SANTA FE (KSMX)- New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions announced on Wednesday, April 22, that the application for unemployment insurance benefits for self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers will become available on Sunday, April 26.
According to the press release, these benefits are being offered through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
Workers who became unemployed, had hours reduced, or had an inability to work as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for this unemployment assistance.
People who may qualify for PUA include individuals not eligible for regular unemployment benefits:
- the self-employed;
- independent contractors;
- gig economy workers;
- church employees;
- individuals who were previously found monetarily ineligible;
- nonprofit and governmental workers; and
- workers who have exhausted regular unemployment compensation benefits
Applying for PUA is a two-step process that individuals can begin immediately.
Step 1: Individuals will first need to file a regular Unemployment Insurance claim to determine if their income is covered by the regular state Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. If deemed ineligible, they will be cleared to apply for PUA benefits.
Step 2: Once a claimant is deemed ineligible for regular benefits, they will be provided access to apply for PUA benefits through an application link that will appear on their Unemployment Insurance Tax & Claims System homepage.
Self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, are encouraged to begin filing claims online at www.jobs.state.nm.us.
Those who have already filed a claim for regular UI benefits do not need to file a new claim.