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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. i was laid off from my permanent job 3 weeks ago. i then found a new job, worked for 3 days found the work was too strenuous for me plus had hours that were longer than they represented. i left that job. can i still claim benefits?

  2. another question: there are some online tutoring firms overseas that pay a base rate of $7.59 per hour + bonus based on student feedback (as long as it is given). Tutors are not employees, but are considered on “contract” and self-employed. Hours are not guaranteed, nor is pay except the base rate. Tutors say when they are available. This is definitely a part time opportunity for U.S. residents because of the pay. I was thinking of trying 1 – 2 hours a week just to get a little something and see what it is like. How do I report something like this to unemployment?

    1. Contract workers are generally not eligible.

      When you call the Unemployment Office, you can also discuss this topic.

  3. I have been doing some part time work while on unemployment (the boss that laid me off has called on me to do some work (bout 10-12 hours a week) . That pay reduced what I got from unemployment so that at the end of 26 weeks, there will still be money in unemployment benefits. If I still don’t have any full time work by that time, can I still claim unemployment benefits since there will still be benefits available?

  4. I’m a union worker who was laid off may 5 2017, and have worked some in my home state but am unsure if I will be eligible here. I made 7337.47 working for Tru Val electric in NJ, and also I heard there is a way to combine benefits somehow to collect NJ unemployment. It can be confusing when working in different states….Thanks for any help

    1. Please apply from the state where your previous employment was based since the employer would have remitted taxes in that state.

  5. My job is shutting down shipping most of our work to Mexico and Tenn.I will get a severance package can i start collecting unemployment or do i have to wait for that to run out first?

  6. I worked at my job for 10 years and quit. Then I started a new job right after but it did not work out and was let go after 7 weeks. Am I able to claim unemployment?

  7. If an employer reduces your hours from 40 hrs a week to 32 hrs using the reduction in hours to be referenced as a “furlough” can an employee file for a partial unemployment benefit.

    1. If it’s due to voluntary reasons, you may not qualify to claim UI benefits.

      Please check further with the Unemployment Office.

  8. I am a high school teacher at a public school in New Jersey. I just found out this month that my contract will not be renewed for next year because of a reduction in force. I am nontenured ( I was supposed to get 10 year the first day of September next year). Because I do not have a contract in the fall and am I eligible to receive an appointment over the summer?

    1. Seasonal workers are generally not eligible to claim UI benefits due to the nature of work.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to clarify eligibility based on your background.

  9. I have received a notice in the mail titled ‘NOTICE OF EXHAUSTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS’ after 13-weeks of unemployment insurance coverage, is this standard? I have proactively filed another claim with the hopes of getting the extended unemployment coverage for an additional 13-weeks, but have yet to hear back. Is there anyway for me to actively pursue the extended coverage, or do I just need to wait.

    1. That will be the end of the benefits cycle. As far as I am aware, there is no extension available.

      Please call the Claims Center.

  10. I have worked part-time for this Co., and will be laid off next month, (over 3 years). Do I qualify for unemployment /

    1. Part-time employment does not generally qualify.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

    1. I don’t think you can claim for the lost weeks.

      Please call the Claims Center for further instructions in this regard.

  11. I need to care for an aging relative out of state for an extended period of time. Can I collect unemployment if I leave my job to do this? I live in NJ. My mom is in WV.

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

  12. I got laid off and collecting Unemployment from NJ. My spouse got transferred to another state, do I have to be NJ resident to collect unemployment from NJ.

  13. I will be switching companies from a Louisiana based employer to a NJ based employer as a merchant mariner I will be working an even time on/off rotation. How soon after I begin working with the NJ company and experience the first off hitch (lack of work)time am I eligible to begin the claims process?

    1. Thank you sir, but this is not seasonal employment. It is full time employment as a mariner in the merchant marine on a rotational on and off schedule. I was wondering if there was a waiting period between the time I am employed by my NJ employer and the time I can open a new claim. I see people moving to NJ may have to wait up to 18 months (making claims in the state of their previous employer) before being permitted to file with NJ. I would be an interstate claim as a merchant mariner.

