Unemployment Assistance

The Federal Government has provided guidelines for states to follow in relaxing the requirements for Unemployment Insurance. The Federal guidelines allow states to pay benefits where:

  1. An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
  2. An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
  3. An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member

Each state must enact it’s own legislation in order to implement the new federal guidelines. Below is a listing of each state in the NEJB’s jurisdiction and information about the status of updating its unemployment system to conform to federal guidelines.


New unemployment claims may be filed by clicking here. All workers who become unemployed due to COVID-19 should file for unemployment. The following steps should be followed when filing a claim:

  • Answer “YES” to the question “Do you have a DEFINITE return to work date after today?”
  • If you do not know your return to work date but expect to return to your job, enter 04/01/2020 for your return to work date when prompted.
  • Have your employer’s DOL registration number available. If you do not have the number, enter 99-999-95
  • When you are asked if you are able and available for full-time work on either your initial claim or your weekly claims, please answer “No” only if you are out of work because YOU are sick.
  • If your employer is shutting down for a period of time because of COVID-19 and will be paying you your usual wages for this time, you are not eligible for unemployment.


Emergency legislation was approved by the state Legislature to allow Maine workers unemployed due to COVID-19 to file for unemployment. Please refer to this document for eligibility information. Unemployment claims may be filed by calling 1-800-593-7660 or online.


Workers laid off due to COVID-19 should apply for unemployment assistance immediately. For a guide to applying for unemployment due to COVID-19, click here.

The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has relaxed the following rules for CURRENT claims in the system:

  • All requirements regarding attending seminars at the MassHire career centers have been suspended.
  • Missing deadlines due to effects of COVID-19 will be excused under DUA’s good cause provision.
  • All appeal hearings will be held by telephone only.

The Legislature has approved a waiver of the 1 week waiting period before receiving benefits. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development has implemented emergency regulations that will allow people impacted by COVID-19 to collect unemployment if their workplace is shut down and expects to reopen in four or fewer weeks. The following conditions will apply:

  • Workers must remain in contact with their employer during the shutdown.
  • Workers must be available for any work their employer may have for them that they are able to do.
  • An employer may request to extend the period of the covered shut-down to eight weeks, and workers will remain eligible for the longer period under the same conditions described above.
  • If necessary, DUA may extend these time periods for workers and employers.

Workers should file for unemployment online at the Department of Unemployment Assistance website.

New Hampshire

As of 3/19 Governor Sununu has expanded the scope of eligibility and has extended benefits to workers dealing with COVID-19. Updates can be found at the Department of Employment Security website. Workers laid off due to COVID-19 should file for unemployment immediately by calling (603) 271-7700, or applying online here.

New York

The New York State Department of Labor has waived the seven day waiting period before receipt of unemployment benefits. Workers on lay off due to COVID-19 may file for benefits by calling (888) 209-8124, or through the Department of Labor website.

If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name. If your last name starts with A – F, file your claim on Monday. For last names starting with G – N, file your claim Tuesday. For last names starting with O – Z, file your claim on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.

For instruction on how to file your claim please see the step by step guide here.

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training is allowing workers laid off due to COVID-19 to apply for unemployment benefits. Workers are encouraged to follow the RIDLT fact sheet on filing for unemployment. Unemployment claims can be filed by calling (401) 243-9100 or by filing a claim online.


Workers impacted by COVID-19 or laid off due to COVID-19 may file for unemployment benefits here or by calling 1 (877) 214-3332. By executive order of Governor Scott, payments will be expedited and the filing process will be waived.

*Please check this page often as it will be regularly updated as new information is released*

*Updated 7/8/20 1:29 PM*