A Guide To The Extended Unemployment Benefits In New Jersey
As regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) begins to expire for more than 1.4 million New Jerseyans, the state Legislature has passed a new bill that allows more unemployed people to receive extended unemployment benefits in New Jersey. So, who qualifies for the Extended Benefits in New Jersey under the new bill? Know it here!
The Extended Unemployment Benefits In New Jersey
The state Department Of Labor (DOL) had announced extended unemployment benefits in New Jersey in July 2020. The extension was possible because the state had reached high unemployment periods. According to the Department, high unemployment periods are those times when the unemployment rate of the state reaches 8% for the most recent 3 months. The state’s unemployment rate is 15.3% in April, 15.2% in May, and 16.8% in June.
Under the Extended Benefits (EB) program, the unemployed New Jerseyans will be able to claim benefits for an additional 20 weeks, provided they have exhausted benefits received through the regular 26 weeks of benefits and extra 13 weeks of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.
The cost of the Extended Benefits (EB) is equally split between the federal government and the state unemployment trust fund.
Who Qualifies For The Extended Benefits In New Jersey?
To qualify for the 20 weeks New Jersey unemployment extension, you should meet several eligibility requirements. They include:
- You must be fully or partially unemployed through no fault of your own
- You must exhaust all benefits received through the regular state unemployment benefits and PEUC program
- You must not qualify for any other unemployment benefits in another state or territory
- You must have worked for at least 20 base weeks, or your wages are 40 times your Weekly Benefit Rate (WBR) on your original unemployment claim
- You must have earned 4 times your WBR in your subsequent employment if you were terminated for misconduct or refused to accept or apply for suitable work and were disqualified on your original unemployment claim
- You must apply and accept a suitable work
1. If you are an out of state resident and are claiming EB against the State of New Jersey, you can receive benefits only for 2 weeks unless you are defined as a commuter under the Unemployment Compensation Law of New Jersey or the state in which you are residing in also has an EB.
2. Under EB law, suitable work means any job which is within your physical and mental capabilities. If you have the physical and mental capabilities of performing the job, the work will be suitable for you, provided the following criteria are met.
- Your gross average pay for the offered job exceeds your WBR
- You pay exceeds or equals the minimum wage of $11.00 an hour
- The job is listed with Workforce New Jersey or was offered in writing
Who Cannot Collect Extended Benefits In New Jersey?
If you don’t meet the above-mentioned New Jersey unemployment extension eligibility criteria, you will not qualify for the extended benefits. You will also be ineligible to collect benefits for additional 20 weeks if you meet any of the following metrics.
- You qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
- You have refused to apply for or accept suitable work unless you have subsequent employment in which you worked for a minimum 4 weeks and earned a minimum 4 times your Weekly Benefit Rate.
- You haven’t reported or accepted a Workforce New Jersey job referral.
How To Apply For The Extended Unemployment Benefits In New Jersey?
You need not reapply for the Extended Benefits in New Jersey if you are already claiming and receiving benefits. You will automatically be enrolled in the state-issued benefits program when the PEUC benefits end. The Department will send you a mail if you qualify for the program. Note that due to the high volume of unemployment claims, the mail may be sometimes delayed.
However, if you are not claiming regular benefits, you must first file a claim. Below, we will tell you how to file for unemployment benefits in New Jersey.
How To Apply For New Jersey Unemployment Benefits?
If you don’t have a UI account, you must first register by visiting https://www.myunemployment.nj.gov. While registering, you will be asked to submit several documents. Some of them include:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your mail ID and phone number
- Your Social Security Number (SSN)
- Your employers’ address
- Your employers’ names
- Your Alien Registration Number, if you are a non-U.S. citizen
If you already have an account, login using your credentials, and file an unemployment claim. You can also apply by calling your nearest Reemployment Call Center.
Note that you can file a claim online only if:
- All of your employment in the last 18 months was in New Jersey
- You reside within the United States
- You did not serve in the military in the last 18 months
- You were not a maritime employee in the last 18 months
- You were not a federal government employee in the last 18 months
Upon applying, the Department will review your application and send an approval mail. It is important that you apply for benefits every 2 weeks to receive continued payment.
The new bill is a boon to New Jerseyans who are on the verge of losing federal benefits the next month. The bill would not only allow more claimants to receive benefits and meet their basic needs but also allow the Department to easily determine the eligibility and process the applications.
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