Unemployment Compensation Q&A – COVID19

What are the traditional qualifications for eligibility for unemployment benefits?

The Unemployment Insurance program provides financial benefits for workers who are totally or partially unemployed through no fault of their own, are able to, available for work.

www.nhes.nh.gov and the phone number to call is 603-271-7700.

Do I need to be totally laid off to be eligible?

No. If you have partial loss of income, reduced hours, etc. you are eligible.

www.nhes.nh.gov and the phone number to call is 603-271-7700.

Under the emergency order, what are the new qualifying conditions to be eligible for unemployment benefits?

Individuals who are unable to work or who have reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have immediate access to unemployment benefits. Anyone in the following situations will now be eligible for state unemployment:

  • If your employer temporarily closes due to COVID-19

  • Individuals that need to self-quarantine or are directed to quarantine at the instruction of a health care provider, employer or government official

  • Individuals that need to care for a family member that has COVID-19 or is under quarantine

  • Individuals that need to care for a dependent because of school closures, child care facility closures or other similar types of care programs

  • Self-employed individuals that are temporarily unable to operate their business because of any of the above listed situations will also be eligible.

www.nhes.nh.gov and the phone number to call is 603-271-7700.

 

Can those who are self-employed file a claim?

Yes. Self-employed individuals that are temporarily unable to operate their business because of any of the above listed situations will also be eligible.

Can I go into any NHES office?

All NHES offices are closed. All claimants must use telephone or online methods to file new or ongoing claims. The website to access is www.nhes.nh.gov and the phone number to call is 603-271-7700.

Can I call or go online at any time?

The NHES website is currently asking people to follow assigned times based on the first letter of their last name. The guide to days and times are below:

 

Other than the assigned times to file a new claim, do I need to wait to file?

There was previously a 1 week waiting period. That has been suspended while the emergency order is in place. Claimants can file immediately.

If a person is laid off or has a reduction in hours that affects their health coverage, what are their options?

At this time there are no additional provisions regarding employer provided health coverage due to the COVID-19 crisis. Those who become laid off at this time are eligible for COBRA.

COBRA qualifying events include:

• Termination of employment by quitting or being laid off by your employer

• Reduction of hours

• Declaration of bankruptcy by the employer

These provisions for COBRA clearly apply to anyone laid off by a qualified employer.

After a claim is filed, what is required to continue receiving benefits?

Each week you will need to submit a weekly continued claim. This is how you request your benefits for each week you are totally or partially unemployed. Each time you make this request, you will be asked a series of questions. These questions are to check on your continued eligibility.

How much will I get? 

Your weekly benefit amount is based on how much you earned in the last 15 to 18 months. New Hampshire looks at your “base period”, which is normally the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters prior to the effective date of the claim.

A detailed description of how the weekly benefit amount is determined, with examples and definitions, can be found on the claims filing website. The direct link for the “Amount & Duration of Benefits” document is: https://nhuis.nh.gov/claimant/wba

How much money is in the unemployment trust fund?

Earlier this week, Deputy Commissioner of Employment Security Richard Lavers said that the fund had a healthy $300 million balance. The Trump Administration has taken action that will back-fill our unemployment and send additional funds for the purpose of unemployment benefits.

Is there additional web content available to better understand the current landscape of filing a claim?

Q&A with Deputy Commissioner of Employment Security Richard Lavers that aired on WMUR. There are two videos:

https://www.wmur.com/article/deputy-new-hampshire-employment-security-commissioner-answers-questions-part-1/31712461

https://www.wmur.com/article/deputy-new-hampshire-employment-security-commissioner-answers-questions-part-2/31712469

About Rep. Steven Smith

Steven Smith is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving his fifth term. Rep. Smith currently represents Acworth, Charlestown, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, and Washington. Rep. Smith is the Chairman of the Sullivan County Delegation.
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