Updated: November 18, 2020 05:06 PM
Created: November 18, 2020 04:23 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Days after New Mexico entered a two-week minimum shutdown, the head of the Department of Workforce Solutions said he expects more people to apply for unemployment benefits.
"We've got all hands on deck," said Secretary Bill McCamley. "We're taking as many calls, we're doing as many claims as we can. We will work as hard as we can to get folks the money they need."
At the height of unemployment claims in New Mexico, McCamley said the state was providing benefits for 156,000 New Mexicans.
As the economy slowly opened back up, the number of claims fell to about 104,000.
"We're monitoring the situation this week. We won't know how many people are back on until this week and maybe next week," McCamley said. "But we're monitoring the situation closely. All we can do is help as many people as we can get back in."
McCamley said people who were previously receiving unemployment benefits can reopen their claim online.
However, self-employed workers will have to submit a short re-application.
McCamley said there is no definite timeline for when applicants will begin receiving their money.
"It really depends on the claim, and we have to handle that on a case-by-case basis," he said. "All we can tell folks is we have all hands on deck in our department. We are processing those claims literally as fast as we can."
As the claims climb again, the state's unemployment trust fund is dwindling.
McCamley says they've already been forced to borrow $140 million dollars from the federal government since September.
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