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Updated : June 25th, 2019

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State: New Jersey (NJ)
Phone Number:(888) 795-6672 if you are currently living outside of New Jersey but worked in NJ state in the past. If you are from North East New Jersey, call Union City office at (201) 601-4100. Northwest and Central NJ is serviced at (732) 761-2020 which is the Freehold office. South Jersey residents must contact Cumberland office at (856) 507-2340.
Major Towns:Newark, Jersey City, Paterson,Elizabeth, Edison, Toms River, Trenton, Camden, Brick Township, and Clifton
Current Unemploymnet Rate in New Jersey

New Jersey Unemployment Questions

Should I wait until my severance pay ends to file a claim?
No, because some severance/separation payments do not extend employment. You should file your claim after you stop working full-time. Payments that do not extend employment include severance payments based on years of service with an employer. However, salary continuation through termination and payments in Lieu of Notice, do extend employment. When you file your claim by telephone, the agent will review all separation payments with you before the claim filing process is completed. If you file your claim via the Internet, and it appears that your payment for periods after your last date of work may affect your unemployment benefits, you will be scheduled for an interview with a claims examiner.

Q. Do I have to accept a job that pays less than I used to earn?
While you are collecting unemployment benefits, you are expected to accept suitable work when it is offered or you could be denied benefits for four weeks. Suitable work depends on your work history, salary, skills, commuting distance, etc. If you remain unemployed for an extended period of time, you will be expected to revise your minimum job requirements. You may be required to travel a greater distance, accept a different type of job or accept a lower starting salary.

Can I receive benefits during the summer if I am a school employee?
Employees paid by a non-profit private school, a public school, or a college, who have a reasonable assurance of returning to work after a school recess or holiday period, may not be eligible for benefits. However, if you had non-school employment with sufficient wages to establish a claim, you may be eligible for benefits. If you work for a private contractor, which provides bus drivers, cafeteria services, etc, you may be eligible for benefits and should apply for benefits.

Q. Are benefits taxable and how can I have federal income taxes withheld from my unemployment benefits?
Unemployment benefits are subject to federal income taxes. You may voluntarily choose to have 10% of your weekly unemployment benefits withheld and sent to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you want this service, you can request it when filing your initial claim. You may select or change your withholding status at any time by writing to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Unemployment Insurance, PO Box 908, Trenton, NJ 08625-0908. Click here for the "Request for Change in Withholding Status" form.

If a company relocates and offers me a job at the new location, do I have to take it?
If the distance you have to travel to accept this offer of employment creates an undue hardship or the job duties or hours of work significantly change, then you may be able to refuse the new job and receive benefits. A claims examiner will review your reasons for not relocating and determine if you are eligible.

What is the Social Security Disability Program?
It is not short-term disability i.e. Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) or Workers' Compensation. It is a program designed to provide long-term protection to individuals who are totally disabled using Social Security criteria. It is meant to provide benefits to only those individuals with the most serious impairments.

What is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI disability?

The Social Security Administration is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits based on disability: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is based on prior work under Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Under SSI, payments are made on the basis of financial need.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be "insured" for Social Security purposes. The amount of the monthly disability benefit is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker. Disability benefits are payable to: blind or disabled workers, widow(er)s, or adults disabled since childhood, who are otherwise eligible.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program financed through general revenues. SSI disability benefits are payable to: Adults or children who are disabled or blind, have limited income and resources, meet the living arrangement requirements, and are otherwise eligible.

The monthly payment varies up to the maximum federal benefit rate, which may be supplemented by the State or decreased by countable income and resources.

How does Social Security decide if I am disabled?

Disability under Social Security for an adult is based on your inability to work because of a medical condition. To be considered disabled:

  • You must be unable to do work you did before and we decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of a medical condition.
  • Your disability must last or be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability.

For adults, the unemployment department use a five-step evaluation process to decide whether you are disabled under Social Security. The process considers any current work activity you are doing, and your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work.

I applied for disability benefits 3 months ago and still haven't received an answer. When should I expect to be notified of the decision?

