Work search requirements waived for Unemployment Insurance claimants impacted by the 2022 Wildfires

For Immediate Release
June 6, 2022

Contact: Stacy Johnston
Communications & Marketing Director

Work search requirements waived for Unemployment Insurance claimants impacted by the 2022 Wildfires

ALBUQUERQUE –  Today, Acting Secretary Ricky Serna of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) announced an emergency provision to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) rules waiving the work search requirements for claimants who have lost their job or have had a reduction in hours due to the New Mexico 2022 Wildfires.

If an individual lives, works, or must commute to or through one of the affected counties of Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel, and/or Valencia and is unable to report to their place of employment due to the fire, they may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

The Department will be waiving the work search requirements for workers whose employment was impacted by the 2022 Wildfires through the duration of their UI or DUA Claim or until the disaster period ends, whichever comes first.

Governor Lujan Grisham’s administration is doing everything it can to assist New Mexicans who have been impacted by the largest fire in our state’s history,” said NMDWS Acting Secretary Ricky Serna. “These massive wildfires have greatly impacted every aspect of life for those who live in the affected areas. Denying benefits to these claimants based on their inability to meet the work-search requirement would create an unnecessary hardship. Our department is dedicated to assisting these individuals to the greatest extent possible and removing any administrative barriers for those eligible to receive benefits.”

DUA applications are only being accepted in person or by phone. New Mexicans can apply for DUA at various evacuation shelters, at any Workforce Connection Center across the state, or by calling the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center at 1-877-664-6984, 7am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. The deadline to apply is June 15, 2022.

Eligible claimants may receive their benefits via direct deposit or debit card. More information available at

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) oversees the New Mexico public workforce system. The department is committed to supporting the business community through special recruitment, analyzing hard to fill jobs, layoffs, job fairs, and skills assessments for hiring; and assisting New Mexicans seeking employment opportunities with job search, job referrals and placement, and customized skill development such as interviewing skills and resume writing. The department administers programs to include business services; workforce training; Unemployment Insurance; labor law enforcement; veterans’ services; and labor market information.