Updated : June 25th, 2019
How to claim your benefits in New Jersey
- Apply For Benefits-New Jersey
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Detailed information on eligibility requirements in your state.
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More information on what you have to do each week while receiving benefits.
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Here is what you should do while applying for weekly claims.
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- Weekly Claims
New Jersey Unemployment QuestionsShould 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.