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File My Initial Claim

Use this option if you haven't submitted a claim in this unemployment period.

Steps To Begin

If you’re ready, begin your claim by clicking on the “Register or Login” button. If you need instructions, please refer to the step-by-step guide below. 

 

What you should have ready:
  • Social Security Number
  • Alien Registration Number and Expiration Date (If not a U.S. Citizen)
  • Name, address and phone number of all employers you have worked for in the last 18 months
  • DD 214 available if you were in the military during the last 18 months
  • Direct deposit information if that is your payment preference

Step By Step Instructions

How to File an Initial Claim

Watch as we show you a step by step process on how to file your new initial claim and hot to avoid some common mistakes.

Length: 4:06 | Transcript: How to File an Initial Claim

Step 1: Click “Create New Account”

You will be creating a new account in Workforce Connect. Workforce Connect is a gateway for accessing the system where you will file a claim for Unemployment Benefits. After clicking the blue “REGISTER” button above, you will be taken here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see this section, and select “Create New Account.” 

Step 2: Read The Statements Thoroughly and Click “I Agree”

You will be presented with the Release of Information and Equal Opportunity Statement page. Please read them and then select “I Agree” at the bottom. Note: Make sure your cursor is inside the text area so you are able to scroll through the information, and down to these buttons. 

Step 3: Create An Account & Remember Your Security Q&A’s!

Enter your information. DON’T FORGET YOUR SECURITY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS you will need them later. When you’re done, select “Previous” to change your answers if something is incorrect, or select “Submit Account” if it all looks good. When complete, select “Finish.”

Step 4: On the Welcome Screen, Click “Login”

You should be taken to the “Welcome Screen.” Once there, click “Login.” This button will take you back to the “Hi there!!” screen where you will be asked to login again.

Step 5: Select “File for Benefits” on The Dashboard

Once you have logged in, you will land on the “New Hampshire’s Workforce Connect Dashboard.” From here, you will select “File for Benefits.” This dashboard is also where you will go to access any of your claim or job search information. 

Step 6: Select Your Location

Next, you will land on the “Unemployment Insurance System (NHUIS)” page. From here, select the location from the drop-down menu on the left and then select “Proceed.” 

Step 7: Click the link “Apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits”

In the “File For Benefits” box, select “Apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits.” Once you’ve clicked this link, there will be a pop-up alert that you will need to read carefully, then click “YES” at the bottom of the box.

Step 8: Initial Claim Application

You have now arrived at your Initial Claim Application. Make sure you accurately answer all the questions, as they affect your claim. Select “Next” to move through each of the five steps. 

Step 9: Review & Certify

Check the box that states you have reviewed all of the information that you provided for accuracy and then select the button for who completed the claim application. If something is incorrect, select “Edit This Section” at the top right. Any inaccurate information that is submitted can delay payment. Willful false statements, misrepresentations or knowingly failing to disclose a material fact can have serious consequences. If it all looks good, select “Certify Claim” at the bottom.

Confirmation

This is your confirmation page that your application has been submitted. Click the "Print Confirmation" button at the bottom to print your own copy for your records.

Frequently Asked Questions

New Federal $300 Payment- Payments Issued!!!

Payments for the new $300 Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program have been issued! These payments include $300 for each week that you have filed and been found eligible for unemployment benefits and certified you are unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 starting August 1st through September 5th. This totals six weeks for which you could potentially be eligible for these $300 payments. Unfortunately, the federal program paying for these benefits has notified states that it does not have any additional funding beyond September 5th. However, if you are later found to be eligible for any weeks during this time period for which your eligibility for unemployment benefits is currently pending, you will also then receive payment of the $300 for those weeks. Please continue to monitor your correspondence for payment notices and information regarding the LWA program.

My weekly benefit is less than $100, will I be eligible for the $300 FEMA payment?

Yes, based upon the emergency order issued by Governor Sununu, the minimum weekly benefit amount has been increased to $100 in order to allow all people filing for unemployment benefits to be eligible for the $300 LWA payment as long as you are able to certify or have previously certified to being unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. While the $300 payments have been issued for those people that had a weekly benefit amount less than $100 prior to the Governor’s emergency order, the additional benefit payment to get you from your prior weekly amount to $100 will not be issued until September 24th. Please continue to monitor your correspondence for payment notices and information regarding the LWA program.

Will the $600 Federal Payment Continue Past July 25th?

The $600 federal payment has expired. The final week of unemployment eligible for the $600 payment was the week ending July 25th. Benefits paid for weeks after week ending July 25th will not include the $600 payment. Please check this website for further updates.

