How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Mexico

How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Mexico istock

Mexico is one place that is yet to implement some type of unemployment benefit scheme, but they haven’t left those struggling to find work completely out in the cold. The Ministry of Social Development and the Mexico City government have banded together with the Mexican Social Security Institute to create a number of different schemes to help those who are unemployed.

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1. Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS)

If you find yourself unemployed, and you were an IMSS-insured formal sector worker, you have the option to withdraw money from your pension savings. Under the scheme, you may be able to withdraw a maximum of 30 days’ worth of savings from your account once every five years. However, this does mean you will lose pension savings and they won’t be reimbursed when you find new employment. It can also result in you having fewer savings than what is needed to then obtain the pension later on.

2. Temporary Employment Program

You may be eligible to receive funds under the Temporary Employment Program if you are unemployed and live:

  • in a rural area where unemployment rates are high
  • in an area where unemployment has recently risen due to a financial crisis, or
  • in an area that has been hit by a natural disaster or some other kind of emergency

The scheme helps to fund projects that will boost employment by hiring local workers aged 16 and above to help with a number activities relating to areas such as building local infrastructure, conserving nature, promoting local development, and preserving cultural heritage sites.

Under this scheme, you can receive a salary that is set at 99 percent of the local minimum wage for a maximum of 132 days a year.

3. Income Generating Options Program

The Income Generating Options Program is a scheme that provides funding to projects that have created by poor individuals to help generate income. An individual can receive a grant of 25,000 pesos per person employed with the project, with the maximum amount able to be received between 300,000 and 5 million pesos. Any civil society organization that runs an income-generating project may also be able to receive the grant.

To be eligible, you must be in an area of 15,000 inhabitants or less, and your area must be classified as having a high or very high rate of exclusion.

4. National Employment Service

The National Employment Service was created to try and connect those looking for work and employers, free of charge. With 165 offices, the service provides a range of helpful tools, including:

  • Financial support and training: The program offers scholarships to those above the age of 16 who are either under or unemployed. These scholarships are aimed at helping the person develop skills that will increase their chances of finding employment.
  • Job linking and information: The service provides information about current job vacancies and organizes fairs and workshops that center around finding employment.
  • Emergency response services: The service provides funds and undertakes temporary projects for areas that are hit by social, economic or natural disasters.
  • Internal and external labor mobility: This includes offering jobs in countries like the United States and Canada for those willing to travel abroad, or finding jobs for those returning to Mexico or wishing to migrate to the country.

5. Mexico City Unemployment Benefit Scheme

Though there may not be a nationwide unemployment scheme, Mexico City does have one, which was established back in 2007. If you are 18 years old or older, live in Mexico City, and have lost your job due to reasons beyond your control, you may be eligible for this benefit. You need to have worked for at least six months prior to becoming unemployed and must not have lost your job before the January 1, 2006. You must also not be receiving any sort of other income, such as a pension, and need to be actively seeking work in order to continue receiving the benefit. Under the scheme, you may be able to receive 30 days’ worth of the minimum wage per month for a period of up to six months.

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If you suddenly find yourself without work in Mexico, while it can be stressful, always remember there are plenty of services to help you during this time.