(Albuquerque, NM) – The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) will begin issuing the $1,200 one-time supplemental unemployment compensation benefit to eligible claimants during the week of December 14th. This stimulus payment will be made before many Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants will see their benefits end on or before December 26, 2020, according to federal program guidelines.
The supplemental Worker Pandemic Benefit (WPB) will be sent to claimants’ preferred payment method as a separate payment in addition to their weekly unemployment benefits. Claimants may revise their payment method at any time by logging in to their UI account and selecting “View and Maintain Account Information” in the left-hand menu and then selecting “Payment Method Options and Tax Information.”
Eligible individuals are UI claimants who certify and are eligible to receive benefits for either qualifying week of November 22 – 28 or November 29 – December 5. Also, claimants who were receiving benefits but exhausted their benefits between September 12, 2020 and November 25, 2020 are eligible for WPB. There is no need for claimants to apply separately for this benefit.
“These are unprecedented times, and my administration will continue to make every effort, every single day, to provide for New Mexicans,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “This additional funding is meaningful, and I’m grateful to the Legislature for their quick action in helping us get crucial aid out the door — but this is not the end of the work we must do for our state. I will continue to be relentless in our efforts on behalf of all of New Mexico amid these health and economic crises.”
“Governor Lujan Grisham’s team, along with our department, has worked quickly to get the stimulus into New Mexicans’ hands as fast as possible,” said Bill McCamley, NMDWS Secretary. “We will continue to urge Congress to come to an agreement on providing additional benefits.”
All unemployment compensation programs created by the CARES Act are currently scheduled to expire on December 26, 2020, without further Congressional action.
For New Mexico claimants, the two programs that will be affected by this expiration are Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). PUA is a program that provides benefits to those who would not normally qualify for regular unemployment compensation, such as the self-employed, gig workers, part-time workers, etc. PUA also provides benefits to those who exhausted all other unemployment programs but remain unemployed due to a pandemic related reason. PEUC provides for an additional 13-week extension to regular unemployment insurance recipients.
Some claimants may see their benefits end prior to the December 26 expiration date due to exhausting all programs.
When the CARES Act programs expire on December 26, 2020, all payments under PUA and PEUC will stop, regardless of an existing dollar balance or remaining eligible weeks.
Claimants on PEUC may be able to apply for Extended Benefits providing up to 13 additional weeks of benefits. An extension for PUA claimants is not available. Resources for additional assistance including financial, healthcare, food, child care, housing, and legal can be found on the State of New Mexico website at https://www.newmexico.gov/i-need-assistance/.