Skip to content

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS GUIDE: UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Republicans had no plan to extend enhanced unemployment insurance, even as millions of Americans remain out of work. Democrats secured an extra $300 a week in addition to one’s base unemployment compensation benefit through March and continued unemployment benefits for gig workers.

How do I file for unemployment insurance?

New Jerseyans can apply for unemployment compensation at www.myunemployment.nj.gov. You can also apply by phone by calling one of the following numbers:

  • North New Jersey: 201-601-4100
  • Central New Jersey: 732-761-2020
  • South New Jersey: 856-507-2340

How much can I get from Unemployment Insurance?

Every state has its own unique unemployment insurance (UI) program. New Jersey’s program—run by our Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD)—provides jobless workers with 60% of their average base pay on a weekly basis. New Jersey provides a maximum weekly benefit of $713 for up to 26 weeks. However, the stimulus provides an extra $300 a week in addition to one’s base unemployment compensation benefit through March 14, 2021.

Does the stimulus bill change how much I can get from Unemployment Insurance?

Yes, the stimulus bill provides an extra $300 a week in addition to one’s base unemployment compensation benefit through March 14, 2021.That means if you are typically eligible for $600 a week in unemployment compensation, you will see a temporary increase of $300 through March 14, 2021 for a total of $900 a week.

$300 is more than I made before losing my job. Will they reduce my benefit?

No. If you qualify for unemployment, the $300 per week applies regardless of what your salary was. That means if you are typically eligible for $600 a week in unemployment compensation, you will see a temporary increase of $300 through March 14, 2021 for a total of $900 a week.

What if I’m not eligible for traditional Unemployment Insurance?

The stimulus extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program eligibility through March 14, 2021, which will ensure self-employed individuals and gig workers have access to UI benefits. Those qualified for PUA benefits will receive them through April 5, 2021. Visit New Jersey’s unemployment website to determine your eligibility.

What if I’ve already used all of my weeks of Unemployment Insurance or am getting close?

The stimulus provides an extra 11 weeks of unemployment insurance or benefits, through either standard UI or PUA, through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program in addition to existing eligibility.

What if I’ve been out of work because of COVID-19 for several weeks already?

If you exhaust the weeks of unemployment compensation available to you through your state’s laws, you will be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits. These benefits will be federally- funded, but you will still receive them through your state.

How long will the expanded benefits be in place?

The enhanced benefit and expanded eligibility for unemployment insurance will be in effect until March 14, 2021.

Is there a waiting period?

The CARES Act includes incentives for states to waive the waiting week between applying for unemployment compensation and receiving it. Visit New Jersey’s unemployment website for more information.

I just found a job when coronavirus hit, but I hadn’t started work. Will I be eligible?

Yes. If you were scheduled to start a job, but lost the job or are unable to get to it as a result of coronavirus, you’ll be eligible.