New Jersey Unemployment Application Information

How to Apply for Unemployment in New Jersey


The New Jersey unemployment registration process begins when a petitioner completes an unemployment EDD application. In regards to where to sign up for unemployment benefits, petitioners have the option of applying either online or over the phone. After the petitioner decides where to apply for unemployment, he or she must gather the information needed, and register. If granted benefits, the claimant must file for an unemployment claim each week that benefits are needed.

Regarding how to apply for unemployment benefits in NJ, the sections below will explain:

•    How do I apply/file?
•    How to prepare for applying for unemployment insurance in New Jersey
•    Where to register for unemployment in New Jersey

How Do I Apply/File?


Unemployed New Jersey residents wondering, “How can I sign up for unemployment?” have two options. An online application for unemployment may be submitted through New Jersey’s unemployment benefit portal. For applicants without reliable access to the internet, the unemployment EDD application can also be completed over the phone. 

How to Determine Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in New Jersey


Any unemployed persons looking to receive unemployment insurance in NJ must file or reopen a claim. To be eligible to open a claim:


•    You must reside in the United States.
•    All of your work in the past 18 months must have been exclusively in New Jersey.
•    You have not worked for the United States government in the past 18 months.
•    You have not served in the United States military in the past 18 months. 
•    You have not worked as a maritime employee in the last 18 months. 

 

Choose a Method to File a Claim


An application for unemployment benefits in NJ may be completed online or over the phone. All applicants who have been employed by the U.S. government must file a claim by phone. 

 

Apply for Unemployment Benefits in NJ Online


When beginning an online application for employment, the applicant will need to create a 4 digit PIN to access their claim. The application is available online at 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Benefits may be processed and received sooner if the application is submitted on a Sunday. 

 

Apply for Unemployment Benefits in NJ by Phone


If a petitioner wants to apply for unemployment benefits over the phone, it is best to use a landline because cell phone interference or loss of signal may result in incorrect information being given to the computer system. A call waiting signal may also result in information being lost or incorrect. The applicant may also call a Reemployment Call Center to file the first claim. The phone lines are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 until 6:00 p.m., including holidays.

Before filing an unemployment claim, the applicant will be given an appointment to call on a Wednesday for the first call. If the claim is accepted, it is the beneficiary’s responsibility to call every Monday or Tuesday to update his or her claim. Recipients cannot receive benefits on weekends when claiming benefits by phone.
•    Applicants with a Social Security Number (SSN) ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, or 9) will be assigned to call and claim their benefits on Mondays. 
•    Applicants with an SSN ending in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6, or 8) will be assigned to call and claim their benefits on Tuesdays.

 

How to Prepare for Applying for Unemployment Insurance in New Jersey


Determine the Base Period
To file for unemployment in NJ, the applicant must determine his or her base period. A base period is a period of 52 consecutive weeks that gives a snapshot of the applicant’s work schedule and wages. Base periods are used to determine eligibility and benefits for unemployment. 

Base periods are as follows:
•    October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015 for claims filed January-March 2016
•    January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015 for claims filed April-June 2016
•    April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 for claims filed July-September 2016
•    July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 for claims filed October-December 2016

If an individual’s base period does not meet the criteria to file for an unemployment claim, an alternate base period may be used. An alternate base period may demonstrate the applicant’s job wages and hours during a period of time outside of the general base periods. 

Unemployment registration in New Jersey includes two types of alternate base periods. Alternate Base Year #1 includes the 4 most recent calendar quarters in which the applicant worked, and alternate Base Year #2 is determined by the 3 most recently completed calendar quarters. Alternate Base Period #2 is less than the standard 52 weeks. Alternate base periods are not determined by the applicant.

Alternate Base Period #1 may be as follows:
•    January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015 for claims filed January-March 2016
•    April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 for claims filed April-June 2016
•    July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 for claims filed July-September 2016
•    October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016 for claims filed October-December 2016

Alternate Base Period #2 may be as follows:
•    April 1, 2015 to Date of Claim for claims filed January-March 2016
•    July 1, 2015 to Date of Claim for claims filed April-June 2016
•    October 1, 2015 to Date of Claim for claims filed July-September 2016
•    January 1, 2016 to Date of Claim for claims filed July-September 2016

Determine Dependents
When a candidate goes to apply for unemployment benefits in NJ, consider that up to 3 dependents may be claimed. The first dependent claimed will increase the Weekly Benefit Rate by 7 percent, and each additional dependent will increase the WBR by 4 percent. A petitioner’s benefit increase for dependents may not exceed 15 percent. An individual may not be qualified to claim dependents if he or she is receiving the maximum allowable WBR.

Individuals who may qualify as dependents must be:
•    The applicant’s unemployed spouse or partner.
•    The applicant’s unemployed child (stepchildren and adopted children included) under the age of 19. The maximum age may be raised to 22 if the child is attending an academic institution full-time. 

Schedule a Time Each Week to Certify for Benefits
Applicants must request payment for New Jersey unemployment benefits for each week that they need benefits, either weekly or biweekly. Certification can be completed online or over the phone. Applicants may only apply for benefits for preceding weeks. 

 

Where to Register for Unemployment in NJ


Note: There is no fee to apply for unemployment insurance in New Jersey. Any entity that charges for a New Jersey unemployment application is not legitimate. Protect your confidential information.

How to Apply for Unemployment Online
The NJ online application for unemployment requires the application to have this information:
•    Social Security Number OR Alien Registration Documentation (for non-citizens of the United States)
•    Bank information for Direct Deposit (optional)
•    Each employer worked for in the last 18 months, including:
o    Name and address of employer
o    Employer or company phone number
o    Job position
o    Length and dates of employment
o    Reason for leaving
•    A New Jersey Driver’s License or Identification card.

How to Apply for Unemployment by Phone
All claims created by phone are submitted through the Reemployment Call Center. New claims may be opened Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To apply for unemployment benefits in NJ by phone, the applicant must have this information:
•    Social Security Number OR Alien Registration Number (for non-citizens of the United States)
•    Anticipated recall date (if applicable)
•    Pension information (if applicable)
•    Severance pay of last job (if applicable)
•    Union phone number and address (if applicable)
•    Form SF-8 or SF-50 (if applicant was a federal civilian employee)
•    Military DD-214, Member 4 Copy (if enlisted in the military within the last 18 months)
•    Each employer worked for in the last 18 months, including:
o    Name and address of employer
o    Employer or company phone number
o    Job position
o    Length and dates of employment
o    Reason for leaving

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