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New Mexico Workers Compensation Laws

Workers compensation law, rules and policy information for the State of New Mexico

State:  New Mexico

Updated:  01-10-2017

Authority/State Rating Bureau:  NCCI

National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)
901 Peninsula Corporate Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33487-1362

Compulsory:  Yes

Private Insurance:  Allowed

Self-Insurance:  Allowed

State Fund:  Yes, there is a competitive state fund. New Mexico Mutual - Contact at:

New Mexico Mutual
3900 Singer Blvd. NE
PO Box 27825
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Main: 505-345-7260
Toll Free: 800-788-8851
New Mexico Mutual

Assigned Risk:  New Mexico Workers Compensation Assigned Risk Plan - administered by NCCI

Numerical Exceptions:  Employers with fewer than 3 employees are exempt.

Individual Waivers Allowed:  Yes

Small Deductible Program:
  • Allowed:  Yes - It is mandatory that insurance carriers make available
  • Deductible Range:  $500 - $10,000
  • Type:  Medical and Indemnity
  • Effect on Experience Rating:  Net
  • Available In:  Voluntary and Residual Market
  • For More Information About How Deductible Programs Work

Sole Proprietor:  Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included. When included the rating payroll used is $38,100 as of 1-1-12, $38,800 as of 1-1-2013, $39,500 as of 1-1-2014. $39,700 as of 1-1-2015. $41,400 as of 1-1-2017.

Partners:  Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included. When included the rating payroll used is $38,100 as of 1-1-12, $38,800 as of 1-1-2013, $39,500 as of 1-1-2014. $39,700 as of 1-1-2015. $41,400 as of 1-1-2017.

Corporate Officers:  Included in coverage/may elect to be exempt - Employees of a corporation who are also officers or executives of the corporation may choose to exempt themselves from coverage. This exemption is limited to the chairman of the board, president, vice president, secretary, treasurer or other executive officer; and only if that employee owns 10 percent or more of the stock of the corporation. These individuals can exempt themselves by filing an Executive Employee Exemption form with the WCA. When included the rating payroll used is banded between a minimum of $39,000 and a maximum of $150,800 as of 1-1-12, $39,000 / $156,000 as of 1-1-2013, $39,000 / $156,000 as of 1-1-2014. $39,000 / $161,200 as of 1-1-2015. $800 / $3,200 per week as of 1-1-2017.

LLC Members:  Included in coverage/may elect to be exempt - Executive employees of a limited liability company may also exempt themselves under this provision. The exemption applies to members who have a 10 percent or greater ownership in the limited liability company. When included the rating payroll used is banded between a minimum of $39,000 and a maximum of $150,800 as of 1-1-12, $39,000 / $156,000 as of 1-1-2013, $39,000 / $156,000 as of 1-1-2014. $39,000 / $161,200 as of 1-1-2015. $800 / $3,200 per week as of 1-1-2017.

Election or Rejection of Coverage Forms:  New Mexico Coverage Election Forms

Other New Mexico Workers Compensation Forms:  New Mexico Workers Compensation Forms

A Note About Forms:  Be sure to contact your insurance company for information about additional forms they may use for exclusion or inclusion of coverage.

Contractors:  Construction contractors must be licensed in New Mexico. The state agency that issues licenses is:

Construction Industries Division
State of New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department
725 St. Michael's Drive
P.O. Box 25101
Santa Fe, NM 87504
(505) 827-7030
Fax: (505) 827-7045
New Mexico Construction Industries Division

Special Notes:  All employers who employ three or more workers are required by law to have workers’ compensation coverage, except:
  • all employers engaged in activities required to be licensed under the Construction Industries Licensing Act must have coverage, regardless of the number of employees;
  • coverage is not required for household servants;
  • coverage is not required for real estate salespersons;
  • coverage is not required for farm and ranch laborers.
For the purpose of determining “three or more,” every person who does the work of the business entity is considered an employee of the business. This includes the owner of the business, if the owner works in the business.

In counting the number of employees of a corporation or limited liability company to determine whether it must have coverage, officers or executives who have exempted themselves must be counted.

No special exemption is made for family members who are employees. Coverage is required for family members just as for any other employees. If family members are executive employees, they may exempt themselves if they qualify as described above.

Part-time workers must be counted for the coverage requirement. An employer who has three part-time workers is required to have coverage.

Non-profit, charitable and religious organizations are not exempt. They must have coverage and should follow the same safety practices as any other employer.

Farm and ranch laborers are specifically exempted from mandatory coverage if they spend the majority of their time in actual growing and harvesting produce, meat or dairy products. However, other workers, such as those who pack, process and transport farm produce, are required to be covered if the farm or ranch employs three or more workers. Farm and ranch employers who use both farm and non-farm labor may wish to seek advice on the effect of this ruling for their businesses.

