(Albuquerque, NM) – New Mexico was the first state in the country to submit a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA). The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) has received approval and grant funding from FEMA for the program that was authorized through an August 8th Presidential Memorandum.
“New Mexico was the first state to apply for the Lost Wages Assistance Program, as we know how much our friends and neighbors need this extra cash to get them through this tough time,” said Bill McCamley, NMDWS Secretary. “Since that time we have initiated a plan to roll out the program smoothly, trying to make it as easy as possible for New Mexicans to get all of their needed benefits as quickly as possible.”
Eligible individuals will receive $300 in addition to their regular weekly benefit amount. Currently, New Mexico has only been approved for up to three weeks of payments, beginning July 26, 2020, through Aug. 15, 2020. The department has applied for an additional week of funding to extend the supplemental benefit through August 22. NMDWS will continue to apply for grant funding from FEMA for as many weeks as possible in order to maximize the supplemental benefits provided to New Mexicans.
Individuals are eligible for Lost Wages Assistance if their weekly unemployment benefit amount was at least $100 including dependent allowance, they were eligible for one of the standard unemployment programs, and they self-certify that they were unemployed, or partially unemployed, as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Benefits will be automatically calculated and distributed based on unemployment claims received; individuals do not need to call or apply separately for this benefit.
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 the second week of September. For more information, visit https://www.dws.state.nm.us/COVID-19-Info.