New Jersey Unemployment Extension
State Unemployment Extended Benefits (EB)
Extended unemployment benefits (EB) are extra weeks of benefits offered to certain recipients of unemployment insurance. This program is only active when New Jersey is experiencing a very high unemployment rate.
With the EB program, UI claimants can receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits. Please note that Extended Benefits are currently not available in New Jersey.
Eligibility requirements for NJ Unemployment Unemployment Extended Benefits
To be eligible for state extended unemployment benefits (EB) during the COVID-19 pandemic, you had to meet several criteria, which differ from those for regular unemployment benefits and federal extended unemployment benefits.
Type of Unemployment Claim: To be eligible for extended unemployment benefits during the pandemic, you had to be receiving regular/traditional unemployment benefits or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). Claimants receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) were not eligible for EB.
Monetary Requirement: You had to have either earned the minimum earnings requirement for 20 or more weeks in covered employment during the base year period or 40 times the weekly benefit rate of your original unemployment claim.
Not Already Received EB: EB is only offered once per claim.
Additional Benefits During Training (ABT)
Qualified unemployed workers in New Jersey can receive an additional 26 weeks of benefits to complete approved training programs that extend beyond the regular unemployment period through the Workforce Development Partnership (WDP). The program is called Additional Benefits During Training (ABT), and approval from an employment counselor is required before enrolling.
To express interest in training, applicants must notify the department within 60 days of their last day worked, 30 days from being informed of the ABT program, or 30 days from making an employability plan with their counselor – whichever is the latest.
Other requirements must also be met, including working with an employment counselor to be considered for ABT or a training grant. To make an appointment with an employment counselor, individuals can contact their local One-Stop Career Center.
Those living in another state and receiving unemployment benefits from New Jersey can still apply for ABT. They should contact the New Jersey claims office at 888-795-6672 and work with a local career counselor to enroll in training in their state, and then apply for ABT with the department.
Disability During Unemployment (DDU)
If you are unable to work for more than 14 days after your last day of work, you may be eligible for Temporary Disability state benefits through the Disability During Unemployment program, even if you are still employed. One stipulation is that you must be employed by a New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance-covered employer.
The reasons you may become unable to work include:
- Physical or mental illness, non-work related injury, or scheduled surgery
- Recovery from pregnancy or childbirth
- Being at high risk for COVID-19 due to an underlying health condition, as certified by a licensed healthcare provider
If you have an unemployment insurance claim and are now applying for DDU benefits, you typically will receive the same benefit rate for DDU.
If you haven’t been collecting unemployment, your weekly benefit amount is 60% of your average weekly wage, up to $830 per week.
If you have already been approved for an unemployment benefit and are applying for Disability During Unemployment (DDU) benefits, you have already met the minimum earnings requirement for DDU. Earnings from municipal, federal, military, and out-of-state wages do not count toward DDU eligibility.
If you have not collected an unemployment benefit, your New Jersey earnings reported for the five completed quarters prior to the week your disability period began will be considered when your claim is under review.
To qualify for DDU benefits, you must have worked for at least 20 weeks, earning a minimum of $260 weekly, or earned a combined total of $13,000 in the last four quarters.
Family Leave During Unemployment (FLDU)
If you are not on an approved leave of absence from your employer, you may be eligible for the Family Leave During Unemployment program. This program is subject to both the Unemployment Compensation and Temporary Disability Benefits Laws.
You can claim family leave benefits for the following reasons:
- To bond with a newborn, newly adopted, or newly placed foster child
- To provide care for a loved one with a severe health condition
- To handle matters related to domestic or sexual violence that you or a loved one has experienced
To qualify for the program, you must have worked 20 weeks earning at least $260 weekly, or have earned a combined total of $13,000 in your base year.
If you are applying for FLDU benefits after receiving UI benefits or Disability During Unemployment benefits, you will typically receive the same benefit rate as before. If you did not receive these benefits, your FLDU benefit rate is 60% of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum benefit rate that varies by benefit year.
The maximum weekly FLDU benefit rate is $830 per week. Dependency benefits may also be available, with rates based on the number of dependents you have. The monetary determination notice you receive after applying will explain your weekly benefit amount and maximum benefit entitlement.
You can choose to claim Family Leave During Unemployment benefits continuously or on a week by week basis. If claimed continuously, you may receive up to 12 weeks of benefits over 12 months. If claimed non-continuously, you may receive up to 8 weeks of benefits over 12 months. Each week claimed must be on a Sunday through Saturday schedule and you cannot claim benefits for partial weeks.
CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act
The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020, providing unemployment insurance benefits to many NJ workers affected by COVID-19. This assistance was extended by the Continued Assistance Act, signed on December 27, 2020, and the American Rescue Plan Act, signed on March 11, 2021.
Pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits expired on September 4, 2021.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provided up to 79 weeks of benefits until September 4, 2021.
To qualify for PUA benefits, New Jersey workers had to meet the following criteria:
- Not eligible for unemployment benefits in any state, including self-employed workers (independent contractors, “gig” workers)
- Able and available to work except that they were unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to a COVID-19 qualifying reason
- Able to demonstrate labor market attachment, through earnings or an official work offer
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation provided up to 49 extra weeks of extended benefits. This was in addition to the standard 26 weeks, for a maximum total of 79 weeks of benefits.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation was a federal benefit that provided an additional $300 per week to all PUA and regular Unemployment Insurance recipients. The program ran from January 2, 2021 to September 4, 2021. Claimants may have also been eligible for $600 per week, on top of regular benefits from April 4, 2020 through July 25, 2020.
NJDOL distributed these weekly benefits to workers who were currently claiming regular unemployment benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits.
Lost Wages Assistance
The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA), also known as FEMA payments, was a temporary federal program that provided a $300 weekly supplement to New Jerseyans who were unemployed due to COVID-19-related reasons during the weeks ending August 1, 2020, through September 5, 2020. The maximum benefit was for six weeks, amounting to a total of $1,800.
To qualify for LWA payments, claimants had to certify that they were unemployed between August 1 and September 5, 2020, were eligible for at least $100 in unemployment benefits, were unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The Lost Wages supplemental payments ceased on December 27, 2020.