      1. Thank you for the clarification. I suggest that you speak to the Unemployment Office to get precise answers to all your questions.

        An application to claim Unemployment Insurance can be made accordingly.

  14. Our company offers a ‘Supplemental Unemployment Benefit’, which unlike standard ‘Severance pay’, is not subject to Social Security FICA taxes. Does New Jersey allow the simultaneous payment of SUI and a SUB (supplemental unemployment benefit)?

  15. I am collecting unemployment at 677 per week. I started a new job on Wednesday and my pay for the 3 days will be more than the 677 I am allowed. Will I still be able to collect a reduced amount or since my compensation for the week is greater than my benefit, I get 0.00

  16. Our employer is going to be reducing our full time hours from 38-40 down to 24 are we able to file for partial unemployment to makeup for what we are losing as we are still full time employees?

    1. Yes, you should be able to file for partial UC benefits.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office before filing to confirm the mechanics.

    1. Contact workers are generally not eligible to claim/receive Unemployment Insurance.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to confirm.

  17. I am 57 I have health issues with my knee and feet because I am require to stand most of the day. I been at my job six months and need to quit because of health concerns and test I need to take that I don’t have time off for in I leave can I collect my unemployment

    1. Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered. You will not be eligible.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  18. I started a nonprofit organization and my job has suspended me without pay for two weeks pending an investigation as to an conflict of interest with my job and my nonprofit organization. I was advised I could return to work if I ceased the nonprofit as it is a conflict. If I do not cease, I can no longer work for them. Can I receive unemployment because I refuse to cease the organization?

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

  19. I got laid off last Dec and collected unemployment for the full 6 months and went without any pay for 3 months before I was able to find work. I took a temp position 8/15/2016 and will be done 11/18/2016. Will I be eligible to receive unemployment benefits in the state of NJ again until I find another job?

    1. Sharon,

      Unemployment Insurance is only a one-time affair. It is not revolving in nature and therefore, you will not be eligible to apply for it again.

  20. I have been on temporary disability for 4 months and I am about to be released to return to work by my doctor. I am a salaried employee and I just learned my employer is going to reduce my salary by 30 to 40%. Also, they have hired some one to take over my position. They tell me they will find a new position for me, but at a 30-40% reduced salary.
    If I leave my job will I be able to collect unemployment?

    1. If you leave voluntarily, you will not qualify for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state and decide accordingly.

  21. I just learned that I may be able to apply for unemployment since my hours were reduced. I never thought about that and my hours were reduced in July. Is it too late to apply?

    1. As far as I am aware, it is ok to apply if you continue working on reduced hours.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm and apply accordingly.

  22. Required to work On average 15 hours per day paid salary .up to 6 days s week
    If I leave will this be grounds to apply for UI?

    1. You can be eligible to draw Unemployment Compensation for hostile work environment.

      Please check with the Labor authorities in your state and decide accordingly.

  23. I worked in New Jersey all of last year through June of this year i resigned from my employer in NJ to start a job in PA where i have always resided. I was unfortunately let go in August from the new job, where do i file unemployment in NJ or PA?

  24. I’ve worked in New York since January 2013. The business closed for good, now I’m unemployed. I live in NJ. Do I apply for unemployment benefits in NY or NJ?

  25. I’ve worked in New York since January 2013. The business closed for good, now I’m unemployed. Do I apply for unemployment benefits in NY or NJ?

  26. I started a new job on August 3rd, a Wednesday. I did not put in an unemployment claim at all for the week of August 1st. Am I due 2 days of unemployment pay for the 1st/2nd? If so, how do I claim this partial week?

  27. I am currently collecting unemployment in NJ. My ex-employer has an emergency and would like me to work full-time just next week. Am I able to stop unemployment for that week and then go back to it?

