For Immediate Release
November 24, 2020
Contact: Stacy Johnston
Acting Public Information Officer
Bill Passes in Special Session Providing Eligible Claimants with a
One-Time New Mexico Worker Pandemic Benefit Payment
(Albuquerque, NM) – The state will re-allocate $194 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to a one-time supplemental unemployment compensation benefit to eligible claimants. Payments will be administered by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) and received by claimants by mid-December.
"New Mexicans need help, and they need help now," said Bill McCamley, NMDWS Secretary. "This money will help over 100,000 New Mexicans with the basics they need to get through this time, and Governor Lujan Grisham's whole team will work as hard as we know how to get it to people as fast as we can."
Eligible individuals will receive $1,200 as a one-time New Mexico Worker Pandemic Benefit (NM WPB) in addition to their regular weekly benefit amount. Payments will be made to the claimants’ preferred payment method, either direct deposit or state-issued debit card.
Individuals are eligible for NM WPB as long as they certify and are eligible to receive benefits for qualifying weeks of November 22 through 28th or November 29 through December 5. Also, claimants who were receiving benefits but exhausted their benefits between September 12, 2020 and the time of the Bill signing are eligible for NM WPM. There is no need for claimants to call or apply separately for this benefit.
Claimants who have received the maximum 39 weeks of benefits as of September 12 will receive direct communication from NMDWS in the following weeks on eligibility for NM WPB.
Since September 12, NMDWS has recorded 131,530 claimants that have received unemployment insurance benefits. This includes current claimants, claimants who have exhausted their benefits, and those with open claims but not receiving payment. This number does not include new claims this week, individuals who can re-open inactive claims, or those currently in a pending status (awaiting a determination on their claim).
This one-time benefit is not available to individuals who have returned to full-time work or certify that they earned wages greater than their weekly benefit amount during the week legislation was signed.
NMDWS is currently making necessary system programming changes to deliver these critical benefits to eligible claimants. The system changes are expected to be completed soon with benefit payments to begin mid-December. For more information, visit https://www.dws.state.nm.us/COVID-19-Info.