New Jersey Unemployment Benefit Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in New Jersey, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have earned at least $260 per week for 20 weeks, or at least $13,000 total during your base year period. Your base year period is the 12-month period before you filed your claim. For example, if you filed your claim in April 2023, your base year period would be from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.
  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own¹³⁴. This means that you did not quit your job voluntarily, without a good work-related reason, or get fired for misconduct or illegal activities.
  • You must be actively searching for work. This means that you must make a reasonable effort to find a suitable job every week, and keep a record of your job search activities¹². You must also be willing to accept any suitable job offer.
  • You must be able and available to work. This means that you must be physically and mentally capable of working, and have no other obligations that prevent you from working, such as illness, injury, disability, or family care. You must also be ready to start work immediately if you find a job.

You must be able to work and available for work. This means that you must be physically and mentally able to work, and you must be willing to accept suitable work. You must be actively seeking work. This means that you must be making efforts to find work, such as contacting employers, submitting resumes, and attending job fairs. You must keep a record of your job search activities. This includes a list of employers you have contacted, the dates you contacted them, and the results of your contacts.

Job Loss Requirements job loss requirements for unemployment insurance

  • You must have lost employment through no fault of your own. This means that you must not have been fired for misconduct or left your job voluntarily. You must have been laid off, discharged due to company downsizing or closure, or separated from your job for reasons beyond your control.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • You must not be receiving other unemployment benefits, such as disability or retirement benefits.
  • You must file a claim for UI benefits within seven days of the date you became unemployed.
  • If you meet all of these requirements, you may be eligible for UI benefits. The amount of your benefit will be based on your earnings history. You can file a claim for UI benefits online, by phone, or in person at your local unemployment insurance office.

For more information on UI benefits in New Jersey, please visit the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development website: unemployment-insurance/how-apply/

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