Coronavirus

New Hampshire’s application to participate in the federal government’s new unemployment program has been accepted, Gov. Chris Sununu said Tuesday.

Last week, Sununu announced that the state had applied for the program, which allows people filing for unemployment to collect an extra $300 on top of their normal weekly unemployment benefit. During a news conference Tuesday, he said the application had been approved and that payments are expected to start going out within the new few weeks.

“In total, we expect our participation to put well over $300 million into the state’s economy,” Sununu said Tuesday. “I think we really struck a great deal with the federal government on behalf of the people of New Hampshire.”

On Aug. 8, President Donald Trump signed an order extending boosted unemployment benefits, following the July 31 expiration of an extra $600-per-week benefit that was part of the federal CARES Act. Under the order, the federal government will provide $300 extra per individual in participating states while those states are required to provide $100. So recipients should see an extra $300 per week in their checks — and maybe more.

The federal program will count unemployment benefits states are already paying out. People currently receiving less than $100 per week in unemployment benefits from the state of New Hampshire will have their benefits raised so they qualify for the extra federal money, Sununu said last week. The benefit will be retroactive to Aug. 1.

Mia Summerson can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1435, or msummerson@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @MiaSummerson