If you are operating on an Indian reservation, does Indian sovereignty make you immune from the New Mexico workers’ compensation law? Generally, the answer is no. The general guideline is that tribal sovereignty primarily applies to economic enterprises of the tribe, particularly on tribal land. Numerous tribes have chosen to have New Mexico workers’ compensation coverage for their tribal enterprises. Other tribes have chosen to require private businesses located on their land to provide New Mexico workers’ compensation coverage. This coverage protects the workers and greatly reduces risks for the employer. The New Mexico WCA does not have enforcement authority on tribal land. However, the tribal government may choose to enforce the requirement.

All employers covered by the New Mexico Workers' Compensation Act must pay the workers' compensation personnel assessment fee. The fee is an administrative payment to the state (a tax), and does not provide insurance coverage.

Experience Rating Eligibility:  Employers in New Mexico will receive an experience modification rate or EMR when they meet one of these triggers:
  • $9,000 in policy premium is generated during the last year or last two years.
  • $4,500 is the average policy premium generated for more than two years.

New Mexico Subrogation:  State Statute 52-5-17 is the statute that deals with workers compensation subrogation for the State of New Mexico. New Mexico 52-5-17 is titled Subrogation. We cannot provide you with a direct link to this statute but follow these instructions and you can view this statute online. Go to the link we've provided below and click it. From the menu on the left select "NMSA 1978" then scroll down and select "New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978." Scroll down and select item 52, "Workers Compensation." Select "Worker's Compensation Division, 52-5-1 through 52-2-22. Scroll down to 52-2-17, select it and read the statute.

New Mexico has removed free access to the Subrogation Statute mentioned above. It is no longer available to the citizens of New Mexico without subscribing and paying a $60/month fee. What's up with that New Mexico? Why are your statutes not available for free public access?

New Mexico While Workers Working In Other States; Other States Workers Working In New Jersey, Extraterritorial, Reciprocity and Non-Compliance:  When New Mexico workers are working temporarily in another state, workers compensation coverage for that worker is then governed by the extraterritorial provisions found in New Mexico statutes. When or if allowed it's extraterritorial provisions that allow benefits for an injured worker to apply as if the worker was in their primary state. You must be cautious because not all states provide Extraterritorial Provisions. It's reciprocity that governs how New Mexico workers compensation coverage responds for a worker from another state who is working temporarily in New Mexico and you'll find New Mexico requires specific agreements with other jurisdictions for reciprocity to apply. Compliance of workers compensation laws varies from state to state and it is important for an employer with workers performing duties in other states to be aware of the specific state rules that govern their coverage. We've provided the below general information about extraterritorial and reciprocity as a basic guide. Please contact your New Mexico state authority with your specific questions concerning this topic!

  • Extraterritorial: 
    • Provisions: Yes
    • Duration: Does not apply
  • Reciprocity: 
    • Allowed: Not automatic. Requires special agreements between specific jurisdictions.
  • Specific Statute:  52-1-64, Extraterritorial Coverage; IMPORTANT NOTE: Free access to this statute is no longer availabe. New Mexico now provides access only with a subscription and monthly $60 fee. What's up with this? Shouldn't this information be available to the public?
  • Specific Statute:  52-1-65, Credit for benefits furnished or paid under laws of other jurisdictions; SEE ABOVE!
  • Specific Statute:  52-1-66,Nonresident employers; SEE ABOVE!
  • Specific Statute:  52-1-67,Locale of employment; definitions; SEE ABOVE!
  • Specific Statute:  52-1-68,Reciprocal recognition of extra-territorial coverage with other jurisdictions; SEE ABOVE!
  • For More Information Contact:  New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration shown below. Be sure to ask them why this information is not available free on line.

Regulated By: 

New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration
2410 Centre Ave SE
PO Box 27198
Albuquerque, NM 87125-7965
Phone: (505) 841-6000
Toll-free: 1-800-255-7965
New Mexico Workers Compensation Administration Website

Workers Compensation Statute:  You must purchase access to New Mexico Statutes. Here is a link to the state website with instructions on how you can do that.

How to Purchase New Mexico Workers Compensation Statute

Didn't find what you're looking for? Search here for more about New Mexico rules: 

Information on this page is provided only as a reference. While we strive to mantain accurate information on this site please realize workers compensation laws are complicated and subject to change at any time. No warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information is provided or to be implied. You must verify this data before use with the individual governing authority for this state. If you need help with a workers compensation problem or have a specific situation or question please contact our office. Otherwise please consult your states governing authority or an attorney in your state of residency for assistance.

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Voice: (573) 489-8323
Fax: (573) 447-4998
email: [email protected]

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