Understanding Monetary Unemployment Benefit Determination in New Mexico
Before you can claim unemployment benefits in New Mexico, you will need to look over your Monetary Determination letter carefully. You will receive this letter in the mail, and it will explain the amount of unemployment insurance coverage you are eligible to receive. It will also explain whether you earned enough money during a “base period” to qualify. A year is divided into four quarters containing three months each, and your base period consists of the first four or most recent five quarters you worked before filing your initial claim. Your Monetary Determination letter will also include the following information:
• The weekly federal unemployment benefits amount (WBA) you are eligible for
• The formula used to calculate your benefits
• Information about your previous wages
• The maximum amount of benefits you are allowed during a 12-month period (benefit year)
If you are a veteran or federal employee claiming benefits for unemployment in NM, your most recent wages may not be included in your letter. When this occurs, you will receive a letter of Monetary Redetermination when the state receives additional wage information from your government employer with the details above. Please note that receiving this letter only means that you qualify for unemployment benefits. You may not be able to claim unemployment benefits upon further review from the state. If your Monetary Determination letter contains erroneous or unusual information, you will need to contact the department as soon as possible.
If the state denies your New Mexico federal unemployment benefits application, you can request to have the Department of Workforce Solutions review wages from an Alternate Base Period (ABP). You can only do this if you did not earn enough income during the traditional base period, and your ABP will consist of the last four calendar quarters you worked. If you earned enough wages during the Alternate Base Period, the state will send you a new letter of Monetary Determination. Periodically, the state will request additional income information before it can determine the ABP eligibility of a worker. If you receive a letter of Alternate Base Period Notification in the mail, you will need to send additional salary information directly to the department.
Understanding the Unemployment Benefit Year in New Mexico
You can only claim unemployment benefits in New Mexico for a full benefit year, which consists of 52 weeks, starting on the day your claim becomes effective. During this time, you will need to file a new unemployment insurance benefits claim and meet the availability to work requirements each week. If you meet or exceed your maximum benefit amount during this time frame, you will not be able to receive benefits until the next calendar year starts. You are allowed to work part-time, but you must report your weekly income on your claims. If your salary exceeds your weekly benefit amount at any time, your benefits will be terminated. You may be able to file an unemployment benefits extension if you exhaust your benefits during this time.
Learn About Unemployment Tax Laws in New Mexico
When claiming benefits for unemployment in New Mexico, you will be responsible for reporting your benefits to the Internal Revenue Service. The state and federal government consider unemployment benefits taxable, and you will need to record your benefits on IRS form 1099G. If you claim unemployment benefits in NM, you will have two payment options to choose from.
• Estimate the amount of tax you owe, and pay estimated quarterly taxes four times a year. These taxes must be paid on specific dates, and if you do not pay on time, you will be subject to a penalty. If you underestimate the amount you owe, you will be held liable for the rest the following year.
• You can request that the state withholds a specific amount of money from each unemployment check. Most benefit recipients elect to have at least 10 percent of their benefit amount withheld to avoid costly tax penalties.
How to Claim Your Unemployment Benefits in New Mexico
If your initial application for New Mexico federal unemployment benefits is approved, you can claim your benefits in one of two ways. Direct deposit is the most common method, and if you choose this method, your weekly NM federal unemployment benefits will be directly deposited into your bank account. You can only request direct deposit using the online Unemployment Insurance Tax & Claims System, and you will be asked to provide the routing and account number of your account. Unemployed workers can also elect to receive their benefits through the mail. If you choose this method, you will receive a Wells Fargo debit card in the mail each week.