CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Applications are now being accepted for New Hampshire’s “Summer Stipend Program,” which seeks to reward workers returning to jobs after unemployment.

The state announced in May that it was ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits. Anyone who was on unemployment the week of May 15 and has since kept a job for at least eight weeks can now apply for the stipends, which are $500 for part-time workers and $1,000 for full-time employees.

More than 1,700 individuals who found work between May 18-22 became eligible to apply on Monday. The program will remain active until the $10 million fund is depleted.

Since the stipend was announced, more than 21,000 people have stopped filing for unemployment benefits, according to Gov. Chris Sununu’s office.

“With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, New Hampshire is moving full steam ahead to ensure that businesses have the workforce needed to have a booming summer – and this program will help,” he said.

Nearly 100,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in New Hampshire, including 27 cases announced Monday. One new death was announced, bringing the total to 1,382.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 22 new cases per day on July 3 to 28 new cases per day on July 17.

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