Estimating the Weekly Benefit Amount.
When should I open my claim?
$700 Rule for Successive Benefit Years.
In New Hampshire, the maximum Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) is $427 per week for total unemployment. The minimum WBA is $32. The Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA) an individual may collect is 26 times their WBA. If filing for total benefits, this would be equal to 26 weeks. These weeks do not need to be consecutive, but do need to be in a single Benefit Year. Benefit Year means the one-year period beginning with the first day of the week in which an individual files a claim for benefits.
Detailed explanations of base period, primary base period, alternate base period, weekly benefit amount, effective date of a claim, and subsequent benefit year requirements ($700 rule) follow. There are also calculators available that allow you to enter information and be presented with data specific to your circumstance.
Base Period and Alternate Base Period
The actual amount you will receive if you meet all eligibility requirements depends on your earnings in what is called the Base Period. Your Base Period is established based on the Effective Date of your claim, which is the Sunday date of the week in which you file an application for benefits.
In order to estimate the amount of your WBA, you need to know which calendar quarters will make up your Base Period. If you have worked in covered employment and earned a total of at least $2800 in the four quarters that comprise your Base Period and any 2 of the 4 quarters have earnings of $1400 or more, you have sufficient earnings to establish a WBA. If you live in New Hampshire, wages earned in the Base Period in any other state, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or Canada can also be used. Compensation for lost wages due to an on-the-job injury during the base period may also be used to establish or
increase a weekly benefit amount.
The Primary Base Period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the Effective Date of your claim.
The blue shaded area in the following chart is the Primary Base Period if you file during the corresponding red months.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: You must file in or after the first full Sunday through Saturday calendar week of a quarter in order to use the indicated Base Period. If you file in the first partial week of a quarter, your Base Period will be the Base Period for the prior calendar quarter.
New Hampshire does have an Alternate Base Period, which is only considered if no WBA can be established in the Primary Base Period. The Alternate Base Period is the last four completed calendar quarters. For example, if you applied for benefits on August 15, 2012, your Primary Base Period would include wages earned in covered employment from April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012. If there were insufficient wages to establish a WBA in that period, then the Alternate Base Period of July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 would be used. If a WBA can be established in the Primary Base Period, the Alternate is not considered. You can not choose between Primary and Alternate Base Periods.
The blue shaded area in the following chart is the Alternate Base Period if you file during the corresponding red months.
Estimating the Weekly Benefit Amount
To calculate how much you may be eligible to receive, identify the Primary Base Period that matches the quarter you have filed or expect to file your application for benefits. Using your W2's, checkstub(s), hourly rate or salary, or any other information you may have regarding your earnings for the Base Period, determine your total gross earnings for that period. Compare that total to the following chart or use the following calculator links.