The length of time it takes to receive a decision on your disability claim is from 3 to 5 months. It can vary depending on several factors, but primarily on:

the nature of your disability; how quickly we obtain medical evidence from your doctor or other medical source; whether it is necessary to send you for a medical examination in order to obtain evidence to support your claim; and if your claim is randomly selected for quality assurance review of the decision.

If you have further questions, you may call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778. Our representatives will be glad to help you in any way they can.

Can someone on disability return to work and still receive disability benefits?

Social Security rules make it possible for people to test their ability to work without losing their rights to cash benefits and Medicare or Medicaid. These rules are called “work incentives”. The rules are different for Social Security and SSI disability, but under both programs they may provide:

  • Continued cash benefits;
  • Continued help with medical bills;
  • Help with work expenses; or
  • Vocational training.

Questions & Answers

    1. Peter,

      As much as I am aware, there is no extension available. Please call the Unemployment Office to know if they can offer you additional monetary benefits.

        1. Peter,

          It’s always up to 26 weeks of regular UI benefits. The number of weeks a claimant is eligible for depends on multiple factors.

    1. Richard,

      You need to ask for a 1099-G in this regard. Please visit the website of the office (the form should be available for download on the homepage) or call the Claims Center for an update.

      1. I am possible moving back up to NJ from another state. I had lived in NJ for 20+ years before I loved away. As I will not be able to apply for a job until I officially move back to NJ, would I qualify for unemployment until I obtain full time employment?

        1. Karen,

          If you were separated from your previous employment due to involuntary reasons, you should be able to claim UI benefits.

      2. Hi, so I recently got laid off due to a reorg. I’m waiting for my severance check to arrive. Can I file a claim for unemployment now or do I have to wait until I receive my severance check before I apply for unemployment. I live in New Jersey. The severance check will be a lump sum of 24 weeks

        1. James,

          You should be able to apply for UI benefits right away. Make sure to declare the severance lump sum at the time of application.

        2. Thank you Sam for your reply. You said to apply now, but I don’t know the amount of my severance until I receive it. That could be in a month and you said to declare the severance lump sum at the time of application

  1. If while collecting unemployment I have to have surgery after two weeks, is there a waiting period changing over to disability?

  2. I found out today that I’m eligible to receive a Max claim in NJ. If I was to open a claim today (1 / 2 / 2019) will it be opened with NJ new 2019 Max benefit amount or that of 2018?

    1. I receive a W2 but I am only commissioned base ….technically self employed through the mortgage industry….and my paystubs show commissioned based.
      It’s been very slow for me in the past 6 months…and haven’t earned much money at all….to sustain myself.
      Would I be eligible for unemployment benefits…?

      1. Jacki,

        Potential claimants on “Commission” basis do not generally qualify since employers don’t remit Unemployment Taxes. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

    2. it is also distasteful for you to have advertisement’s on this site. we are hurt enough because we can not afford housing. we have to use the services of food banks to eat. than when we become homeless you look down on us.

    1. Cheryl,

      I am not sure of the exact turnaround time. Please contact the adjudicator or your contact to understand more. Alternatively, the details of the process should also be available on the department’s website.

  3. I worked for a small company for 8 years and was fired due to my performance never had a verbal warning, written warning and final warning, I came in never late and never called out. I have a claims examiner interview next week for misconduct. I don’t know why it is called misconduct. never had anything on my file that was negative I also had a bonus in December.
    I think they fired me because I know a lot of the company doing unethical doing. Can I tell this to the claim examiner?

  4. My job is terminating my position, can I collect unemployment and social security too? I have the age for SS.

  5. My husband lost his job, but has salary continuation rather than a lump sum severence. He is not working them during this time. Is he eligible to collect?

  6. Had a disagreement with another employee. Was after hours. Was pulled into office and told to resign or be fired, I was not given the ability to tell my side of story. I had a witness but was told they didn’t want to involve others. So they fired me. I applied for benefits, had my call now I wait. I don’t think my firing was misconduct. What do you think?