When will my weekly benefit be increased to $100?

If your weekly benefit amount is less than $100 then pursuant to the emergency order issued by Governor Sununu, your weekly benefit amount will be increased to $100. This was done to make sure all people filing for unemployment benefits would have access to the $300 FEMA payments recently issued by the department. We expect the payment to get you to $100 to occur on September 24th. This payment will cover any week since August 1st you have been eligible for benefits but your weekly benefit amount was less than $100. You will receive the payment for the difference to get you to $100 for each of those weeks. Please continue to monitor your correspondence for payment notices and information regarding the LWA program.

I need help finding a new job. What are the resources available to me through the state?

The State of New Hampshire has launched a new jobs portal to assist job seekers connect with hiring employers located right here in New Hampshire. You can either go directly to the new jobs portal at www.nhjobs.nh.gov or just click the above button for ‘Covid-19 Response Recruitment’.

How will I know if I am getting a $300 LWA Payment?

If you have been collecting unemployment benefits from August 1st to September 5th you should have received either a determination from the department indicating you are eligible for the $300 payments or a notice indicating payments have been issued. Please continue to monitor your correspondence for payment notices and information regarding the LWA program.

Why did I receive a decision denying me for one program while also receiving another determination finding me eligible for pandemic benefits?

If you are filing for benefits due to being unable to work due to the pandemic or are self-employed and unable to operate your business because of the pandemic and you receive notification that you are not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits, you do not need to do anything with this decision. You will then receive a separate decision that discusses your eligibility under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. If you are allowed benefits under the Federal PUA program then there is nothing further you need to do except monitor your correspondence and continue to file your weekly claims while you remain partially or totally unemployed. If you are denied benefits under the Federal PUA program then please follow the instructions regarding appeal rights.

Who is considered eligible for the $300 LWA payments?

In order to qualify for this new benefit you need to be eligible for unemployment benefits from either the state or federal unemployment programs administered by the department during the period starting August 1st and ending September 5th. You will also need to have certified you are unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. If you have certified to a COVID-19 related reason on your weekly claim or responded to separate questions issued by the department and you are eligible for at least $1 in base unemployment benefits then you will be eligible for the $300 LWA payment. If you have not certified as to your unemployment being related to the COVID-19 pandemic then you are not eligible for the $300 LWA payment.

I work for a school. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

There have been no changes to eligibility for unemployment benefits during the summer for school employees. As in the past, if you worked for a school in the spring semester and expect to return to school employment after the summer break is over, then you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. If you worked for a school in the spring semester and have not been offered school employment in the fall then you may be eligible for unemployment benefits and should file an initial claim for benefits and follow instructions around filing your weekly continued claims. The department will need to review the circumstances of your separation from employment before being able to issue a determination as to your eligibility for benefits.

What happens now that the ‘Stay-at-Home Order’ has changed to a ‘Safer-at-Home Advisory’?

Now that the New Hampshire ‘Stay-at-Home Order’ has expired you can no longer qualify for unemployment benefits by saying that you are unable to work due to compliance with a ‘Stay-at-Home Order’. The other certification reasons remain as options on the weekly claim. Please continue to review the questions on the weekly claim very carefully to determine which items apply to your situation. While the answers are based upon your own self-certification, they are provided under the pains and penalties of perjury and will be reviewed by the department.

What if I received a Denial for LWA?

First, please make sure to review all of your correspondence from the department. It is quite likely that you received a notice indicating that you were denied but have since received new correspondence from the department indicating you are eligible for the $300 LWA payments based upon additional information received by the department. If you have received a denial notice and have not received a later notice indicating you are eligible for LWA or that the LWA payment has been issued then you are likely not eligible for LWA. Please review the appeals information on your determination. Remember, if your unemployment is not due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 you are not eligible for the $300 LWA payments. Please continue to monitor your correspondence for additional information regarding the LWA program.

If I am self-employed, how do I verify my earnings to obtain a weekly benefit amount higher than $167/$168?

Currently, under the Federal CARES Act if you are self-employed and unable to conduct your business because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for Federal unemployment benefits. In order to qualify for a weekly benefit amount higher than the federal minimum rate of $167/$168 per week you must have earnings from 2019 of $16,500 or more. In order for the department to verify your earnings from 2019 and determine whether you qualify for a higher weekly benefit rate you must submit your 2019 federal income tax return. Please submit this information by sending an e-mail to [email protected].

How much is this new LWA benefit?

