This story is a staff report from The Paper.

photo courtesy Santa Fe National Forest Facebook

At the request of the gov, President Biden has authorized federal disaster aid for New Mexico, making Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) available to New Mexicans whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of the wildfires this year.

New Mexicans can now 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, 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The deadline to apply is June 15, 2022.

Applications filed after the deadline may be denied unless the individual provides good cause for filing after that date; therefore, claimants should file as soon as possible.

Proof of employment/self-employment must be submitted no later than 21 days after filing for a DUA claim. The following documents are acceptable as proof of employment:

  • Payroll voucher or check stub closest in date to the last work week
  • Employment and earnings statement from employer with name, address and contact information
  • Written statement from employer
  • Business records (bank statements, business receipts, licenses, advertisements, invoices, appointment books, financial statements)

DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning April 10, 2022, until November 5, 2022, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster.

DUA applications are only being accepted in person or by phone. Eligible claimants may receive their benefits via direct deposit or debit card.
To file a claim in person, head to (https://www.dws.state.nm.us/Office-Locations) 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  

All New Mexicans affected by the wildfires are urged to register for FEMA individual assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov.