New Jersey residents can get unemployment benefits for 5 months more

Kristen Johanson
July 01, 2020 - 6:20 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  With record high unemployment in New Jersey, the state is now extending benefits for jobless workers for up to five months. 

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For those on regular unemployment in the state, jobless workers can now get money for 20 weeks more, tacking on to the 26 weeks already mandated and the 13-week pandemic extension, all totaling to 59 weeks or nearly 14 months.

“There is a trigger in the unemployment law that most states have hit at this point now because of the high unemployment over three months in a row. This was not part of the CARES Act. This was already occurring. This is separate from the CARES Act extension,” explained New Jersey Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.

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He said there’s nothing you need to do if you are already receiving unemployment, and those weeks will automatically roll into your eligibility period.

Those on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program which is for independent contractors and gig workers only get an additional seven weeks.

“That program is set up for 39 weeks off the bat, out of the CARES Act,” Asaro-Angelo said. 

But labor officials warn you can only receive the cash if you have lost your job, can’t find another one, or have a coronavirus-related issue such as caring for a sick relative or health issues of your own.

“We are looking at those things very seriously, we don’t want anyone to be put into a harmful environment,” Asaro-Angelo added. 

Pennsylvania's benefit weeks will extend 13 weeks.