by Dana George | March 31, 2020
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If you are currently without a job due to the novel coronavirus in New Mexico, here's all you need to know about filing for unemployment benefits.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared a state of public health emergency as a result of COVID-19. One of the fallouts of the pandemic so far has been job loss. If you're a New Mexican and have lost your job, here are the answers to some questions about unemployment benefits.
In order to qualify for unemployment benefits in New Mexico, you must:
Applying for benefits is easy. Here's all you need to do:
Be prepared to provide the following information:
Weekly unemployment benefits normally range from $86 to $461, or 53.5% of your average weekly wage during your highest paid quarter of the base period. For example, let's say you earned $9,000 during your highest paid quarter, and that quarter consisted of 12 weeks. The state will figure your average weekly wage for this period by dividing $9,000 by 12 ($9,000 ÷ 12 = $750). Then, they will multiply your weekly average by 53.5% ($750 x .535 = $401). Your weekly benefit would be $401.
Note that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) currently adds an additional $600 to that weekly amount.
You may choose to have your benefits deposited directly into your bank account or loaded onto a prepaid debit card.
Benefits are normally available for up to 26 weeks. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks.
If your unemployment claim is denied, you have the right to appeal to the Appeal Tribunal within 15 days of receiving the determination letter. An appeal hearing will be scheduled, during which you will have the opportunity to present your case and any supporting evidence. Any documents you plan to use must be received by the Appeal Tribunal at least 48 hours before your scheduled hearing. The majority of appeal hearings are conducted via conference call. If you are dissatisfied with the appeal outcome, you have the right to make a Higher Authority Appeal, and then to appeal to the District Court.
These are unusual times for all of us, and can be particularly challenging if you are without a regular paycheck. Unemployment insurance is one way to help you get by until things settle down and another job comes along.
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