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New Jersey Unemployment Eligibility

New Jersey’s unemployment compensation law sets the requirements that must be met to obtain unemployment compensation in the state.

Non Monetary Eligibility

  • You must have lost job through no fault of your own.
  • Be available for work
  • Be actively seeking work
  • You must quit your job for good cause
  • Your must not be fired for misconduct

Monetary Eligibility

To be monetarily eligible for unemployment benefits,

  • You must have worked at least 20 base weeks in covered employment
  • Must have earned $7,300 in your base year
  • You must earn minimum dollar figure ($145) for each week worked during a 52 week period called a base year

There are alternate plans that may come into effect if you did not meet this 20-week requirement. The unemployment department will consider the previous 18 months and make a determination about eligibility.

Eligibility Questions

Can I receive unemployment if I am fired?

Benefits in New Jersey are not obtainable to people who were fired for misconduct or performance related issues. People who were fired for reasons mot related to their performance, however are eligible for benefits. So, for example, if an individual was fired because the company for which he worked chose to cut back and restructure, then he is possibly eligible. However, if he was fired for carelessness, he is not qualified.

Can I Get Unemployment If I Quit My Job?

You might be able to receive unemployment if you quit a job in New Jersey, but it depends in documentation and circumstances. New Jersey considers the reason why you are out of work and the basic law is that is must be for a cause that is not your fault. If you leave willingly, it’s not easy to qualify.

New Jersey does recognize a few special cases, such as

  • Domestic violence
  • Leaving job to join a military spouse assigned to a new location
  • Quitting job for  “good cause”

The ruling also says New Jersey law clearly intends to keep out claimants who leave a job for personal reasons.

Can I obtain unemployment benefits if I am laid-off?

Usually, in New Jersey you have to lose your job through no fault of your own in order to collect unemployment. When you get laid-off, it is not your fault.

In almost all cases, this means that if you get laid-off, you are eligible should apply immediately to apply for unemployment benefits.

Getting laid-off doesn’t mean that you were fired or you did something wrong. Getting laid-off means that the company that you worked for did not have enough work for you to do, and could no longer pay for your job.

Questions & Answers

  1. Debbie says:

    I worked for Walgreen’s as a asst. manager for 5 years and found a new job in January. Medical reasons was the primary reason to find new employment. I quit Walgreen’s (Jan 3, 2014)for the new job and then was fired for ‘poor performance’ in February 2014. The new job as understood was in training, to be evaluated after 4 weeks was ridiculous. NJ unemployment is denying my unemployment claim because I was not in the new job for 8 weeks.

    Do I have any recourse with NJ?

    Thanks

    • Adrian says:

      Well, if that is what the law says in NJ, it will be frozen.

      Please check for adjudication procedure that will be available on the website of NJ labor dept to see if your case qualifies for an appeal.

  2. David says:

    I am a crossing guard and worked from 12-13 to 06-14 for 28 weeks total for apox $5400 would this qualify me for any unemployment? I also worked the previous Dec-12 to June-13 for about same amount

  3. Edward Gamble says:

    I am facing mandatory retirement on 31 May 2014 (age 57) Federal Law Enforcement. Am I eligible for unenployment, and if so are there any restraints such as receiving disbursement from a 401K?

    • Adrian says:

      If you’re willing and available to work, then you may search for jobs actively.If retirement benefits are being received,it will be challenging as most states consider “other benefits” while process application for UI.

  4. Goska says:

    My position will be eliminated in my office that I worked for almost 8 years, they offered me another position that is totally different for position that I use to have, for much less money and different hours. If I will not accept that new position can I collect unemployment?

  5. LIONEL says:

    I QUIT MY JOB BECAUSE OF DRIVING EXCESSIVE HOURS MORE THEN DOT REQUIRED..
    THE LAW SAYS I CAN DRIVE 10 HRS AN BE ON DUTY 15 HRS TOTAL
    I WAS DRIVING A BUS TO WESTPOINT NY FROM NJ TO ITHACA NY THIS IS A 6 HR ONE WAY TRIP
    AN NOW I HAVE TO DRIVE THEM BACK PLUS TAKE THEM TO DINNER SO IN TOTAL AFTER GETTING BACK FROM UPSTATE NY I DROVE 13 1/2 HRS AN WAS ON DUTY FROM 8AM WEDNESDAY TO 3AM THURSDAY.
    SO MY QUESTION IS SHOULD UNEMPLOYMENT DENY ME OF MY BENEFITS, AS OF NOW IM PENDED IN MY CLAIM…

    • Thomas says:

      I’m not sure what to do? I have worked for 32 years with the same company, as a retail manager. In Aug. 2012, my life partner was diagnosed with breast cancer. In May 2013 I had to take a Leave of Absents, the cancer had gone to her brain, I was her care taker till she past away in June 2013. During this period my supervisor was not understand to the situation, just the numbers. I came back to work on July 22, 2013. My supervisor continue to show no compassion for my situation, He actually put me on a Performance Improvement Plan, because my store had done poorly during my Leave. This pressures between myself and my supervisor build up. I did my best to meet expectation but was never enough, I also had an employee problem with people stealing, this happened when I was on leave also.
      In October 2013, my stress level went through the roof and being Bipolar didn’t help. I have been on LEAVE and was extended under the American Disability Act, till Jan 23,2014. I tried to go back to work last week only to suffer a depressing anxiety attack. I have never been unemployed… Do I qualify.