    1. You should be able to do so by simply not applying for that week and continue after that.

      Please call the Claims Center for further details and decide accordingly.

  28. I received a notice from the IRS that I have received unemployment benefits from the state of New Jersey for 2014. I have never filed an unemployment in the state of New Jersey because I was never unemployed. How do I resolved this issue and I would like to find out on how much was the claim and what is the social security that it was reported. Thank you.

    1. Well, it can be a potential case of fraud.

      Please report this issue to the Unemployment Office in NJ immediately by phone and take further instructions.

  29. Do I continue to claim weekly benefits when a job reports I work for them and I never have .. I declined job offer .. Do to unreasonable travel vs pay.. I am unable to claim online now bit says if I didn’t start work to call claim center on the day I would claim.

    1. Please speak to a claims representative to sort this issue.

      You will be required to fulfill the job search requirements to continue to be eligible.

  30. I was hired as a bank teller in 2009 – a job I loved. My bank merged with another and my job description as teller is changing to include tasks that were not required before. No longer happy with my job, I have given notice that I will retire at the end of July after 7 years on this job. Would I be entitled to unemployment benefits?

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

  31. I am an adjunct English professor in New Jersey. Am I eligible for UI if not given work in the summer? I know that I am being offered work in the fall and spring, but summer work is unavailable.

    1. Seasonal jobs are generally not eligible due to obvious nature of work.

      Please confirm by calling the Unemployment Office in your state.

  32. I was recently laid off from my job. I have decided since then to go through the steps in order to receive my teacher’s certification. I wish to also enroll in a graduate program within my degree. I was told that unemployment helps out with education costs but will they help as far as a graduate degree is concerned?

    1. Depends. If the course is approved, then you may qualify for the benefits.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for specific information.

  33. I work for a non-profit organization and have learned I will not be eligible for UI when my position ends in June. Why?

    1. You may not be eligible since your employer may not be contributing to the fund that pays UI benefits.

      Please confirm with your employer.

  34. I have a full time job and then I also work as a contractor. I will soon be laid off from the full time job. I am paid well as a contractor and will not see any of my unemployment. However, I have no idea when the contract could end. If I apply for unemployment when I am laid off how many weeks will I be eligible for my benefits if my benefits are being paid 0 while I am a contractor?

    1. Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state. Each state has its own rules in treating dual employment. You can be eligible to claim up to 26 weeks of employment.

  35. I was out of work from 3/3/2015 to 1/3/16 due to being injured on the job I was collecting WC. now dr released me to go back to work and my employers have closed down there business I tried to get my NJ unemployment benifets and have to been able to, I don’t understand this

  36. if I am working two jobs, one full time and a part time job , about 15 hours weekly, I get laid off from the full time job am I still eligible for unemployment benefits?

  37. My employer is moving to Delaware city Delaware. I live in Burlington NJ another 30 miles one way(I drive 27 currently) do I have the right not to go? and would I be eligible for un-employment benefits if I quit?

    1. Depends. Not sure if you can quit for shorter distances and qualify for UI benefits.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  38. I live in New York but work in NJ. My employer is withholding NY state tax and NJ Unemployment from my paychecks. Which state do I file unemployment with–NY or NJ?

    1. Yes you do. Please look out for options to download 1099-G from the official website of the labor dept in your state or call them.

  39. I am getting conflicting reports on extensions. My 26 weeks ends at the end of next month. Are there any extensions? I live in NJ

  40. The company I worked for resides in Pennsylvania but I live in NJ. I was a commission only “1099” sales person. Am I eligible for NJ or PA unemployment?

  41. I have been working with a company for more than 5 years and the time I actively work monthly has slowly diminished (at my request)to the point that I may work just one or days during a month. I have contemplated retirement but I don’t know if I would qualify for unemployment if I do leave.

    1. If you leave voluntarily, you may not be eligible. Instead, try to apply for UI benefits towards the lost hours if your state permits.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

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