Rules for Collecting Unemployment in New Hampshire


New Hampshire Employment Security offers benefit payments to unemployed citizens, using the funds collected through the state's payroll tax program. To keep the program running smoothly and prevent abuse, rules regulate every step of collecting unemployment. You must meet the eligibility rules to become approved. The NHES uses its benefit rules to determine how much you'll receive per week and how long you'll receive it. Rules also exist for filing a weekly claim to verify continued eligibility before you receive each payment.

Eligibility Rules

New Hampshire unemployment eligibility begins with your work status. You must be either partially or completely unemployed. You also must conduct an active search for work, including signing up for the Job Match work search program (see Resources). In addition to these rules, you must also be available to work during the normal work hours for the jobs you're qualified to perform, as well as physically and mentally able to perform this type of work.

Benefit Rules

New Hampshire uses a chart to determine how much you can receive each week for unemployment benefits and how many payments you can receive based on your wages during your base period. Your base period is the first four of the last five calendar quarters before the week you applied for unemployment. The NHES totals the amount of wages you earned as a covered employee during your base year. Then locates that total on the left side of the chart (see Resources). The number under WBA is what each week's payment will be. The number under MBA is the maximum amount you can receive from New Hampshire unemployment each benefit year. Divide your MBA by your WBA and the result is the number of weeks you can collect unemployment.

New Hampshire Maximums

New Hampshire regulations limit the amount you can collect per week on unemployment and the number of payments you can collect per benefit year. These rules prevent abuse of the unemployment system and ensure that no one can use unemployment as their year-round, primary source of income. The weekly benefit maximum can change each year, but as of January 2011 it's $427 per week. You are also limited to collecting 26 weeks of weekly benefit payments per benefit year.

Certification Rules

Before the NHES will distribute an unemployment payment to you, it requires that you "certify" for it. Certifying (also called filing a weekly claim) is the process of contacting the NHES either through the website or telephone hot line to verify your weekly eligibility. Each pay week ends on a Saturday and you must certify for that week no later than midnight on the following Saturday. Answer all questions during the process truthfully to receive your correct benefit amount, including whether you worked and how much you earned for the week if you did

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