New Mexico Unemployment Benefits and Eligibility

In this article...
  • Learn more about unemployment benefits in New Mexico, how to qualify and how much you may be eligible for if you're unemployed through no fault of your own.

Unemployment benefits in the state of New Mexico are administered by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS). If you are a resident of New Mexico and you've lost your job through no fault of your own, these benefits can temporarily supplement your income. In order to qualify, you must meet all eligibility requirements — monetary and otherwise — and must continue to do so throughout the time you receive your benefits.

Who Is Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in New Mexico?

In order to be considered eligible for ongoing unemployment benefits in New Mexico, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You lost your job through some cause for which you are not at fault or blame (i.e., layoff or closure)
  • You earned enough wages over the course of your base period, which is usually defined by the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters at your previous job before the date you filed your claim 

  • You must be physically able and willing to accept at least 20 hours of work per week without unreasonable stipulations regarding transportation, distance, childcare, where you will work and the hours and wages you will accept
  • You must immediately report any new employment or wages earned 
  • You're required to present at least two new work search contacts you've made recently when requesting your weekly certification 
  • If you change your address or move, you must update your personal information with NMDWS
  • If you're not a U.S. citizen, you must present a valid work authorization number

Periodic Requirements for Maintaining Eligibility

Conducting an ongoing search for new work and reporting your activities is required without exception in order to be considered eligible for any unemployment benefits. To that end, it's also mandatory that you create an online account with the New Mexico Workforce Connection system; making at least two new work-related contacts each week you receive benefits is the bare minimum requirement. 

How Do You Apply for New Mexico Unemployment Benefits?

File for unemployment as soon as possible after leaving your job.

Start by getting all your personal information within reach. Before you file a claim, you will need to have access to:

  • Your Social Security number
  • The names, mailing addresses, contact information and start and end dates of all previous employers you've worked for over the past 18 months

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship — or, if not a citizen, your work authorization number and expiration date

If you worked during the same week you filed your claim, be sure to include your projected pay for these hours in your income information when filing. These amounts must be reported as well, even if you have not yet received the pay. 

Once you have the documentation in place, apply for benefits. There are three ways to file a new claim with NMDWS:

  • You can go online and file through the Unemployment Insurance Tax and Claims You can file a claim online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  
  • You can file by phone by calling 1 (877) 664-6984. Filing by phone is only available from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.
  • You can also file in person at your local New Mexico Workforce Connection Center; however, hours for in-person assistance in filing a claim may be limited. 

After Filing Your Claim

Wait for your Monetary Determination letter.  If you qualify for benefits, the determination letter will inform you what your maximum weekly benefit amount will be, what wage amounts were used to make that decision and how long you'll be able to collect your benefits. Take care to verify that all information on it looks correct.  

Decide how you wish to be paid. You can receive your benefits payments via either direct deposit into your bank account or funds on a Wells Fargo bank debit card.

Getting Approved for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The first eligible week of any new claim is referred to as a "waiting week," as you cannot receive any benefits for this week. Then, your claim will be established for a 52-week period called a "benefit year," beginning with the effective date of your claim.

You must make a weekly request for benefits for each week you are unemployed; you can file your weekly requests until your claim has ended or you have utterly exhausted your benefits.

To file these weekly claims, you must use the same access or system that you did when you initially applied (either online or phone). If filing for your weekly certification over the phone, you must call on a designated day according to the last digit of your Social Security number: 

  • 0-3: Monday
  • 4-6: Tuesday
  • 7-9: Wednesday

If you missed your assigned day, you can also certify by phone on either Thursday or Friday. 

At the end of your benefit year, your claim will end whether or not you've used all available benefits. If still unemployed, you'll need to file a new claim. 

How Much Do You Get From New Mexico Unemployment?

Unemployment benefits in the state of New Mexico are 53.5% of your average weekly wage during the highest paid quarter of your base period. As of 2022, you can receive a weekly minimum of $96 per week and a maximum amount of $514.

Additionally, if you have dependent children under the age of 18, you may also qualify to receive a $25 per child weekly allowance for up to two children. However, any allowance received for dependents cannot exceed 50% of your own weekly benefit amount (WBA). In other words, you must provide at least 51% financial support for your dependent(s).

What Happens If Unemployment Claims in New Mexico Are Denied?

If you are denied benefits, that doesn't necessarily mean you are completely out of options. You have 15 days from the date of your Monetary Determination letter to file a letter of appeal with the NMDWS. 

It's still required that you are actively looking for work, however; be sure to keep an accurate record of your job hunt each week. This will only increase your chances of being approved for benefits. 

Keep submitting weekly claims until you know the outcome of your appeal. If your first appeal doesn't end in your favor, you'll have another 15 days to send an appeal to the Cabinet Secretary. If the Secretary still denies your claim, you then have 30 days to take your appeal to district court. 

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