      • Adrian says:

        I can understand what you must have gone through.Some people do not seem to have any humanity left in them.
        You should be eligible if you leave the job due to no fault of your own. Please consider applying for benefits if you are terminated or decide to leave.Its better to leave that suffer.

        Each state has an adjudication process to address claims that are denied incorrectly.Feel free to write to us if you need any other advice/suggestions.

  6. Debbie says:

    My company downsized leaving me with no job. I collected benefits from 10/2012 through 10/2013. I am still with no job but atifly looking. Am I entitled to have my benefits extended or can I reopen my claim???please help….

  7. RICHARD POWERS says:

    I HAVE BEEN WORKENG FOR ABOUT 12 WEEKS ON A JOB THE JOB IS ENDING I HAVE MADE OVER 12,000 IN THAT TIME AM I ELIGIBLE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT

  8. Frank says:

    I am employed from a teacher exchange program based in New Jersey. The actual job is in a foreign country. I will not be offered a new contract next year. They did deduct for FICA and Medicare. Am I eligible?

  9. kamar says:

    I am contract worker. My company will not have any work for me for 3 weeks at the end of the year. I will not be paid for these three weeks. I will resume working in January. Can I file a claim for these 3 weeks?

  10. Anton says:

    I have worked for my previous employer for 5 years. While working for him I have found another job which promised higher pay and was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest if my life. I quit and started to work for the new employer, after 2 weeks he informed me that I was not a good fit and am no longer needed. The new employer hired me as 1099 also.my old job will not take me back at same pay rate. Can I still be eligible for unemployment?

  11. amber from oklahoma says:

    I live in OK..BUT WORKED IN NJ PA AND KY THE PAST 12 MONTHS..WHICH
    STATE DO I FILE UC FROM???

  12. sara says:

    Can I recieve unemployment benifits if I worked a temporary/contracted full time job. I worked about 3-4 months?

  13. Tania says:

    My husband is active duty in the US Army. He has received orders for an out of state duty station. I will have to relocate and leave my job. Will I qualify for unemployment?

  14. David says:

    The company is moving, which would force me to take three buses,and hours of travelling time. I only make 11 an hour, the cost and time would not make it worth the move. Would I be eligible for unemployment if not laid off?

  15. William says:

    My company wants to reduce my hrs from 40 per week to 20.
    Am I eligible to collect unemployment since my salary was reduced by half?

  16. Dan says:

    I was hired as part time but have been working full time hours (40Hours) for closed to a year, now my hours have been reduced to 24-25 hours per week. Can I receive any benefits and do I have to submit a claim, or is there a number to call to answer any questions ?

  17. Myra says:

    My family can no longer care for my 10 year old daughter. This was the support system that allowed me to work for years. I have to quit because my long working hours will not permit me to be able to care for my daughter. Would i be eligible for unemployment benefits while i search for a job that has the hours i need to go back to work?

  18. kimmy says:

    I have quit my job, being that im harassed about losing it always…im totally stressed there and it is an unfair place to work. Im not a child and never quit a job….My stress levels were so high and uncalled for. I plan on finding work asap and do believe a place of business has no right to threaten your job for no real reason, I just got so sick there literally.. Had to go , now scared that the money I have pd in for ten years will not be entitled too me??

    • kathy says:

      Please start your application for unemployment. Tell them your side of the story – it is the unemployment office that makes the determination and they may agree you had a compelling reason to quit. Even if they don’t, you may just have to earn a specific amount until before you apply again.

  19. Janet crowell says:

    If my current position is going to be done away with and I already collect social security, am I eligible to collect unemployment.

  20. vincent j saitta says:

    I Relocated to New jersey ON 06/28/2013. I Have actively Applied for work, I have had some interview but no offers of work. I work for U.S. SECURITY ASSOCIATES,INC. in Fort Lauderdale FL from 6/11 to 1/12. U.S. security lost the account and I stayed on with S M I security Inc. of Doral FL from 01/01/20012 to 06/02/2013 at the same job site. due to my pay rate at $8.00 a hour I was unable to pay my rent along with Electric and water bills. I was evicted from my apartment and was on the street, my family said to come home to N.J. were I could stay with them until I found a job. can I collect unemployment in new jersey Thank you Vincent j saitta

    • kathy says:

      This is not the unemployment office. Please contact the local unemployment office and explain your situation. It is likely you will qualify.

  21. Kristin says:

    I am enrolling in school full time so won’t be able to work my full time job. Does this qualify me for unemployment? Would I be eligible for unemployment if I stay on at work for only 8-10 hours a week?

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