FileUnemployment

New Jersey Unemployment Eligibility

Updated : June 12th, 2019

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 $8,500 in your base year
  • You must earn a minimum dollar figure ($169) 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.

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.

  1. I recently lost my son and obtained full legal and sole custody of his 4 year old son (my grandson). My job requires me to travel for extended periods of time. Due to my unforseen circumstances if i get fired for not being able to travel because I am the sole caretake for my grandson but still can perform my job functions can i collect unemployment. worried I may get fired. I have requested other positions within the company that i qualify for but there currently aren’t any.

    1. Lisa,

      I am sorry to hear about the loss. Suggest you call the Unemployment Office to seek clarification in this regard.

  2. I had open surgery on 4/25 .. I was cleared to go back to work 5/23 .. in between time I was notified by my family that we were moving to Delaware 6/1 .. I notified my boss and told him about my move and asked him if I could work up until we moved and he told me no! Would I be able to collect ?

    1. Jennifer,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as medical conditions are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  3. i worked in New Jersey for 5 years. My employer had notified me my job position had move to offshore and i will be laid off next month(6/7/2019). do i need to file unemployment right away, or can i take a 3 week vacation out of country and collect the unemployment when i back 7/1/2019. thanks.

    1. Lillian,

      You should be able to take the vacation and apply after you come back. Please contact the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  4. Can I collect Unemployment if I took time off because I couldn’t get to work. I have been working here on and off 20 years. eight years to now. There is no public transportation no taxi cabs. I live north jersey and the job is in Middlesex. My HR gave me permission to take time to try to figure out how to get to work. I kept in touch and they allowed me time. Suddenly this Monday they informed me I was off work too long and they had to terminate my employment. I did not quit nor did I wish to be fired. I just need time off to get a mode of transportation. I loved my job. I was over the road weeks at a time for them all I need is time to get transportation. Can I collect benefits.

    1. Scott,

      Your reason can be a valid one. To understand more about eligibility, please call the Unemployment Office.

  5. I’m currently on short term disability for 3 months already. I didn qualify for FMLA because I was just started working there for 7 months but I work somewhere else before. On February the company sent me a letter saying they won’t approve anymore extension and that my absent has caused the company to fall behind their goal, causing stress on overwork staff members, and that I don’t return to work on a certain day they will terminate me. I faxed them a extension paper from my doctors and I explain I m still under doctors care but I do understand they can not longer wait for my recovery time. a couple of days ago I received a letter asking me that I should resign in good terms? I’m not sure how this works but I was hoping once I’m recover I’ll find a job right away but a friend of mine say if I resign and eventually recover and I don’t find a job right away I won’t be able to collect unemployment. I’m nit sure what should I do in his case.

    1. Narcisa,

      Unfortunately, the authorities do not consider personal issues such as health. UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Having said this, I request you to call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  6. I’m currently working for a company that is extremely stressful to work for. It’s a very negative work environment and I’m overly stressed to go in there everyday. I’ve reached out to my HR rep for the company and have put in a complaint regarding handing to work all day shifts without being able to take a break and not being supported by manager. If I quit due to a stressful work environment can I collect unemployment?

    1. Jessica,

      This is a tricky situation. You can be eligible/not eligible depending on how they treat it. Your employer may dispute your claim at the time of application. Please make sure to document conversations and reach out to the Unemployment Office before making a decision.

  7. Hi, lost my job yesterday quite suddenly. The manager alleges that I left a drug out of the refrigerator that then was unstable to use but I was never shown nor asked about this when this happened. In two years I’ve never been verbally warned or written up for anything. It was a very small intimate office and I was the last one hired. About a year ago one of the two doctors left and since the office has gotten slower and slower. Would this be considered misconduct? Would I be able to collect?

    1. It might be considered “Misconduct” making you ineligible. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  8. I can’t get a hold of anyone on the phone numbers that I continue to call. And the number I keep calling will disconnect me because of “the high call volume” So how can I finish the information that is needed? I do not have any way to get out to the main office and I received information in the mail saying I was going to start receiving unemployment but every time I go to file for my weekly claim is says “unpaid” What is going on? I also have to claim my child what is the issue that I can’t get a hold of anyone over the phone? Everything I received in the mail says I’m eligible but I have yet to receive anything and still can not get a hold of anyone.

    1. Jennifer,

      I can understand your situation. Since you’ve tried calling multiple times and unable to reach, please try the option of visiting an office in the vicinity.

    1. Cindy,

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

  9. 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. Nancy,

      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.

  10. 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. Joe,

      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.

  11. 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. Jordan,

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

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

  13. 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. Bob,

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

    1. Michael,

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

  14. 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. Ana,

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

    2. I’ve been employed for a firm (2 1/2 years) But and I am currently on temp disability..my company announced a “ mass layoff” in which I am being affected. I received a packet with info…. the “separation” date is set for 7/31… my expected date of return is 6/02. Can I resign and be eligible to collect unemployment? Or do I have to stay with the company that is laying me off until 7/31

      1. Suzy,

        If you resign before the official ‘layoff’ date, it will be considered voluntary making you ineligible. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  15. 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. Jackie,

      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.

  16. 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. Ava,

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

  17. Hello,
    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?

  18. 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

  19. 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. Kerry,

      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.

  20. Hi,
    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. Cheryl,

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

    1. Donna,

      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.

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

  23. 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. Steven,

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

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

      Please contact the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  24. 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.

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

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

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

      Please call the Unemployment Office to clarify.

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