Eligibility for Unemployment in New Jersey

You should understand eligibility for unemployment in New Jersey so that you are aware as to whether or not you may be able to receive benefits should you ever lose your job or receive a reduction in hours through no fault of your own. In addition to initial eligibility requirements, qualifications for unemployment will require you to comply with weekly eligibility rules. It is also important to understand who is not qualified for unemployment and what conditions may result in a disqualification. For more information on how to qualify for unemployment in NJ, review the sections below.

An Overview of New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Eligibility

While it is important to understand eligibility for unemployment in New Jersey, it is recommended that you first understand what New Jersey unemployment insurance benefits are. Unemployment insurance provides benefits to eligible workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and meet work and wage requirements. Payments are intended as a temporary measure for unemployed workers to receive financial assistance while searching for new employment. Download our comprehensive guide to unemployment benefit amounts and application processes.

Who Qualifies for Unemployment Benefits in New Jersey?

Eligibility for unemployment in New Jersey is first determined by whether or not you have earned a minimum amount of wages within the past 18 months. Unemployment benefits are based upon the wages that have been earned and not a financial need for assistance. Who qualifies for unemployment is determined on a case-by-case basis and includes multiple factors.

If you are wondering, “What are the requirements to get unemployment?” there are a few health aspects to consider. You are also required to be both mentally and physically capable of working, unless you are considered exempt from this requirement. One example of an exemption may be due to severe medical illness or injury. In order to be considered ready to work, qualifications for unemployment dictate that you must already have arranged transportation and that there is nothing holding you back from accepting a job as soon as it is offered. If you have young children that you are caring for, you are required to have already arranged child care.

In order to be meet unemployment insurance eligibility, you must also be willing to accept a part time or full time position and you must be willing to actively search for work while receiving unemployment benefits in New Jersey.

In addition to these requirements, eligibility for EDD in New Jersey is determined by the reason that you lost your job and became unemployed.

The Types of Job Loss That Meet Qualifications for Unemployment in New Jersey

Eligibility for unemployment in New Jersey is also determined by the circumstances revolving around your unemployment. If you were laid off from your job as part of a company’s downsizing or mass layoffs, you will likely be eligible to receive unemployment benefits so long as your layoff was not voluntary.

You may still meet qualifications for unemployment in New Jersey if you were fired, depending on the reason for your termination. If you were fired for misconduct, the New Jersey unemployment office will determine whether your misconduct was simple, severe or gross.

You will meet eligibility for EDD seven weeks from the date that you were fired if, it is determined that your misconduct was simple. You will be eligible to claim unemployment, after this disqualification period ends. If you were terminated due to severe misconduct, you will be disqualified for benefits until you have worked with a new employer for a minimum of four weeks and have earned at least six times the weekly benefit amount that you would have been awarded.

You will not meet eligibility for unemployment requirements if you were fired for any reason that is serious enough to be considered a crime and may be indefinitely disqualified to receive unemployment benefits in New Jersey. You may be eligible to remove a gross misconduct disqualification if you work for at least eight weeks, receive ten times your weekly benefit amount and you become unemployed again through no fault of your own.

After being fired for any reason, your eligibility for unemployment in NJ will be determined in a fact-finding interview that will be scheduled with the New Jersey unemployment office.

If you are wondering how to qualify for unemployment, after voluntarily quitting your job will be determined by whether or not you had “good cause” to quit. In New Jersey, good cause must be related to your work, such as in order to avoid performing an illegal action requested by a job, to avoid sexual harassment that was not stopped by an employer or to flee domestic violence. Similarly, to being fired, your eligibility will be determined in a scheduled interview.

What are the Requirements to Get Unemployment Concerning Identity in New Jersey?

Eligibility for unemployment in New Jersey dictates that applicants know the application process involves complying with identity verifications. While this is not a requirement for all state unemployment programs, New Jersey set the verification process in place due to the fact that identity theft is the world’s fastest growing crime.

You will not meet unemployment insurance eligibility requirements if you fail to prove your identity or refuse to participate in identification. Identity verification is required both with an initial unemployment insurance eligibility and may be required periodically when submit claims for weekly benefits. In order to prove your identity, you will be asked a series of multiple-choice questions that are obtained from public record. Eligibility for EDD questions could be in regards to your residential history, the vehicles or homes that have been purchased in your name or other public records.

You can still meet qualifications for unemployment benefits if you fail the verification, but you will be required to complete additional steps before your application can be approved. If you fail verification, you will then be required to visit an approved New Jersey unemployment office with either your original or certified copy of your Social Security Card. Additionally, you will need to provide a document that contains your name and current mailing address, such as an insurance policy, mortgage agreement, lease agreement or bank statement.

If you are trying to prove your eligibility for unemployment in New Jersey, but you do not live in New Jersey, you will be permitted to fax your proof of identification documents.

Download our helpful guide to learn more about residency and identity requirements for unemployment.

Weekly New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Eligibility Requirements

In order to continue to meet eligibility for unemployment in New Jersey, you must actively look for work while receiving benefits. You will also be required to keep documentation of all the places of employment in which you have applied to. A place of employment must be actively hiring in order for an application to count towards work requirements. It is recommended, though not required, that you also participate in online job boards and local job fairs. In order to receive benefits, you must submit claims in a timely manner each week.

Disqualifications for Unemployment Benefits in New Jersey

Your eligibility for employment in New Jersey can be revoked for a number of reasons, which would result in the termination of your unemployment benefits. Disqualifications include, but are not limited to:

  • If you are unemployed due to a labor dispute (strike or lockout)
  • Failing to apply to a minimum of three different employers each week
  • Refusing a job offer
  • Failing to report full or part time work
  • Failing to participate in mandatory scheduled appointments with the unemployment office