Federal employees on furlough can apply for unemployment

QCS Staff

Federal employees who are laid off, including those furloughed during the temporary shutdown of the federal government, can file for unemployment benefits through the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions , according to a DWS news release.

Individuals can apply for Unemployment Insurance by logging in at www.jobs.state.nm.us, Sunday through Friday from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. They can also contact a Customer Service Agent in the NMDWS UI Operations Center at 1-877-664-6984, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. UI provides temporary, partial wage replacement to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own, the news release said.

“We are encouraging federal employees to apply online or contact the UI Operations Center to submit their initial claim,” said Cabinet Secretary Celina Bussey. “Since the federal government shutdown on Tuesday, October 1, approximately 47 percent of our initial claims have been federal claims.”

The federal shutdown has generated higher call volume in the UI Operations Center, so DWS encourages to log in to the online system (www.jobs.state.nm.us) to submit their initial claims, the news release said.

Computers are available at the local New Mexico Workforce Connection Centers and local libraries. A list of New Mexico Workforce Connection Centers is available at www.dws.state.nm.us by clicking “Office Locations.”

Whether over the Internet or by telephone, individuals will need the following information to file a new claim:

• Social Security Number

• Mailing address and phone number(s) of employer(s) you worked for in last 18 months

• The starting and ending dates of your last job (or jobs if more than one employer in last 18 months)

• If you are a non-citizen, have your alien registration number and expiration date

• If you worked during the week you are filing your claim, be sure you know the gross amount (total dollars and cents before any deductions) of your pay before filing

• If you have dependents, have names, dates of births, and SSNs for all of your dependents

• Pencil and paper to write down questions and instructions

UI claims become effective the Sunday of the week an individual submits an initial claim. The first week of unemployment during which all eligibility requirements have been met is the waiting week. The waiting week is not a payable week, the news release said.

If an individual has worked part of a week, the wages they earned might offset the unemployment benefit they would be paid. Additionally, if Congress pays federal employees retroactively for the furlough period, any unemployment benefits a worker received must be paid back to the state.

It is important to note that NMDWS must verify the wage information for all UI applicants with their most recent employers, in this case the federal agencies which have issued furloughs. Federal employees should be aware that the process of verifying wage information will be more difficult due to federal agency shutdowns. Individuals with questions about how NMDWS will verify their wages can contact the UI Operations Center at 1-877-664-6984.

Additional information. Including instructional videos, about the UI program and the NMDWS is available at www.dws.state.nm.us, according to the news release.

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