What Happens if I am Denied Unemployment in New Jersey?
If an individual is denied unemployment benefits in NJ, a letter will be sent outlining the basis for denial. There are several reasons why an otherwise eligible individual may be disqualified for unemployment benefits.
Applicants who were fired from their last job will have a claims examiner interpret whether misconduct was involved. Misconduct can only be waived if the termination was related to domestic violence.
There are 3 types of misconduct, differing in severity.
1. Simple misconduct: Simple misconduct resulting in job termination will result in denial of unemployment benefits for up to 8 weeks. Simple misconduct is typically not associated with any written warnings by the supervisor. Examples of simple misconduct include frequent lateness or absence and insubordination.
2. Severe misconduct: Severe misconduct resulting in job termination will result in indefinite denial of unemployment compensation benefits until the individual is employed elsewhere for at least 4 weeks and earn 6 times the amount of his or her weekly benefit rate (WBR). Then, eligibility may be granted if the individual is faultlessly terminated. Examples of severe misconduct includes written warnings from supervisors, frequent lateness or absence, destruction of company property, drug and/or alcohol use at work, and theft of company property or money.
3. Gross misconduct: Gross misconduct resulting in job termination will result in indefinite denial of unemployment benefits until the individual is employed elsewhere for at least 4 weeks and earn 10 times the amount of their WBR. Then, eligibility may be granted if the individual is faultlessly terminated. Gross conduct is defined as any work-related incident that can be considered a first, second, or third degree crime.
If terminated, an individual may schedule an interview with a claims examiner to determine the best course of action to become eligible for benefits.
Quitting or Retiring Voluntarily
If an individual quit or retired from the job without “good cause connected to work,” he or she may have unemployment compensation benefits denied. “Good cause connected to work” is defined as a reason relating to the job that caused the individual to have no choice but to quit.
There are 2 exceptions to disqualification due to voluntarily leaving a job:
1. Quitting due to domestic violence
2. Quitting to relocate with a spouse or partner who is an active member of the military
An individual who has voluntarily quit his or her job must return to work for at least 8 weeks and earn at least 10 times the amount of the WBR to become qualified for unemployment benefits.
If an individual has voluntarily left or retired from their job and is interested in unemployment benefits, he or she are welcome to schedule an appointment with a claims examiner to learn more about what can be done to remove benefit disqualification.
If an individual is part of a labor strike, he or she may or may not be eligible for unemployment benefits in New Jersey. The individual must send information about the labor dispute, the employer, and the union to a labor dispute officer who will determine eligibility.
Full-time students may be denied unemployment benefits unless the student earns enough wages (excluding during recess periods) to qualify for a claim.
Students attending a vocational or training program to receive a job will have to schedule an appointment with a claims examiner to determine eligibility.
Individuals applying for unemployment based on a company in which at least 5 percent of the capital stock and/or debt is owned are not considered unemployed.
Individuals who own and manage a company part-time, in addition to working full-time elsewhere, may be eligible for benefits if he or she is terminated from their full-time job through no fault of their own. The individual’s part-time wages will be deduced from their weekly benefits.
I Was Wrongfully Terminated in New Jersey
Applicants who are denied benefits because of a wrongful termination may schedule an appointment with a claims examiner.
The applicant’s employer will be invited to attend the interview. The applicant has the right to an attorney, though it is not required. Both the applicant and the former employer are encouraged to bring any documents as well as first-hand witness statements. All evidence may be faxed or mailed to the scheduling office along with the applicant’s Social Security Number.
During the interview, the applicant, employer, and/or attorney(s) will have an opportunity to present the evidence as well as ask and answer questions.
After the interview, if the applicant is still disqualified from benefits, a letter will be sent in the mail detailing the reason for denial.
Denied Unemployment - Appeal Process in New Jersey
If an applicant opposes the determination for denial of benefits, he or she reserves the right to appeal.
The applicant will receive in writing all judgments concerning denial of benefits. Appeal rights are outlined on every determination document sent to the applicant. An appeal must be filed within 7 days of receiving the determination. Appeal extensions may be granted in extenuating circumstances. Failure to file an appeal within the given time frame will result in the determination being finalized.
After the appeal letter is sent, a hearing with the Appeal Tribunal will be scheduled either over the phone or in person. It is the applicant’s responsibility to compile all necessary evidence to prepare for the appeal. The applicant’s former employer may be invited to participate if the reason for benefit denial is related to work.
The decision will be made by the Appeal Tribunal at the hearing. If the applicant is still denied unemployment compensation benefits, he or she has the right to appeal again with the Board of Review. If the applicant is granted benefits, the Division of Unemployment will send all withheld payments to the applicant.
What to Do if Denied Unemployment in New Jersey
If denied unemployment benefits in New Jersey, the applicant has several options:
• Review eligibility requirements. The applicant may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
• Schedule an appointment with a claims examiner. The claims examiner will explain in detail reasons for denial and what the applicant may do to become qualified for benefits.
• File an appeal. A letter of determination of unemployment benefits will be sent to the applicant explaining why the applicant was denied. The applicant has 7 days from the day the letter is received to file an appeal and schedule a hearing.