COVID Summary for 4/11

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Happy Easter. I have heard a lot of creative celebration methods, from drive by egg drops to virtual egg hunts. Despite the situation we find ourselves in, it is important to take time out for friends and family.

If you celebrate Passover, then chag Pesach samech. I would love to know if there other holidays/traditions that are celebrated at this time.

 

I have gotten a lot of questions about unemployment compensation. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, and their answer from the Dept. of Labor.

1. Am I eligible for the extra $600.00?

If you are eligible for at least one dollar of unemployment benefits in any claimed week, through any of our programs Regular Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), WorkShare, or Trade Act – Yes you will receive the extra $600.00 per week.

2. When will I receive the extra $600.00?

We are working on programming that payment into our benefit payment system now. We expect to begin making payments under this program the week ending April 25. As with any software programming this could be subject to delays. We will post updates on our website concerning the first release of these payments.

3. I worked for an employer, how long will it take to get my first payment?

Our system is automated to pay most claims on the eighth day. This being said, there are items that may cause your payment to be held as we must contact both you and your employer to determine your eligibility:

If you have been separated from an employer for reasons other than COVID-19 or have not earned requalifying wages from a previous separation.

If you have been paid additional moneys beyond your last day of employment such as for paid time off, vacation, sick pay, severance or FMLA and etc. This is referred to as deductible income on your initial claim. A common error claimants make is to indicate they have received a form of deductible income when in fact it is just their last paycheck. Wages for hours worked is not deductible income and is instead reported as earnings on your continued claim.

4. I am self-employed, an independent contractor or work for a non-covered employer such as a church, agriculture or other non-profit organizations, am I eligible?

If you have experienced a reduction in work due to COVID-19, you do have potential eligibility for benefits under the CARES ACT, more specifically under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

We will reach out to you via email and request you to provide wages for calendar year 2019. You will be provided a form which will request specific information from either your tax returns, W-2 or 1099. If this information is not yet available, you may be eligible for the minimum PUA amount of $168.00 (plus the extra $600.00) per week. If later, you are able to provide the information requested we will redetermine your claim and pay you at the higher rate including back paying for any previously paid weeks.

We have developed a method to pay claims, in this category, while awaiting the programming of PUA. However, our system is not yet programmed for PUA. As a result, you will initially receive a denial notice in the mail. You may ignore this first determination. You do not need to contact the Department to inquire about your claim. You do not need to file an Appeal on this initial determination. You will receive a confirmation when you send your wages back to us through our email address. This will ensure you that we have received your wages and are in the process of working your claim. You should expect some delays in the processing of your claim as this is a manual process and we have an unusually high claims volume. Do not provide your wage information more than once – doing so will just delay the processing of your claim.

5. I have been denied benefits because I lack sufficient earnings or I have a previous disqualification, am I eligible?

You are quite likely eligible under PUA. We will not be able to establish your eligibly until that programming is placed into our system. Please check our website for updates on the status of implementation of this program. If you are found to be eligible, you would be paid at the minimum PUA amount of $168.00 (plus the extra 600.00) per week or, if you had a higher rate under the regular UI program you would be paid at that higher rate (plus the extra 600.00) per week.

6. I have been denied benefits do I need to do anything to be considered for benefits under PUA?

Not right now. We will be identifying all individuals who have been denied benefits due to lack of sufficient wages or for other disqualifying reasons and will reach out to you for additional information if needed or submit your claim for automated processing under PUA.

7. I have not yet filed a claim but don’t think I am eligible, should I file?

Yes, the only way to know for sure if you are eligible is to file an initial claim for benefits and a continued claim for each week you wish to claim. If you are denied for insufficient earnings you will receive a denial and will be unable to file your continued claims. This is ok and you do not need to do anything. We will review your claim for PUA eligibility and will back date your claim to cover any payable weeks.

8. I did not work last year am I still eligible?

Generally, no. You must have had recent employment. The CARES ACT specifies that you must have had a recent attachment to the labor market to be eligible for payments under PUA.

9. My benefits have exhausted; can I get additional benefits?

Depending upon when your claim exhausted, you may be eligible for benefits under our extended benefits program or under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC). We will automatically review all claims that fit into this category and notify you if we see potential eligibility. We will do this as soon as these programs are placed into our benefit payment system. Please watch our website for updates on these programs.

10. I filed my claim but haven’t heard anything, what should I do?

Understand that we are processing claims as quickly as we can. New Hampshire Employment Security is experiencing extremely high claims volumes and in some cases this may delay the processing of your claim. You do not need to call our office to check on the status. Calls such as these distract us from our primary mission of paying claims as quickly as possible. In the time it takes us to answer a simple question regarding the status of your claim, we could likely have processed ten claims.

11. I have been denied benefits and I do not agree, what should I do?

On your denial decision there are instructions on how to file an Appeal if you disagree with the determination. You have fourteen days from the date on the determination to file a timely Appeal.

12. I am still working part time, am I still eligible?

You may be eligible. You can make up to 30% of your benefit amount (not including the $600.00) without it affecting your payments. E.g. your benefit amount is $100.00. You can earn up to $30.00 without if effecting your benefit or the extra $600.00. If you earn more than $30.00, your benefit amount would be reduced dollar for dollar above that amount. E.g. you earn $40.00 in wages. Your benefit payment would now be $90.00 plus the $600.00. If you earn $130.00 or more you would not be entitled to any benefit payment. You must be eligible for at least $1.00 of regular benefits to be entitled to the additional $600.00.

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report

(data updated as of April 11, 2020, 9:00 AM)

Number of Persons with COVID-191 929
Recovered 236 (25%)
Deaths Attributed to COVID-19 23 (2%)
Total Current COVID-19 Cases 670
Persons Who Have Been Hospitalized for COVID-19 146 (16%)
Persons Tested Negative at Selected Laboratories 2 9,996
Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL 4,952
Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL 3 119
Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time) 2,275

1 Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2 Includes specimens tested at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), LabCorp, Quest, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and those sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.
3 Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH PHL. Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

April 11 Case Map

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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