Introduction to New Jersey Unemployment Insurance

New Jersey unemployment benefits provide temporary compensation to those workers meeting the eligibility requirements of New Jersey law. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and each other state’s unemployment office administers its own unemployment insurance program within Federal guidelines.
The value of unemployment benefits in New Jersey differs from that of other states because each state unemployment office applies its own formulas and limits when calculating the level of unemployment compensation.
The duration of unemployment benefits in New Jersey may also differ from that of other states.
You can compare state unemployment insurance programs, including eligibility, benefit amounts, and duration here.

Eligibility for New Jersey Unemployment Benefits

The basic requirements for collecting unemployment are:

  • You must have been employed. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development publishes requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a “base period.”
  • You must be determined to be unemployed through no fault of your own as defined under New Jersey law.
  • You must file ongoing claims and respond to questions concerning your continued eligibility. You must report any earnings from work and any job offers or refusal of work during any claim period.
  • Meet any other unemployment eligibility requirements of New Jersey law.

For complete details see the Unemployment Insurance section of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development website. Or you can call the State of New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Claim for unemployment related questions from the number listed below.

Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits in Other States

If you have recently worked or resided in states other than New Jersey, you may need to choose the state in which you file your claim. Compare benefits here, and visit the other state unemployment information pages by clicking on the state’s name below.

Filing for Unemployment in New Jersey

Here are some tips for filing a correct and complete unemployment claim:

  • Collect the employer names, addresses, and dates of your recent employment. You may find it easiest to do this by collecting any pay stubs or W2s.
  • Be prepared to show that your unemployment is not your fault. Keep handy any written notification of your layoff, termination, or severance that you may have received.
  • For specific help from a New Jersey state government site on filing for unemployment in New Jersey click here

About Your Unemployment Benefit Check

How much? In general, unemployment benefits are based on an individual’s earnings in the base period. As of December, 2008, NJ benefits ranged from $85 to $560. New Jersey state unemployment benefits are subject to Federal income taxes, and you may elect to have taxes withheld from your unemployment check.
How soon? Across the United States, it generally takes two to three weeks to receive your first benefit check after you file your claim. Check with your state unemployment office for details.
How long? As of December, 2008, The duration of NJ unemployment benefits was 1-26 weeks, but benefits can be extended by New Jersey during times of high unemployment or other special circumstances.

New Jersey Unemployment Rate Statistics

How bad is it out there? Where is the grass greener? The US Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles official national, state, county, and metropolitan area unemployment statistics. To compare the unemployment rate between locations, click one of the links below.