State rolls out fixes for unemployment application process - Albuquerque Journal

State rolls out fixes for unemployment application process

Downtown Albuquerque was all but deserted on a recent weekday evening.
Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has introduced a few changes designed to make it easier to apply for benefits amid an unprecedented spike in new claims.

The state workforce agency announced Tuesday it is extending hours at its Unemployment Insurance Operations Center. Beginning on Wednesday, the call center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the rest of the week. Department Secretary Bill McCamley told the Journal the state agency is working to extend its hours beyond this week and weekend as well.

Additionally, the agency will waive the “waiting week” for claimants who have applied for benefits since March 15. McCamley said this means claimants will receive an extra week of benefit payments and new applicants will receive their benefits faster.

Additionally, the department introduced an auto-adjudication program, which McCamley said will clear up certain pending issues on applications, allowing certain people to receive benefits faster.

“We understand that there has been frustration felt by many applying for unemployment and we have been working hard to get more resources so New Mexicans can stay home and safe during this time,” McCamley said in a prepared statement.

In order to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, New Mexico state officials have ordered all “non-essential” businesses to close, prompting a spike in unemployment claims over the past several weeks. During the final week of March, nearly 32,000 New Mexicans filed initial claims, the highest weekly total in living memory.

The jump in claims has caused problems for the agency’s phone system, and has led to thousands of New Mexico residents being unable to place claims over the phone. McCamley said he’s hopeful these changes will help alleviate some of those issues.

“This is the first time we’ve really been on the front foot,” McCamley said.

The department will be hosting a virtual town hall on Zoom at 5:30 p.m. today to address frequently asked questions about benefits applications. The virtual Town Hall will be directly available to 1,000 participants, and can be accessed via Zoom at or by dialing in to 1-346-248-7799, using Webinar ID: 428 982 300, according to the agency. It will also be simulcast on the department’s Facebook page.

Home » Business » Most Recent Biz News » State rolls out fixes for unemployment application process

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Man found shot to death inside vehicle near Uptown
ABQnews Seeker
Police found a man who had ... Police found a man who had been fatally shot in a vehicle outside a park in Northeast Albuquerque.
Paseo eastbound, Friday Morning crash causes delays
ABQnews Seeker
A crash on Paseo Del Norte ... A crash on Paseo Del Norte NE, eastbound near the Interstate 25 south on-ramp has closed the right lane.
New Mexico Finance Authority launches program to rehabilitate homes
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico Finance Authority launches ... New Mexico Finance Authority launches program to rehabilitate homes.
DeSantis recruiters eyed Catholic church for migrant flights that ...
ABQnews Seeker
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Florida Gov. ... SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' recruiters set their sights on Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the Texas border city of El ...
Vara bringing a taste of Spain with its Tinto ...
ABQnews Seeker
The 2020 vintage of Tinto Especial ... The 2020 vintage of Tinto Especial focuses on Spanish influences from the Catalonia region.
Singer-songwriter Logan Ledger to open for Vincent Neil Emerson
ABQnews Seeker
Logan Ledger's upcoming album, "Golden State" ... Logan Ledger's upcoming album, "Golden State" is due out on Sept. 8, but he's hitting the road opening for Vincent Neil Emerson.
Colorado's most destructive wildfire caused by embers from old ...
ABQnews Seeker
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Embers from ... BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Embers from a smoldering scrap wood fire set days earlier outside a home used by a Christian religious communal group ...
Documentary looks at the crucial role libraries play in ...
ABQnews Seeker
"Library Stories: Books on the Backroads" ... "Library Stories: Books on the Backroads" will air at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 15, on New Mexico PBS.
Lobo Mazza-Downie runs to All-America status at NCAA Championship ...
ABQnews Seeker
University of New Mexico runner Amelia ... University of New Mexico runner Amelia Mazza-Downie finished fourth on Thursday night in the women's 10,000-meter final at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field ...