New Hampshire Unemployment

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Unemployment Benefits Eligibility

General Benefits Eligibility Criteria

Not everyone qualifies to receive unemployment benefits or compensation. To qualify, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria for any state is a list of financial, resource, and job seeking requirements. For example, in the state of New Hampshire, you will need to make a minimum of $2,800 within the 12 months leading up to your claim application.

If you meet all the eligibility requirements, NHES will then review your documents, financial resources, and work history to determine how much compensation you will receive per week. To receive benefits, you must submit a continued claim each week you wish to be compensated. This can be done up to 26 weeks out of the initial one-year program.

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If you do not meet all of the criteria, you will be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. However, there are exceptions to some criteria. Though typically benefits are not paid to workers who quit or were fired, it’s possible to still qualify for compensation if the employer is deemed responsible and attributable.

To determine your eligibility for benefits, it’s best to submit a claim application and speak with an NHES caseworker.

Unemployment benefits are available to workers who have become unemployed or have experienced a significant reduction in work hours. In other words, to qualify for unemployment benefits, you must not be earning a full-time income. You must also file a claim in the same week you became unemployed or first saw a reduction in your hours.

To qualify, you must also not be at fault for the loss of your job or the loss of working hours. In other words, you cannot have been fired due to disobedience or violation of workplace rules and guidelines. You also must not have quit your job by your own volition and you can’t be or have been self-employed.

New Hampshire does provide unemployment compensation for part-time workers in some cases. Part-time work is below 37.5 hours a week or below what your employer considers full-time.

You must meet all eligibility criteria and file claims that are timely and accurate.

Work Eligibility Criteria

In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be unemployed or underemployed.
  • Your unemployment or underemployment must not be a result of being fired due to your disobedience or a violation of workplace rules.
  • You cannot have quit your job by your own volition.
  • You cannot be or have been self-employed.

Wages Eligibility Criteria

In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must meet certain wage eligibility criteria. The amount of compensation you receive is partially based on your “base period”. Within this base period, you must meet the following wage eligibility requirements:

  • You must have made a minimum of $2,800,
  • Worked a minimum of two calendar quarters in which earnings exceeded $1,400,
  • And have worked in the state of New Hampshire for at least 12 months prior to applying for unemployment benefits.

Unemployment Availability Limits

Benefits are claimed weekly. Unless your employment situation changes, your weekly benefit amount will be consistent throughout your claim year. In New Hampshire, you are allowed to claim up to 26 weeks of benefits during your claim year.

If during this time, you are offered a suitable job opportunity and refuse to accept, you will be disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation. The suitability of a job is determined by the distance to the job, your work experience or training, wages, and length of unemployment.

If you receive and accept a suitable job offer for a full-time or qualifying part-time job, you must report this change to NHES. You can continue drawing unemployment compensation through the first week before your job begins.

You will be disqualified from receiving benefits if you:

  • File a fraudulent claim
  • Exhaust your benefits and compensation for the year
  • Refuse suitable work
  • Are fired for misconduct, gross misconduct, intoxication, or illegal drugs

Unemployment Extensions

If, after drawing unemployment for the full 26 weeks, you have not found work, but still meet the eligibility requirements, you can file for an unemployment benefits extension to receive additional assistance.

To qualify for an additional one-year extension of benefits, you must have earned a minimum of $700 from covered employment during the first year of receiving unemployment benefits in order to qualify for a one-year extension. Covered employment is employment with a business or employer that is subject to the New Hampshire Unemployment Compensation Law. These employers have paid into a fund designed to pay unemployment benefits to former employees who qualify. Even if you meet all other eligibility requirements, you cannot receive a second year of unemployment benefits without meeting the $700 minimum.

Emergency benefits are available through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), also known as Financial Assistance for Needy Families (FANF) in New Hampshire. Most claimants, however, will only be able to receive their unemployment benefits for 26 weeks during the 12-month benefit year because of stringent eligibility criteria. To qualify for FANF, you must meet certain financial and resource requirements.

All of your household income will be used to help determine FANF benefits. If, after subtracting certain expenses, your net household income is lower than the required threshold, you will be considered financially eligible for FANF.

Your household resources will also be used to determine if you are eligible. The sum value of your permanently unoccupied real estate, stocks, bonds, automobiles, cash resources, and trusts must fall below $1,000 to be eligible for FANF in New Hampshire. If your household only has one car per adult, these automobiles are not counted toward your resources. Your home and furniture are also excluded from the calculation.

When your eligibility is calculated, some household expenses will be deducted. The deductions include up to 20% of earnings by FANF claimants and unreimbursed costs for necessary child care.

Able-bodied claimants between the ages of 16 and 60 are expected to work, go to school, or participate in some type of job training. TANF and FANF benefits have a 60-month lifetime limit, meaning you can only draw benefits for a maximum of 60 months.