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New Hampshire Boosts Unemployment Benefits, Federal Government To Pay

For Immediate Release
March 30, 2020

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Concord, NH – Today, following the critical efforts and guidance of the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security, Governor Chris Sununu signed the Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus [CARES] Act agreement which provides New Hampshire with 100 percent funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to support benefit payments to people receiving unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are making every effort to provide assistance to families who are out of work during this time so that they can focus on what is most important – caring for their families and protecting their health by staying home," said Governor Sununu. "Over the past few weeks, New Hampshire's Department of Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis and Deputy Commissioner Richard Lavers have been working closely with my office and our federal partners to address some of the most pressing issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. By signing this agreement today on behalf of the state of New Hampshire, the U.S. Department of Labor will fund the growing number of unemployment recipients in our state and help the unemployment trust fund to remain solvent through this crisis."

The Federal CARES Act provides the following enhancements to the benefits available under Governor Sununu's Emergency Order #5:

  • Granite Staters affected by COVID-19 currently drawing from the State's Unemployment Insurance fund will in many instances be shifted to the Federally funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. We are still awaiting Federal guidance on this and will provide more detail as received. All claimants will not need to take any new, additional actions, and should continue to file as they have been through the standard state mechanism.
  • For those eligible under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, there will be an increase of the minimum weekly benefit amount from $32/week to $168/week, which includes people earning less than $15,500 during their base period.
  • An additional $600 per week to be added to an individuals weekly benefits for all weeks claimed starting this week — 100% federally funded.
  • Extends the length of time a person can receive benefits by 13 weeks, totaling 39 weeks — 100% federally funded.

The Department of Employment Security has been hard at work in anticipation of these changes in order to be able to pay these additional benefits as soon as possible.

Please review the department's website at www.nhes.nh.gov for updates as to when to expect to start receiving these benefits. Individuals can file for benefits by going to the department's website or by calling the Unemployment Assistance hotline at (603) 271-7700.