Seeing 'You Do Not Have A Current Claim' For Your N.H. Unemployment Insurance? It's OK.
“You do not have a current claim.”
That's not the message you want to see when you’re collecting unemployment benefits. But it's one that some Granite Staters are seeing as they check their claim information.
Stephanie McKay of Plaistow is the administrator of the Facebook group N.H. Unemployment during COVID-19.
McKay says the status left some people in the group feeling “intense panic because we file on Sundays, as well as more fear of 'Are they shutting me off? Am I going to get paid? How am I going to survive the week? I'm not going to be able to pay my rent?'”
But, she says, the Facebook group helped put many at ease when they realized they were not alone in the situation. Many have since successfully filed their claims.
Richard Lavers, Deputy Commissioner with New Hampshire Employment Security, says the confusing claim status may still be going to some people who have either exhausted their benefit year or previously available benefits, and that they will continue to get benefits if they're eligible for the twenty-nine additional weeks authorized under the American Rescue Plan.
He advises them to “continue to file your claim like you have done in the past,” and follow any instructions from the department. Lavers says the "You do not have a current claim" status should change by tonight, Tuesday, March 23, to reflect the additional benefits available through September 4th.
The week ending on Saturday March 20, is the first week that unemployment benefits are payable under the American Rescue Plan, and Granite Staters have begun receiving those benefits today.
The American Rescue Plan extends the pandemic unemployment programs until September 4th, and includes the expanded eligibility under the CARES Act. It has additional weeks of benefits for people exhausting regular state unemployment and an additional $300 dollars per week of federal benefits.
Lavers says that the “extensions will be seamless for around 90 percent of filers here in New Hampshire. For less than 10 percent of our current filers, so those who have exhausted available benefits, there’s an additional programming step that we’ll take here at the department that will cause a 1 day, one-time delay.
Lavers also says people should look for a “notice that will be going out from the department next week that will detail the benefits available to individuals under the American Rescue Plan.”
The notice will be similar to the last time unemployment benefits were extended.
Should confusion persist, Lavers says people can call the unemployment office hotline, 603-271-7700, which is staffed 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit the department’s website.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated with new information from the Employment Security office on the expected timeline for benefits.