by Kailey Hagen | March 31, 2020
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Consider applying for unemployment if you've been laid off due to COVID-19.
Social distancing is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19, but it's hitting many businesses across New Hampshire hard. Thousands of workers are not able to earn a paycheck right now, which leaves them facing some difficult financial decisions. Fortunately, many of these workers are eligible for unemployment to hold them over until things get back to normal.
If you've lost your income because of the coronavirus, here's a brief guide to unemployment benefits in New Hampshire. Find out if you're eligible, how you can apply, and how much you'll get each week.
New Hampshire residents hoping to claim unemployment must meet these requirements:
New Hampshire has waived the work-search requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also expanded unemployment benefits to self-employed workers and those who are unable to work because they have or believe they have COVID-19 or are caring for a relative who is sick or a child who is unable to attend school.
The state looks at your wages during a base period -- the first four of the last five completed quarters. That's October 2018 to September 2019 if you apply in March 2020, or January to December 2019 if you apply in April. You must have earned at least $1,400 in two separate quarters for a total of $2,800 or more during your base period to qualify.
Create an account on the New Hampshire Employment Security website to apply for benefits. You'll need:
Due to the high demand caused by COVID-19 layoffs, New Hampshire is requesting workers to file for claims during designated blocks of time based on the first letter of their last name. You can find the latest schedule on their website.
You must log into your account weekly to submit your new claim for the week. Try to stick to your designated time slots for these claims as well, to avoid overwhelming the system.
You'll receive anywhere from $32 to $427 per week, depending on your base period income. This chart can help you estimate how much you'll get per week. You'll also receive a notice in the mail explaining how much you'll receive and how your benefit is calculated.
The government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will entitle claimants to an additional $600 per week through July 31, 2020. This is on top of your New Hampshire allowance.
You can claim New Hampshire unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks at present. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks.
You must stop claiming unemployment benefits if you find new employment.
If your unemployment claim is denied, you can file a written appeal within 14 days of the decision. You may submit your appeal online or via email, fax, or mail. Your notice of denial will contain instructions on how to file an appeal. You should continue to submit your weekly claims during the process.
We all have enough to worry about right now without adding financial concerns to the mix. Make sure you explore all avenues for financial help and apply for unemployment if you're eligible. That way you should be able to keep some money coming in to tide you over.
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