New Jersey Unemployment Tips

1 Q: Where do I apply for unemployment?
A: In general, you should apply for unemployment in the same state in which you work. So even if you live in New York, if you work in New Jersey, you should apply in New Jersey.

To create an account to apply for unemployment online go to:

  • North New Jersey Reemployment Call Center (201) 601-4100
  • Central New Jersey Reemployment Call Center (732) 761-2020
  • South New Jersey Reemployment Call Center (856) 507-2340
  • Out-of-State Claims: (888) 795-6672 (you must call this number if you call from a phone with an out-of-state area code, even if you live in New Jersey)

We want to know how many hotel and gaming workers who work in New Jersey are having trouble getting their unemployment benefits processed. We will attempt to use the information we are getting from you to communicate with the state so that they can continue to make improvements. Please come back and fill out this survey to let us know if you have any issues filing your unemployment claim: NJ Unemployment Link and Union Survey.

2 Q: Can I apply for unemployment if I have been temporarily laid-off?
A: Yes, you can and it is crucial that you apply as soon as (but not before) you are laid-off. If you apply before you are laid off (even if you know you will be laid-off), they will very likely reject your application and that will delay when you can start collecting your benefit.

3 Q: Am I eligible for unemployment in New Jersey?
A: To be eligible, you must meet the following two requirements:

First, your employment must not have ended for cause (like being fired for misconduct on your part). If you were laid off due to the impacts of the coronavirus, you meet this requirement. 

The second requirement is more complicated and depends on when and how much you worked in New Jersey and what your earnings were.

4 Q: What information do I need to have when I apply for unemployment?

A: Make sure you have the following information when you apply (either online or over the phone):

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Recall date (if you have one),
  • Complete name and address of each employer that you’ve worked for in the past 18 months (even if the job was outside of New Jersey) .
  • Telephone number of each employer that you’ve worked for in the past 18 months
  • Your occupation with each employer that you’ve worked for in the past 18 months
  • Beginning and ending dates of employment
  • Reason for separation

5 Q: How should I respond if unemployment asks why I’m not working?
A: Since you are being laid off, the correct answer is “lack of work.” If you mistakenly give a different answer, your unemployment benefits may be denied.

6 Q: What if I need a translator’s help to apply for unemployment?

A: If you need a translator’s help to apply for unemployment, it is best to apply on the phone, with the help of someone you know who can translate for you. If you need translation help to apply, we will try to help you. You should call (212) 245-8100, and press option 3 and leave a message.

7 Q: I have successfully filed my unemployment, when will I receive my check? 
 After your claim has been successfully filed, the NJ DOL needs to review and process the claim. NJ DOL estimates that this could take up to four weeks or longer. You need to continue to certify each week, even when you are waiting to receive your first check, so that you do not lose benefits.

8 Q: How frequently will I receive my unemployment benefits?
A: You will receive unemployment benefits each week that you “certify” to unemployment that you are at least partially unemployed.

9 Q: How much money will I receive in weekly unemployment benefits?
The amount of money you receive in unemployment benefits is based on how much you were earning while you were working. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development will calculate your weekly benefit amount.

Before you apply, you can use an online calculator on the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s website to get an estimate of how much in benefits you will receive each week.

10 Q: How long can I continue to receive unemployment benefits?
A: Under normal circumstances, assuming you’re eligible, you are entitled to a total of 26 weeks of unemployment benefits over a period of 1 year from the date of your claim. 

Any week in which you do not certify for unemployment benefits is not counted towards your number of total remaining weeks. For instance, if you are unemployed for 3 weeks, return to work for 4 weeks, and then you are laid off again, you would be entitled to another 26 weeks of unemployment benefits on the same unemployment claim.

11 Q: What do I need to do to continue receiving unemployment insurance benefits?
A: To continue receiving unemployment, you need to certify for your benefits each week online or by phone by using the account you created when you filed your claim, as well as a PIN that you create when you first certify and your Social Security Number. This is very important. You must “certify” each week (or every 2 weeks if claiming by phone) in order to demonstrate that you are still unemployed. Certifying is essentially claiming your unemployment benefits. If you fail to certify each week, you will not receive benefits for that week.

New Jersey has created a schedule for certifying for unemployment weekly, based on the last 4 digits of your social security number. The windows are limited to 30 minutes, 1 day a week. Please check the schedule carefully on the State’s website

12 Q: What if I get called back to work part-time for some weeks while I’m collecting unemployment?

A: If you are called back to work part-time and you make 20% or less of your weekly benefit amount (for example, you make less than $100 if you receive $500 from unemployment each week), you will not have your benefits reduced. If you make more than 20% of your regular rate, New Jersey calculates a partial weekly benefit rate that is 20% more than your regular rate and reduces your benefit dollar by dollar from there. So for example, if you normally receive $500 a week from unemployment, New Jersey would calculate your partial weekly benefit rate to be $600 ($500 + 20%). If you return to work part-time and make $200 in a week, you will receive $400 in benefits ($200 less than your partial weekly benefit rate of $600).

13 Q: Do I have to report to the Department of Labor that I am being paid out for my unused accrued paid time off (holidays, vacation, sick, and personal days)?

A: Receiving a payout for unused accrued vacation days is not considered “vacation pay” in the eyes of the NJ Department of Labor. However, if you previously scheduled vacation time for the week in which you are claiming benefits you must report those days to unemployment.

Similarly, receiving a payout for unused accrued holidays is not considered “holiday pay” by the NJ Department of Labor. 

14 Q: Do I have to pay taxes on my unemployment benefits?
Yes, unemployment benefits are taxable.

15 Q: How will I get my 1099 tax form if I’m on unemployment?
A: 1099 tax forms will be emailed to the email address the NJ DOL has on file. The 1099 form will also be available through the Check Claim Status tool on the NJ DOL website.