    1. Mary,

      If you think it was not your fault, I suggest you keep supporting documents/facts/ ready to prove yourself in case it becomes an official dispute.

  7. i am a bus driver but only started driving again due to medical problem
    but i did other work i was able to do. How can i find out how much did i earn in the base period it has to be $3360

    1. Philippa,

      Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website to estimate benefits. The actual determination by the Unemployment Office will be done considering multiple factors.

    1. Ronald,

      You can be eligible as long as you continue seeking work. Please consider applying and declare your SS benefits at the time of application.

  8. I own a store in nj. I am a c-corp and i own 100% of the shares. My spouse was an employee of my company and paid as such. I lost my lease and I am in the process of closing down my corporation. Can my spouse file for unemployment benefits as she is not a corporate officer and owns no equity stake or shares in the company.

  9. I went on an interview on Friday, 9/22, I was told that they would make a decision by the end of day or by Monday, 9/25, the latest. I informed them that that I would be away on Monday, 9/25, that I had prepaid timeshare in Aruba for the week of 9/25. I claimed my week for unemployment on Sunday, 9/24 and Sunday, 10/1. I had my friend go to my house and check my answering machine everyday that I was gone. She had told me that they had called and wanted to speak to me. I called them everyday, Monday, 9/25 through Friday, 9/29 and left several messages to call me on my cell or via email. I received no response. I tried again on Monday, October 2 and received a job offer to start on Tuesday, October 17th. I also returned another staffing company’s call while in Aruba. I was asked if I was interested in a position and replied yes. So the recruiter put me in for that as well. I was denied my weekly claim benefit for the week of 9/25-9/29, because I am told by the claim reviewer that I filed on the internet while in Aruba and that I am not permitted to take a vacation. I do not think that this is fair being that I was actively seeking employment even while out of the country. I can prove this with my phone records if needed. Please understand that I have spent at a minimum of 2hrs daily applying for medical coding jobs, taking assessments since the time that I had been laid off. I live from paycheck to paycheck and feel that I shouldn’t have been penalized for taking a prepaid timeshare week. Please advise.

    1. Michele,

      I can understand your situation and I am sure you’re being pro-active in this regard. I suggest that you call the Claims Center and speak to a supervisor. If they still continue to deny, you can file an “Appeal” and present documents supporting your stance.

  10. My husband was fired due to misconduct, yet is he able to collect after a 6 week waiting period as he has been out of work for 4 months since losing his job.

    1. Your husband may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for details.

  11. In July of 2014 i was let go from I held a job for 17 years do to reorganization. I collected UE until Jan 2015. I have held a part time job since Oct 2015 and just learned that the org is going out of business and we are all going to be let go, but all of us are eligible for UE. Will my benefit be based on only the PT job or the FT job as II have been paying into the system for over 20 years?

  12. My job was eliminated. While I am searching for a new position, I have taken a seasonal job for 8-10 hours per week. Every time I file, I list the last day worked and the hours, but if I try to submit a new claim I am unable to. I believe the way the questions are worded it looks like I have resumed a new job. I have been trying to fix this, but I am unable to reopen the case for more than a week before same thing happens. I have spent hours trying to reach someone on the phone, but have been unsuccessful. Any suggestions?

    1. Camille,

      Unfortunately, we do not have access to the claims system to help you in this regard. Please look up on the Unemployment Office website for FAQs and guides in this regard.

  13. My position was cut. I was offered a new position with hours I cannot work being a single mom. Can I collect if I don’t not take this position.

    1. Susan,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  14. I am eligible for unemployment benefits from a previous full time job. I also work a part time job which as increased my hours to the point that I cannot get the unemployment benefits. (e.g. My benefit is $336 weekly and I am averaging about $350 gross with the “part time job”.) I don’t want to work 35 hours at this job ($10/hr x 35 hours= $350) anymore. Can I leave this part time job and collect benefits as this job is not the one I was released from originally? Thank You!


    1. Rajinder,

      If you’re able to prove with documentation, you can be eligible. Your employer may raise a dispute after you apply. Make sure to keep supporting documents handy.

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