In some cases in New Jersey, people who lose their jobs are eligible to receive unemployment benefits for a certain duration of time. The New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law works as a safety net for workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. If you have lost your job, you might want to talk to Swartz Swidler about your eligibility for unemployment compensation.
Who can receive unemployment benefits
To receive unemployment benefits, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own. You must then file a claim for benefits with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and you must be able, available, willing and ready to work. You must actively continue to seek employment. There is a one-week waiting period before you can begin receiving unemployment benefits, and you must meet the earnings requirement.
People who receive unemployment benefits must be able to work. If you accept a part-time job, you may still receive benefits. However, the income that you earn from your part-time job may reduce the benefits that you receive.
The earnings requirement
To receive unemployment compensation, you must meet the earnings requirement. You must have earned an income that is at least 1,000 times the minimum wage during your base year or have established 20 base weeks of employment.
Amount of benefits
The weekly benefit that you may receive will be 60 percent of your average weekly earnings up to $598. If you have children, your weekly benefit amount will increase by 7 percent for your first child and 4 percent each for the next two up to a maximum of three dependents. If you continue to qualify, you may collect unemployment benefits up to 26 weeks.
Certain workers are precluded from receiving unemployment in New Jersey. These include students who work at universities, agricultural laborers, some government employees, real estate brokers who are employed on a commissioned basis, commissioned insurance brokers and securities brokers, demonstrators and commissioned outside salespersons.
Disqualifications for unemployment compensation
If you voluntarily end your employment or are terminated for misconduct, you may be disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation. You may also be disqualified if you do not accept a suitable job offer or if you fail to apply for a job. You may also be disqualified based on fraud or if you fail to report to the Department of Labor as you are required.
You may be deemed to have voluntarily ended your job if you quit. If you were forced to quit, you may still be eligible to receive benefits. For example, if you felt compelled to quit your job because your employer engaged in unsafe work practices, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation.
What qualifies as misconduct?
Whether you were terminated for misconduct will depend on the facts and circumstances. If you had unexcused absences or refused to comply with your employer’s lawful orders, you may be unable to collect unemployment compensation. If you are determined to have committed misconduct that caused your job loss, you will be unable to recover benefits for the week that you were discharged plus five additional weeks. If the misconduct was gross misconduct, you will be ineligible to recover benefits.
Filing a claim for benefits
If you are eligible to receive benefits, start by completing a benefits claim with the Department of Labor. Your claim will be reviewed, and your most recent employer will be contacted. If your employer does not respond within 10 days, the information that you provide along with any other available sources will be relied upon by the DOL to make its determination. If you are denied, or your employer objects to your receipt of benefits, you can appeal the determination by filing an appeal within seven days after you have received the initial determination. Your appeal will be disallowed if you do not file it within the prescribed period. Once you file it, a hearing will be scheduled, and you will be allowed to bring a lawyer and to present evidence. If you disagree with the decision that you receive from the appeal tribunal, you may then appeal to the Board of Review within 10 days after the decision. Finally, the last available appeals level is the New Jersey Appellate Division. Appeals there must be filed within 45 days of the decision that was handed down by the Board of Review.
Contact Swartz Swidler
If you have received a notice of denial, it is important for you to make certain that you file your appeal on time. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler might help you to gather the evidence that you will need for your appeal. Contact our office today to learn more.