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.

133 thoughts on “New Jersey Unemployment Eligibility”

  1. Nancy says:

    if my company is relocating and my commute will now be over 50 miles each way – can I quit and collect unemployment due to the time and commuting costs increasing

    1. Sam says:


      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to check if you’re eligible.

  2. joe says:

    my company fired me, because I talked to my boss in a private meeting that a new hire manager is on the sexual offender list. the company fire me saying that is a gossip. but that is a public document. I’m elegible to collect?

    1. Sam says:


      As long as you were not involved in conjunction, I don’t see any reason for your employer to fire you. Please consider filing for UI benefits and keep the supporting documents handy in case of a dispute during application processing.

  3. Jordan says:

    My girlfriend is facing imminent unemployment (her division may be cut). She lives and works in NYC now but is moving in with me in NJ soon. Where should she file?

    1. Sam says:


      Please ask her to file from the state where her employed is based. Employers’ generally remit unemployment taxes in the state of employment.

  4. shelly says:

    If I am fired for helping out coworkers and they give me their login and password to do their work, can I collect unemployement?

    1. Sam says:


      I am not sure “why” you were fired. Please call the Unemployment Office for a discussion.

  5. Bob says:

    I am facing a layoff. I am also currently collecting Social Security. Will I be eligible for UI? I want to and am able to continue working.
    Thank You

    1. Sam says:


      you should be eligible. Please make sure to let the authorities know about your SS benefits when you apply.

  6. Michael f finney says:

    I worked in my but live in Nigeria. Can I receive Nigeria benefits instead of my?

    1. Sam says:


      I do not have any insights into how the unemployment system works in Nigeria. Please contact the authorities.

  7. Ana Zoi says:

    My employer is offering early retirement. I’ve paid into UI for 30 years. I still want to work after retirement; am I eligible to collect UI while look for a new job?

    1. Sam says:


      You should be able to collect as long as its involuntary and you continue seeking work. Please consider applying for UI benefits.

  8. Jackie says:

    I have bipolar disorder I was under alot of stress had an outburst at work and quit my job. Can I still apply for unemployment?

    1. Sam says:


      UI benefits are extended to claimants who lost their job due to involuntary reasons. If the stress was due to working conditions, please call the Claims Center to ascertain eligibility.

  9. Ava says:

    Live in NY and work in NJ can u collect if I quit my jo for working there 11 years. Emotionally stress and y boss put me on probation for not being engage he says…

    1. Sam says:


      Generally, UI benefits are extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office to discuss your situation.

  10. Heather says:

    I am moving 1 1/2 hours away from my job and I have been looking for work for over 6 weeks. I advised my employer of my moving situation and so my last day with them is 3/23/18 because I gave them enough notice so that they could hire someone to replace me and that replacement will take place as of 3/23/18. if I still cannot find a job within an hour’s drive of my new residence can I collect unemployment when my replacement begins on 3/23?

    1. Sam says:


      If you left your previous job voluntarily, you will not be eligible.

  11. Nancy Ramos says:

    I live in Pennsylvania but I work in Marlton New Jersey. My company was bought out by another company located in California. They are closing our office and I am being laid off with no fault of my own will I be eligible for unemployment and should I file in the state of New Jersey even though I live in Pennsylvania

    1. Sam says:


      Please file from the state where your employment was based.

  12. kerry says:

    I was denied unemplyment in November 2017 after working on my job for 6yrs in New Jersey, I left the job to go back to school. I’ve since worked for 6 weeks but was recently laid off due to slow work, should I reopen my claim and do I have a good chance of being able to collect from the previous filing ?

    1. Sam says:


      Please call the Unemployment Office and discuss this with a claims representative. If there are benefit weeks left in your account, you should be able to claim.

  13. Cheryl says:

    I am a PA resident but I work in NJ. My license was suspended but I was getting a ride by my spouse to work. This arrangement can no longer work out. Will I be eligible for unemployment if I have to quit my job due to this?

    1. Sam says:


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

  14. Donna says:

    If after 5+yrs of being salary my job changes me to hourly creating a hardship for me can I quit and collect benefits?

    1. Sam says:


      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. If the full-time hours are cut, you can be eligible to claim partial UI benefits.

  15. Alyssa says:

    I am currently enrolled in college and next year I will need to complete 960 hours of an unpaid externship for school. This is during the day only and I will no longer be able to work at my job. Does anyone know if I would be eligible to collect unemployment?

    1. Sam says:


      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to those who’re able and available work.

  16. SANDRA says:

    Can I collect unemployment if I am moving out of state? if so, What do I need to bring? I have worked in NJ for more than 15 YEARS full time.

    1. Sam says:


      It depends on the nature of separation from your employment. If you quit voluntarily to move out, you will not qualify.

  17. steven kaplan says:

    If a person is disabled and collects temporary disability benefits from NJ, and the benefits are exhausted, can they then collect unemployment benefits if they are able to work? Specifically, are the disability and unemployment benefits from the same fund?

    1. Sam says:


      UI benefits are only extended to those who became unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office to clarify.

  18. CM says:

    How does working as a seasonal employee during the November – December Holiday period affect NJ unemployment payments?

    1. Sam says:

      Seasonal workers are generally not eligible due to the obvious nature of work.

      Please contact the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  19. Jean says:

    If you were a reduction in force collecting unemployment in a union and first to be called back and the same company calls you and offers a 2 1/2 hour part time position do you have to take it. I was told I would loose my number one spot for full time if I take this job.

    1. Sam says:


      I am not sure of a definite answer. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  20. Shaun says:

    I am a New Jersey resident. I lost my job in Pennsylvania. My PA unemployment benefits are running out. I am still unemployed. Do I qualify for NJ unemployment?

    1. Sam says:


      UI benefits are only a one-time affair from one state. Please call the Claims Center in NJ for clarification.

  21. Love3 says:

    Can state workers receive UI for one day of furlough?

    1. Sam says:

      UI benefits are only offered to those who lose their jobs.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

  22. linda says:

    I am a temp, I so far have worked 14 weeks and made 7170. would I be eligible for unemployment?

    1. Sam says:

      Temporary workers do not generally qualify.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for more information.

  23. Jan Babula says:

    I have been contributing to unemployment for 18 months with my current employer which is closing next month and moving out of state. I currently am collecting a NJ state pension from local government. Am I eligible to collect unemployment while collecting a pension?

    1. Sam says:

      You should be able to collect both if you continue looking for employment.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to clarify.

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