Chapter 2 Unemployment & Disability Insurance Benefits
Section 3 - Claims for Extended Benefits (EB)
The number of weeks for which a claimant may receive unemployment benefits is extended temporarily by law when the extended benefit trigger rate exceeds federally prescribed levels. There are now two criteria for determining when an extended benefits period begins.
One criteria is met and up to an additional 13 weeks of benefits may be payable when New Jersey’s rate of insured unemployment (IUR) for a 13-week period averages at least 5 percent and is 20 percent higher than the average rate for the corresponding 13-week period during the preceding two years, or averages at least 6 percent for the same 13-week period. Once EB triggers “on,” the program remains in effect for at least 13 weeks, and continues as long as insured unemployment meets these prescribed levels.
With the enactment of P.L. 2005, chapter 123 in July 2005, New Jersey adopted the optional total unemployment rate (TUR) trigger for EB with respect to any week of unemployment beginning after December 27, 2003. This provided a second more attainable way to trigger an extension of unemployment benefits, in addition to the already established mechanism based on the IUR. The TUR trigger provides for two levels of benefits.
A 13-week extension of benefits is triggered if the state’s average seasonally adjusted TUR for the most recent three-month period reaches 6.5 percent and if that rate is 110 percent or more of the average seasonally adjusted TUR during the corresponding three-month period in either or both of the two preceding calendar years.
A 20-week extension of benefits is triggered during “high unemployment periods” when the average seasonally adjusted TUR for the most recent three months reaches 8 percent and is 110 percent or more of the average seasonally adjusted TUR during the corresponding three-month period in either or both of the two preceding calendar years.
Regardless of which rate, IUR or TUR, triggers an extension of benefits, the extended benefits are paid from a combination of federal and state funds. Fifty percent of the benefits are paid from federal funds and 50 percent are paid from the New Jersey Unemployment Trust Fund.
During an extended benefits period, a claimant may establish a claim for extended benefits if he/she (1) has a regular unemployment claim in existence as of the effective date of the EB period and (2) has exhausted all benefits on that regular claim or (3) if that regular claim expires during the EB period, and the claimant has insufficient covered wages or employment in any state to establish a new unemployment claim.