An additional 13 weeks of benefits is available to individuals who have exhausted their regular state Unemployment Insurance claim with a benefit year that ended on or after July 1, 2019.
The additional weeks of benefits are provided by Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Once a claimant’s benefit year ceases, they can then establish a new benefit year to requalify for regular unemployment.
PEUC is for individuals who have exhausted 26 weeks of regular Unemployment Insurance benefits; are able to work, available to work and actively seeking work; or are partially unemployed.
Eligible individuals will receive the same amount of Unemployment Insurance benefits as the previous weeks they received. They will also receive Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, an additional $600 to their weekly benefits up until July 25, a maximum of $1,061 in New Mexico.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, FPUC and PEUC benefits are 100 percent federally funded and employers will not be charged for any benefits paid under a CARES Act program.
There are two ways to file for PEUC:
• Online by going to the New Mexico Workforce Connection Online System at jobs.state.nm.us. Individuals can then access the UI Tax & Claims System.
On the left navigation menu, individuals will click on “Apply for Federal Extension Benefits”
• By phone at 1-877-664-6984. The department will continue to operate under extended hours for the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center with the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
If an individual qualifies for benefits under regular state unemployment Insurance they will not be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
REMINDER: It is not necessary to call the Department to confirm that your claim has been filed or to check the status. If there are any unresolved issues impacting your claim or if we have questions, we will contact you.
Important note: None of the benefits described above, nor unemployment benefits of any kind, are available to employees who quit without good work-related cause, refuse to return to work, or refuse to receive full-time pay. Refusing to return to work could result in a disqualification for benefit eligibility.
Attempts to collect unemployment benefits after quitting a job without good work-related cause is considered to be fraud.
The CARES Act specifically provides for serious consequences for fraudulent cases including fines, confinement, and an inability to receive future unemployment benefits until all fraudulent claims and fines have been repaid.
Employers are encouraged to utilize the New Hire system to report those employees who fail to return to work.
Additional information for workers affected by COVID-19, including frequently asked questions, can be found at dws.state.nm.us/COVID-19-Info.
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.