Although anyone can apply for New Jersey unemployment benefits, not everyone will receive compensation. Approval for benefits is based on the state eligibility guidelines. If you don't meet the guidelines, the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL) will deny your benefits. If you feel the reason for your denial is incorrect, you can fight it through the appeal process. At the appeal hearing, you have the right to present evidence that backs up your claim.
Reasons for Denials
New Jersey unemployment benefits are subject to approval by the DOL. If you don't meet any one of the eligibility requirements, you can't collect benefits. One reason for denying benefits is if you were let go for cause. Another reason for denial is if you don't meet the previous earned wages threshold. Your benefits may also be denied if you aren't physically able to work or available to work reasonable hours.
After the DOL has reviewed the information you submitted during your initial claim, it makes a decision. Then, it notifies you by mail with a Notice of Determination, usually within about seven to 14 days from the date you file your claim. If denied, your Notice of Determination provides the reason you don't qualify for benefits. It also contains information about your appeal rights.
You have the right to appeal a New Jersey unemployment denial within seven calendar days of the delivery of the Notice of Determination. You must mail or fax a written statement asking for an appeal hearing and giving the reason why you would like one. Then you can present your argument in favor of your claim and any evidence you have that backs up your argument to an Administrative Law Judge. The ALJ makes a decision on your appeal, and you receive it by mail after the hearing.
Preparing for Appeal
When preparing for an appeal hearing, you have to gather all the evidence you can present. The evidence you need to gather depends on the reason you were denied benefits. It might include notarized witness statements, written communication from your employer or yourself, or payment stubs. You can also prepare for your hearing by consulting a legal professional who can help you build your case and represent you during the hearing.
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