Sunday, October 24, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Groups Urge NH Agency to Pay Out Pandemic Unemployment Assistance


Tuesday, August 31, 2021   

CONCORD, N.H. -- A court hearing this week will determine whether thousands of Granite Staters can access some federal unemployment benefits that Gov. Chris Sununu cut off early.

Four people who were receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) prior to the June 19 cutoff are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed last week to reinstate the benefit.

Stephanie McKay, moderator of a Facebook groups called NH Unemployment During COVID-19, said if people were able to file back claims for the past three months since the cutoff, it would make a big difference, even though the program is ending at the federal level this week.

"The unemployed are being villainized," McKay contended. "They're being told you're lazy, you get a job. And I can assure you that the people that were relying on unemployment actually need it. They're struggling to keep up with just day-to-day expenses and looking for work and not finding it."

While New Hampshire was among the states that cut off benefits early in an effort to get people back into the workforce, studies so far have shown no increase in employment.

While the state cut off all the emergency federal benefits, this lawsuit is specifically regarding PUA.

McKay pointed out there is a lot of frustration for people who have not been able to find child care, or work that pays well enough to cover their expenses.

"It's hard for them to take a lower-paying job, or two or three lower-paying jobs, and still not be able to pay the bills," McKay explained. "[The] cost of living in New Hampshire is astronomical."

Mike Perez, attorney for the plaintiffs, said providing retroactive PUA payments would not cost the state anything; it is fully funded by the CARES Act, including administrative costs.

He noted what makes PUA unique is it was specifically created to help people struggling during the pandemic who otherwise wouldn't qualify for unemployment insurance.

"So these are people who are self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, or people who started a job soon before the beginning of the shutdown, and then stopped working but hadn't been at the job long enough to qualify for typical unemployment insurance," Perez outlined.

He encouraged Granite Staters who were relying on PUA to keep an eye out for the decision, and be ready to file back claims. The suit follows similar cases in other states that cut off benefits early, some of which already have resulted in court orders telling the state to reinstate the program.

get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021