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Guidance for Returning to Work

Frequently asked questions regarding returning to work.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Does the expiration of the $600 federal payment impact my eligibility for unemployment benefits?

The $600 federal payment is separate from your eligibility for unemployment benefits. Expanded eligibility under the Federal CARES Act continues through December 31, 2020. The expiration of the $600 payment does not impact eligibility but your weekly payment will only include your base weekly amount without the $600 payment.

Can I continue to collect benefits if I refuse to return to work for my employer?

If you are asked by your employer to return to your job and you refuse because you want to continue to collect benefits, then you would not be eligible. However, if you are able to certify on your weekly claim that you continue to be unable to work due to one of the coronavirus related reasons allowed under the Federal CARES Act then you would be eligible to continue to collect benefits. 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 refuse to return to work?

If you are unable to work because of a COVID-19 related reason allowed under the Federal CARES Act you continue to be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits simply because you would prefer to continue to collect unemployment. In order to be eligible you need to be able to certify to meeting one of the COVID-19 reasons listed on your continued claim as to why you are unable to work. 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.

Can I still file if working part time?

Yes, you are allowed to work part-time and still file for benefits but you may be earning too much to qualify for a benefit. Depending upon how much you earn will then determine whether you still receive a weekly benefit. You are allowed to earn up to 30% of your weekly benefit amount without any reduction. For earnings above 30% of your weekly benefit then your benefit is reduced dollar-for-dollar for every dollar above the 30%. In order to be eligible to receive the $600 Federal CARES Act payment you need to still be eligible for some portion of your base benefit. Always, report all work and all earnings on your weekly continued claim. These earnings will be reported to the department by your employer. It is always better to have reported the information correctly on your weekly claim rather than receiving a call from a department investigator down the road.

When do I stop filing for Unemployment benefits?

As soon as you start full-time work you are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits. When you start working full-time is when you should stop filing for benefits. You should not wait until you start getting paid for full-time work. Your return to work date will be reported to the department and will be compared to the weeks for which you have filed for benefits. Following this simple rule will ensure that you do not receive a call from a department investigator down the road.

Am I allowed to work while collecting unemployment benefits?

You are not allowed to work full time and still collect unemployment benefits. However, you are allowed to work part-time and still be considered eligible but you may be earning too much to qualify for a benefit. Depending upon how much you earn will then determine whether you still receive a weekly benefit. You are allowed to earn up to 30% of your weekly benefit amount without any reduction. For earnings above 30% of your weekly benefit then your benefit is reduced dollar-for-dollar for every dollar above the 30%. In order to be eligible to receive the $600 Federal CARES Act payment you need to still be eligible for some portion of your base benefit. Always report all work and all earnings on your weekly continued claim. These earnings will be reported to the department by your employer. It is always better to have reported the information correctly on your weekly claim rather than receive a call from a department investigator down the road.

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
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]

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.