Unemployment benefits in New Jersey: how to claim weekly payment
After a delayed rollout due to a need to program state computers for the 11-week benefits extension, New Jersey is now paying out unemployment claims.
It took until February but New Jersey Department of Labor finally completed programming for the 11-week benefits extension passed in late December. According to the agency the work got done ahead of schedule although officials were questioned why the state had a delay when New York and Connecticut had not.
The delay that left over 75,000 claimants without extended benefits was blamed on the last-minute federal action to continue benefits beyond the 26 December cutoff. States across the US experienced similar problems due to the bill passing so close to the benefits expiration and the subsequent hesitation to sign the legislation by former President Trump.
Supplemental unemployment benefits
The extended benefits will put a supplemental $300 in the bank accounts of New Jersey workers collecting unemployment benefits. The supplemental benefit program runs from 2 January through March 13. Congress is currently considering legislation to extend the payments again hoping to pass it before the latest expiration date.
The unemployment insurance (UI) top ups are in addition to regular unemployment benefits, and anyone collecting any amount from any federal or state program should receive the benefit, known as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).
How to apply for New Jersey weekly unemployment benefits
Before you begin, you will want to prepare the data to be entered on the state’s electronic application. Applicants will be asked for information on any wages earned and hours worked during the week or weeks for which they are claiming, first time claimants may have to certify more than one week.
You will also want to check the eligibility questions beforehand to be prepared to follow the prompts more easily. You can print this page or have it open in a separate tab when filing out your claim. Always answer the questions accurately to avoid delays in receiving you benefits.
Also you will have to check for when you can certify according to your Social Security Number (SSN). Sunday through Thursday claimants are given a scheduled time window in the morning and another the evening when they can apply for their UI. The schedule can change on a regular basis so be sure to check but Fridays and Saturdays are open to all SSNs.
Certifying for weekly benefits
The first time you will need to create a 4-digit PIN for your account.
If you need to talk to someone you can call these numbers to contact New Jersey unemployment by phone.
Warning: If you have to exit the page for any reason before you have finished the process press the “exit” button at the bottom of the page. If you abandon the page by any other method your account will be locked. You will be unable to claim benefits via the application or telephone until the next day.
You will be required to complete the process for each week that you want to receive benefits. Your first time you will have to repeat the process for each week you want to claim separately. Pay attention to the date of the claims that you are filing for at the start of each claim.
When you are certifying your weekly claim, you will be asked for an email address, even if you already gave one when you registered you will need to mark the “yes” box and enter an email to receive information about your claim. Never use a work email, only use a personal account.
If you return to work full-time or your furlough ends, you must stop weekly certification after you have certified your last week of being unemployed or furloughed.
If you are furloughed or become unemployed again, and it’s been more than 28 days since you last certified you will need to reopen your claim. You can do this by clicking on Existing users log in here on the homepage.
Pay special attention to wages
There are two types of wages, ones that come from an employer and those that come from self-employment or commissions.
Wages from an employer
Any wages that you earn from a W-2 employer you will need to give the sum before deductions even if you haven’t been paid yet. Also you will need to fill in information on the week and number of hours worked.
Self-employed, commissions or 1099-type earnings
1099-type payments are those earned through self-employment or from such things as rent, royalties, etc. These payments will be reported during the week when the payment is received.