The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers the state unemployment insurance program. Like many states, New Jersey bases its unemployment benefits on a tiered system. There are four tiers of state unemployment benefits. When a worker exhausts a tier of benefits, the state automatically moves him to the next tier. When state benefits are exhausted, the worker may qualify for extended benefits, under a jointly funded federal and state program. Currently, the extended benefit program provides 13 weeks of benefits.
Qualify for unemployment benefits. In New Jersey, you can qualify for benefits if you have experienced job loss or significant reduction in your income or hours through no fault of your own. In addition, you must also have logged sufficient income during the base period to qualify for benefits. If you worked steadily in New Jersey for the five calendar quarters prior to applying for unemployment benefits, you should be able to qualify.
File an unemployment claim online (see Resources). You will need to document your employment for the past year, and be able to provide evidence of your earnings during the base period.
Continue to look for work and be available for work, if offered. The State of New Jersey provides unemployment benefits but only to those who continue to make an effort, and who accept suitable employment when the opportunity arises. Your benefits will decline over time, as New Jersey has several tiers of unemployment benefits. There is no need to reapply as you exhaust benefits in any tier. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development will file the application on your behalf, automatically.
Step up your job search activities. Under the joint state and federal Extended Benefit program, you will be expected to increase your job searching activities in order to continue to qualify for benefits.