Extended Benefits (EB)
The EB program was expanded with the Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act signed by President Obama, to include individuals with Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims dated May 7, 2006 or later who exhaust all Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tier II benefits during an approved EB period.
You may be potentially eligible for EB benefits if you meet one of the following qualifications:
- The original date of your UI claim was March 23, 2008 or later and you exhausted all Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tier II benefits; or
- You are currently receiving EUC Tier II benefits and exhaust your benefits with week ending March 21, 2009 or later, and New Jersey is still in an approved EB period.
Claimants residing in New Jersey or out-of-state claimants classified as commuters (lived in another state and commuted to work in New Jersey), eligible claimants living in Canada or claimants residing in a state/territory in an approved EB period, are eligible for 20 weeks or 80% of their maximum benefit amount on their original claim whichever amount is less if EB qualification occurs in an approved EB period. Interstate claimants who are not commuters and reside in a state or territory which is not in a federally approved EB period, are only entitled to receive the first two weeks of EB benefits.
Your Rights and Responsibilities for claiming benefits under the EB program are listed below. Please read them carefully since the EB law has different requirements when compared to the regular unemployment compensation law. Your failure to meet these requirements may result in your being disqualified for EB benefits. Please read your Rights and Responsibilities for further explanation.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- You must be totally or partially unemployed.
- You must not have available regular benefit rights under any state or federal unemployment compensation law.
- You must have worked and earned four (4) times your weekly benefit rate in subsequent employment if you were disqualified on your original unemployment claim for being terminated for misconduct or refusing to apply or accept suitable work.
Job Prospect Classification
- All individuals filing for EB with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD) must be classified as having "GOOD" or "NOT GOOD" job prospects.
- All individuals filing for EB with NJLWD will initially be classified as “NOT GOOD.” "NOT GOOD" job prospects means that you have no written return to work date within four (4) weeks.
- Your job prospects will only be reclassified as “GOOD” if you provide a letter from your former employer or prospective employer stating you have a definite date to return to work within four (4) weeks. You must send the letter to the EB Processing Unit, PO Box 060, Trenton, NJ 08625-0060, and include your Social Security Number.
Registration with Employment Service
- All individuals with “NOT GOOD” job prospects must register for work with the state’s employment service, Workforce NJ. New Jersey residents, or out-of-state claimants who commuted to New Jersey for work, will be automatically registered for work with Workforce NJ. If you are an out-of-state resident and are no longer seeking work in New Jersey, you must register for work at the state’s employment service nearest to your home.
Active Search for Work
- All individuals classified as “GOOD” or “NOT GOOD” job prospects must make a systematic and sustained effort to obtain work for each week of benefits claimed. The work search must be documented, verifiable and must occur on different days during the week. This requires a minimum of three (3) employer contacts per week.
- Registration with an approved hiring hall is considered as one work search and only partially meets the work search requirement. Additional work search efforts are necessary.
- Individuals classified as having "NOT GOOD" job prospects may not restrict their job search to their customary occupation.
- The work search criteria does not have to be met for any week(s) that an individual served on jury duty or was in satisfactory attendance in pre-approved training.
- In addition to certifying for your weeks claimed on the web at www.njuifile.net or by telephone, individuals must complete and mail the EB Work Search Form (yellow form) to the EB Processing Unit, PO Box 491, Trenton, NJ 08625-0491. Failure to submit this form will result in a denial of benefits.
Accepting and Applying for Suitable Work
- Under EB law, suitable work means any work which is within the mental and physical capabilities of the individual. This definition applies to all individuals with “NOT GOOD” job prospects.
- If you have the mental and physical capabilities of performing the job, the job will be suitable for you if all of the following criteria is met:
- The gross average pay for the offered work exceeds your weekly benefit rate.
- The job was both offered in writing and listed with the employment service.
- The pay equals or exceeds the minimum wage of $7.15 per hour. (Effective July 24, 2009 the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.)
- Failure to report or accept a Workforce NJ job referral or not accepting a reasonable job offer from this service will result in your being disqualified for EB benefits.
Disqualifications under EB Program
- Any individual who does not make an active search for work or fails to provide documentation of their work search may be indefinitely disqualified for benefits until they have subsequent employment in which they worked at least four (4) weeks and earned at least four (4) times their weekly benefit rate on the claim.
- Any individual who is claiming EB benefits and is determined to have been terminated for misconduct will be indefinitely disqualified until they have subsequent employment in which they worked and earned at least four (4) times their weekly benefit rate and completed the five (5) week disqualification period following the misconduct.
- Any individual who is claiming EB benefits and refused to accept or apply for suitable work will be indefinitely disqualified until they have subsequent employment in which they worked at least four (4) weeks and earned at least four (4) times their weekly benefit rate.