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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.


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

What are the requirements for quarter change claims and transitioning to a new benefit year?
  • Starting Sunday, April 4th, if you are receiving benefits from either the PUA or PEUC programs, you will be presented with a link to file a new claim. This is done pursuant to federal law requiring the filing of a new claim after each calendar quarter in order to reassess eligibility for regular UI benefits.
  • This is similar to the process that has been in place following each quarter change during the past year.  
  • The quarter change requirement applies to claimants receiving benefits under the special federal pandemic programs such as PUA and PEUC.
  • It is important that you file the claims in the order they are presented.  First, file your weekly continued claim. Second, file your new quarter change claim.
  • Some claim filers are also hitting the end of their first benefit year and have been presented with a new claim in order to transition them to their new benefit year.
  • In an effort to reduce these claim filing requirements, if you exhaust your benefit year after Sunday, April 4th and are receiving benefits under either PUA or PEUC then the department will not be presenting you with a new claim to transition to the next benefit year. Instead, the department will use the new quarter change claim, if any, to satisfy both requirements. Thus, you will only have to file one new claim.
  •  It is important that you continue to file the claims as they are presented to you, when they are presented on your dashboard in order to minimize any delays caused to future payments.
Who is eligible for unemployment benefits under the Federal CARES Act?

In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits you are required to file a continued claim each week certifying as to the reason(s) you were unable or unavailable to work for the prior week. The current questions appearing on the weekly continued claim related to the pandemic’s impact on your ability to work are required by the Federal CARES Act to determine eligibility and appear as questions #12-#23. We have included the questions here so that you can familiarize yourself with them now and be prepared to file your weekly claims going forward. If you are able to self-certify as to being unable or unavailable to work because one of the following circumstances related to COVID-19 then you may be eligible for unemployment benefits under the Federal CARES Act. 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:

  • Last week, did you have COVID-19 or did you experience symptoms and seek a medical diagnosis?
  • Last week, did a member of your household have COVID-19?
  • Last week, were you caring for a family or household member that had COVID-19?
  • Last week, I was caring for a child or other person for whom I have primary care giving responsibility because their school or care facility is closed and such school or care facility is required for me to work.
  • Last week, were you unable to report to work because you were self-quarantined on the advice of a health care provider?
  • I was scheduled to begin employment and I do not have a job or I am unable to reach that job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Last week, were you out of work because your employer is closed due to COVID-19?
  • Last week, were you out of work because you have been laid off or your hours have been reduced due to COVID-19?
  • Last week, were you unable to get to your place of employment because of a government imposed stay at home order or travel restriction due to COVID-19?
  • Have you become the major source of income for your household because the individual that was the major source of income has died of COVID-19?
  • Last week, I was unable to work because I am self-employed (including an independent contractor or gig worker) and experienced a significant reduction of services because of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • I had to quit my job as a direct result of COVID-19.
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 or just click the above button for ‘NH JOBS’.

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 or just click the above button for ‘Covid-19 Response Recruitment’.

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.

Return of Weekly Work Search Requirements
  • Starting May 23rd the department will once again be requiring claim filers to conduct a weekly work search as a condition for being considered eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • This requirement will include contacting hiring employers as well as conducting reemployment activities designed to prepare you for returning to work.
  • For those people that have filed for benefits prior to the pandemic, this will be largely the same as what they are accustomed to.
  • Every individual required to complete a weekly work search will be invited to a virtual workshop prior to the requirement becoming effective during which the department will explain the requirements and answer all questions.
  • Some claim filers will be exempt from this requirement due to the circumstances of their unemployment. We will be working with everyone to make sure they understand the requirements.
  • Please monitor your correspondence for additional information.
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.

If I am self-employed, how do I verify my earnings to obtain a weekly benefit amount higher than $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 $168 per week you must have earnings from the prior year of $16,500 or more. In order for the department to verify your earnings and determine whether you qualify for a higher weekly benefit rate you must submit your federal income tax return. Please submit this information by sending an e-mail to

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.

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 Federal payment for those weeks until the week ending March 13, 2021.

Do I qualify for the $300 Payment?

The Federal Cares Act as extended includes an additional $300 weekly benefit if you qualify for either regular state benefits or other federal benefits. The $300 benefit is scheduled to end with the week ending March 13. 2021. 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 $300 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-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
  • Saturday CLOSED
  • Sunday CLOSED