error message is on the Unemployment Insurance Tax & Claims System, type in your Social Security Number (SSN) and then select “Forgot Password.” If the error message is on your “My Workforce Connection” account, select “Forgot your Username/Password” and follow the prompts.

If you had an unemployment insurance claim prior to 2013 and have never logged into it, enter your SSN and the last four of your SSN as your password. You will then be prompted to set up a password. Once your new password is set up it will take you back to the login screen to enter in your SSN and new password.

If you have previously logged in but do not remember your password, please enter in your SSN and then select “forgot password”.

 

Q. If my employer sent me home and will not pay me while I’m at home working, can I still file for unemployment and how do I get paid for the hours I’m working from home?

A.The department does not deny anyone the right to file a claim for unemployment benefits.  Asking someone to work without providing  any payment is a violation of the law and you should submit a wage claim to the New Mexico Wage and Hour Bureau to receive payment for hours worked.

 


Remember to be patient and kind with each other. We’re in this as a team.

#WorkforceStrong      #AllTogetherNM