Claiming unemployment insurance in New Jersey can help eligible workers cover basic expenses and find new job opportunities. The NJ unemployment insurance program provides financial assistance as well as resources for out-of-work employees. Qualified residents can take advantage of these benefits for a limited time as long as they adhere to the program’s requirements.
We have compiled helpful information, hints, and tips about claiming unemployment benefits in New Jersey on this website and FAQs and our free guide. Learn more about unemployment benefits in New Jersey by reading below, checking out our New Jersey FAQs, and reading our free guide.
Learn About Unemployment Benefits in New Jersey
When claiming benefits for unemployment in New Jersey, there are variables affecting the amount of benefits received. The weekly amount of benefits received is called the Weekly Benefit Rate (WBR). The WBR can be up to 60 percent of the applicant’s Base Period wages.
Dependent benefits may be granted if the claimant is not receiving the maximum WBR. A New Jersey unemployment benefits claim including a dependent will increase the WBR by 7 percent for the first dependent and 4 percent for each additional dependent. No more than 3 dependents may be claimed for a maximum of a 15 percent WBR increase.
Proof of dependency and the Social Security number of each dependent must be given within six weeks of the first unemployment benefits claim.
Qualified dependents may be:
- The applicant’s unemployed spouse or civil union partner.
- The applicant’s unemployed, unmarried child (or children) under the age of 19 (or 22 if the child is a full-time student). The child may be the applicant’s stepchild or adopted child.
Learn About Filing a Claim in New Jersey
Residents can complete the unemployment application process in New Jersey online or over the phone. When filing online, the applicant has access to his or her unemployment benefits claim using a four-digit PIN.
With either method, the petitioner will be guided through how to claim unemployment benefits. The method chosen to file a claim will be used throughout the rest of the filing process.
The online application is available from 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 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. The phone lines are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 until 6:00 p.m.
If benefits are granted, it is the applicant’s responsibility to monitor the claim weekly in order to remain eligible and continue to receive benefits. Individuals claiming benefits for unemployment are responsible for recertifying they meet the eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits, including the following:
- Be physically and mentally able to work. If a claimant is ill due to a non-work related injury, they may be eligible for New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Insurance Program benefits.
- Be available to work. Personal obligations and responsibilities preventing an individual from working may result in the loss of benefits. Transportation is also required to be considered available for work.
- Claim unemployment benefits each week online or by phone.
- Actively seek work. A minimum of 3 employers per week must be contacted. Employers must be contacted over the phone, online, or in person. Sending resumes and applications is also acceptable.
- Not refuse fair job offers. The claimant may have to compromise their desired salary and commute distance. Failure to accept a suitable job will result in a temporary loss of benefits.
- Attend each One-Stop Career Center appointment. Some claimants may be required to occasionally check in with a One-Stop Career Center. It is the claimant’s responsibility to attend each appointment and to reschedule missed appointments in a timely manner.
How Long You May Receive Benefits in New Jersey
Qualified residents can collect unemployment benefits for no more than 26 weeks in a one-year period. An unemployment benefits extension may be granted by the state and/or federal government to claimants who are still unemployed after the benefit period is over. Both state and federal unemployment benefits are only given during periods of high unemployment.
An unemployment benefits extension in New Jersey may be available if the state or federal unemployment reaches above a certain threshold. If a claimant is still unemployed and looking for a job, a state benefits extension may be given. A claimant may be eligible for a federal unemployment benefits extension if he or she is still unemployed after the state benefits extension has been exhausted.
Individuals receiving unemployment benefits may be advised to enroll in a One-Stop Career Center. The One-Stop Career Center is an agency that assists unemployed individuals in job searching and skills.
Claimants seeking unemployment insurance coverage who are recommended to attend the One-Stop Career Center and fail to attend may be at risk for delay or denial of benefits. In addition, unemployment insurance eligibility may change due to failure to reschedule missed appointments.
The One-Stop Career Center is available for registration to all claimants but is only compulsory for claimants that have been advised to register. Claimants who are laid off and expecting to return to work will not be required to register.
Learn About New Jersey Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes
An unemployment benefits claim in New Jersey is subject to state and federal income tax. Tax form 1099-G is the income tax statement that details the total amount of benefits paid and withheld. An unemployment insurance beneficiary may opt to forfeit 10 percent of the weekly benefits to the IRS during the time of application.
Taxable unemployment benefits include:
- Unemployment Insurance (UI)
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
- Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA)
Individuals who claim unemployment benefits will not receive his or her 1099-G forms by mail.
Form 1099-G may be accessed online during the January following the date of application. A copy of the form may also be received by phone by calling the Reemployment Call Center. The form will be received by the following week, as copies are only printed on weekends.
If an individual received Disability Benefits During Unemployment (DDU) or Paid Family Leave Insurance (FLI) during the same tax year that unemployment benefits were received, the 1099-G form will be mailed.