This new benefit is available through an agreement between the State of New Hampshire and FEMA and is the result of the Presidential Memorandum issued on August 8th. The department is providing $300 per week for each eligible person filing for unemployment benefits starting with the week ending August 1st through the week ending September 5th. All payments will be issued by NH Employment Security.

I have exhausted my benefits, what are my options?

If you previously exhausted your benefits going all the way back to July 6, 2019 or exhaust benefits now, there is now an additional 13 weeks of benefits available. For those that are eligible, you will be presented with your claim filing options when you log into your benefit account. Click on ‘Check My Existing Claim Status’ above and follow the instructions.

What is Extended Benefits and am I eligible?

Extended Benefits (EB) provides 13 weeks of benefits for people exhausting their unemployment claim on or after week ending April 25th. The department will be in touch with all those that are eligible to explain next steps.

When will the $300 LWA payments be available?

New Hampshire has issued the first and only round of $300 LWA payments covering the week ending August 1st through the week ending September 5th. However, if you have been filing for benefits but there is an issue impacting your eligibility for any of these weeks then $300 LWA payments could be issued to you at a later date if and when you are determined eligible for unemployment benefits for any of these weeks. Please continue to monitor your correspondence for payment notices and information regarding the LWA program.

How to Respond to Initial Claim Notice?

Everyone that files an initial claim for Unemployment Benefits will receive a monetary determination. This tells you how much you are eligible for each week that you file and also your total benefits if you filed for 26 weeks. If you agree with the determination, there is no action needed. If you disagree with the determination or any determination that you receive, you may file an appeal by following the instructions included in each determination.

Do I need to do anything in order to access the new $300 LWA benefit?

This new benefit is available for people eligible for unemployment benefits and able to certify that their unemployment is due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. You do not need to do anything different than how you have accessed unemployment benefits in the past. If you are unemployed or partially unemployed then you simply need to continue to file your weekly claim and respond to any requests for inf

Is the $600 taxable?

Yes, these benefits are taxable as are all Unemployment Benefits. You will have the ability when filing your application to select whether you would like to have taxes withheld from your Unemployment Benefits, in which case your weekly benefit payment will be for the net amount.

 

What if I am working part time but not earning too much so that I still receive a weekly benefit?

Nothing has changed regarding eligibility to file for unemployment benefits while you are working part time. You are not eligible for unemployment benefits if you are working full time. This applies equally to self-employed as well. Your work and earnings from your part time employment continue to need to be reported to the department on your weekly claim. The earnings will then be reviewed to determine whether you still qualify for an unemployment benefit for each week. If you are eligible for at least $1 in weekly benefits, then you will also be eligible for the $300 payment for those weeks occuring between week ending August 1st and week ending September 5th.

Do I qualify for the $600 Payment?

The Federal Cares Act includes an additional $600 weekly benefit if you qualify for either regular state benefits or other federal benefits. The $600 benefit is scheduled to end with the week ending July 25th. If you qualify for a benefit but earn too much in your part-time employment to receive a benefit then this will also cause you to not receive the $600 benefit. 

 

Which State Should I File in?

An individual should file for unemployment in the State in which they physically performed their work, regardless of where they lived.

Why do I have to fill out an application for benefits?

In order to properly pay unemployment Benefits, both federal and state law have requirements on eligibility. We need to determine that, in most cases, you were working and what you had for earnings as well as looking at the nature of your separation from work. Unemployment Benefits are not available to everyone. Generally, you have to have been working and currently unemployed through no fault of your own. To the extent you have not been working, you may still be eligible but you would need to certify as to not being available for work as a result of one of the qualifying coronavirus related scenarios contained in the Federal CARES Act.

Am I eligible if I was self-employed?

Yes, currently under the Federal CARES Act, self-employed are eligible for Unemployment Benefits. However, because self-employed do not report earnings to the department like other employers, then initially when you file, you will initially receive a denial message. Please ignore this message. Self-employed will initially be placed at the Federal minimum weekly benefit amount of $167 per week which will also provide eligibility for the $600 payment. To the extent you had earnings in 2019 that were $16,500 or more than you could qualify for a higher weekly benefit amount. Please submit either your 2019 federal income tax return or 1099s so that we can verify earnings and we will review in order to adjust your benefit.

What are the hours for the Unemployment Hotline (603) 271-7700:

Agents stand ready on the UNEMPLOYMENT HOTLINE to answer your questions. The hotline number is (603) 271-7700. The hours of operation for the hotline are currently the following:

  • Monday-Wednesday 8:00am-5:00pm
  • THURSDAY- THANKSGIVING DAY- CLOSED
  • FRIDAY- CLOSED
  • Saturday CLOSED
  • Sunday CLOSED