WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that New Mexico will receive $496,520 to improve the delivery and management of unemployment programs in the state.
The funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor will support efforts to improve Unemployment Insurance (UI) program operations, better assist those eligible for the program, prevent and detect improper UI benefit payments, and modernize outdated information technology systems to ensure program efficiency.
“Unemployment Insurance provides an essential lifeline for New Mexico families enduring the crisis of joblessness – helping them pay the bills and put food on the table,” said Udall. “Although our nation's economy has made important strides over the last several years, thousands of New Mexicans are still struggling to find work and make ends meet. Unemployment benefits boost the economy and give security to hurting families, and I am pleased that the grants announced today will help strengthen this vital program.”
“While we’ve seen positive economic signs across the country, the picture in New Mexico remains stark. Our state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average, and many families are struggling to make ends meet,” said Heinrich. “Unemployment benefits are often a family’s only economic lifeline during difficult times. The funds announced today will help New Mexico improve the integrity of Unemployment Insurance programs and ensure that those who qualify for support while they find gainful employment are able to access it.”
These grants are designed to fund the development of strategies to prevent and detect improper payments to individuals that continue to claim UI after returning to work, fraud prevention strategies, the Treasury Offset Program for recovery of overpayments, improving accessibility to the UI program, establish reemployment strategies, and continue support of state consortia for modernization of the program.