For businesses just getting started in New Mexico, finding information on what's needed to get started can be a challenge. That's why the New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration provides assistance through information presented on this page, and through the New Mexico Business Portal. The portal allows new businesses to find all the regulatory information they need to start their business in one place.
This page provides a starting point for information that will help a new business get started with their workers' compensation requirements. For more information on employer requirements, insurance claims and more, visit the WCA employer pages of this website.
Services we provide:
Ombudsman program: informs and educates about workers' compensation
Safety program: provides safety services for employers
Employer compliance: informs and educates employers about insurance requirements
Information: website, publications, seminars and reports
WCA Employer Guidebook: provides detailed overview for New Mexico employers
WCA Brochure: contains encapsulated information on worker and employer responsibilities
New Business Requirements provides an overview of workers' compensation requirements for new employers
New Business Requirements in Spanish
Starting My Business
1. Obtain Workers' Compensation Insurance
In New Mexico, new businesses need to purchase workers' compensation insurance for their employees if:
- there are three or more employees
- the business is licensed by the Construction Industries Division (CID)
Coverage is voluntary for:
- employers with fewer than three employees
- real estate salespeople
- domestic workers
Employers who fall under the requirements of the Workers' Compensation Act can obtain coverage through licensed insurance agencies. Find out more about which employers must carry workers' compensation insurance and about obtaining insurance.
Why Get Coverage?
- For most employers, IT'S THE LAW
- It's good for business
- Protects you and protects your workers
2. Pay the Quarterly Assessment Fee
The workers' compensation fee is paid to the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department using a WC-1 form.
The fee is paid by all employers who fall under workers' compensation law:
- any employer required to carry workers' compensation insurance
- any employer who voluntarily carries workers' compensation insurance
Fee is paid by employer:
- $4.30 per worker per quarter, based on the number of workers on the last working day of the quarter
- $2.00 of the $4.30 quarterly fee is deducted from the worker's payroll each quarter
- This is NOT the same as your insurance premium
- The fee funds WCA operations, which provides free services statewide
3. Post WCA Poster and Notice of Accident Forms in Conspicuous Place
The WCA Poster and Notice of Accident forms must be displayed in a conspicuous place where workers gather, such as a breakroom. All government-mandated posters are free, and downloadable in different formats from our publications page.
4. Decide on Healthcare Provider Selection and Inform Employees
Employers should have a health care provider selection policy. The employer either selects a specific doctor or facility for the treatment of injured workers OR allows workers to choose their own doctor or facility for medical care after a work-related injury. It is the employer's choice. Employers should notify their workers of the decision prior to an accident occurrence, or as soon as possible after an injury. Whichever party makes the first choice of health care provider, the other party has the option to request a change of health care provider in 60 days. Look in your insurance packet or consult your carrier for a recommendation.
Find out more about medical care.
Maintaining My Business
5. Conduct Annual Safety Inspections
Safety standards in the workplace help reduce accidents and keep insurance premiums down. New Mexico workers' compensation law requires employers to perform or receive an annual safety inspection if:
- the insurance premium is $15,000 or more
- the business is a certified self-insured employer or a member of a certified self-insured group.
Businesses notified by the WCA to provide proof of the annual safety inspection have 30 days to respond to the notice. The required inspection can be conducted by:
- a WCA safety consultant
- a senior manager or dedicated safety professional employed by the business
- a safety professional from the business' workers' compensation insurance company
- a professional independent safety consultant.
Businesses that self-inspect are encouraged to contact the WCA and request the services of a safety consultant to provide training on how to conduct a proper safety inspection. Services are free of charge.
Learn more about safety requirements for employers.
6. Enforce a Drug/Alcohol-Free Workplace
New Mexico law (§ 52-1-12.1) provides for a reduction in workers' compensation benefits proportional (10%-90%) to the degree the worker's intoxication contributed to the incident causing injury or death, provided the employer has and follows a written drug- and alcohol-free safe workplace policy, and the worker is aware of the policy.
Employers cannot claim a reduction in benefits if there was knowledge of the impairment and the worker was allowed to return to the job.
The reduction does not affect medical benefits, nor death benefits for survivors.