Federal and State Extended Benefits
Federal benefits created during the pandemic including PUA, PEUC, and FPUC ended September 4. Any funds remaining in your unemployment account related to these federal programs will not be available for certification or payment for weeks of unemployment ending after September 4, 2021, per federal law.
Please note that you will be able to receive benefits for weeks of unemployment ending prior to September 4, per your weekly certification answers. If you are currently in an appeal or adjudication process, or have an appointment scheduled after September 4, please continue to certify weekly, follow instructions and monitor your email.
To learn more about available extensions of or additions to unemployment benefits, see the information below.
Those who meet the requirements for traditional unemployment insurance may receive benefits for up to 26 weeks during a one-year period.
Additionally, from July 1, 2020 through April 9, 2022, New Jersey’s high unemployment rate triggered state extended benefits for NJ workers who have exhausted unemployment benefits, if, among other requirements, they meet the minimum earnings requirement and the date of their initial UI claim is May 12, 2019 or later.
Per federal regulations, on April 17, 2021, NJ state extended unemployment benefits were reduced from up to 20 weeks to up to 13 weeks because New Jersey’s unemployment rate went down.
Federal legislation expanded unemployment eligibility and extended unemployment benefits; these benefits, known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), better known as the $300 supplement, expired on September 4, 2021.
The federal benefits created during the pandemic, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) ended September 4, 2021. Any funds that appear as remaining in your unemployment account related to these federal programs will not be available for certification or payment for weeks of unemployment ending after September 4, 2021.
Federal legislation expanded unemployment benefits. This included Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments, which provides an additional $300 to weekly unemployment benefits to unemployed workers. These benefits expired September 4, 2021. If you are still receiving unemployment benefits after September 4, 2021, your benefit payment will no longer include the FPUC payment.
Additionally, federal law requires a review for new wages after one year, once a claim reaches “benefit year end”. Before September 4, 2021, when claimants on Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) reached benefit year end and qualified for a new claim, NJDOL determined their new benefit rate based on the previous year’s earnings. If the benefit rate was at least $25 less than the original (first year’s) claim, NJDOL paid claimants the higher rate. After September 4, 2021, because PEUC expired, NJDOL returned such claims to the original, lower weekly benefit rate.
State extended unemployment benefits (EB) are additional weeks of benefits available to some unemployment insurance benefit recipients. The state’s ability to give these additional weeks is based on NJ’s unemployment rate. On April 17, 2021, NJ’s unemployment rate triggered the availability of up to 13 weeks of EB. Per federal law, this program ended on April 9, 2022, due to the state’s declining unemployment rate.
There are several criteria you must meet to be eligible for state extended unemployment benefits (EB). They are different from the requirements for regular unemployment benefits and federal extended unemployment benefits.
Type of Unemployment Claim: Claimants must be receiving regular/traditional unemployment benefits or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) to receive EB. Claimants receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are not eligible for EB. To learn the type of unemployment benefits you are receiving, check your claim status.
Date of Claim: Claims must be dated May 12, 2019 or later. Claims dated before May 12, 2019 are not eligible for EB. Your date of claim is listed on your claim status.
Residency: Claimants living and working in NJ have met this requirement. For claimants who work in NJ but live in another state, there are two options:
- If their state of residency is not on EB when NJDOL determines eligibility, the claimant can receive only two weeks of EB.
- If the state of residency is on EB when NJDOL determines eligibility, the claimant can receive EB until their state of residency goes off EB, until benefits are exhausted.
Monetary Requirement: To be eligible for EB through April 9, 2022, you must have either earned:
- the minimum earnings requirement for 20 or more weeks in covered employment during the base year period OR
- 40x the weekly benefit rate of your original unemployment claim (listed on your claim status)
Have not already received EB: Some claimants may have already received EB on their claim between exhausting their regular unemployment benefits and before receiving PEUC. You may only receive EB once per claim.
Please note: Claimants who were disqualified for misconduct or refused suitable work will have to meet additional requirements to be eligible for EB. You would have received notification through postal mail from the Department if you were disqualified.
The CARES Act that was signed March 27, 2020 provided unemployment assistance to many NJ workers impacted by COVID-19. The Continued Assistance Act, signed December 27, 2020 and the American Rescue Plan Act signed March 11, 2021 extended this assistance. Pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits expired September 4, 2021.
Under these laws, there were three types of assistance:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: provided up to 79 weeks of benefits, up until September 4, 2021, to NJ workers who met all three of the following criteria:
- Are not eligible for unemployment benefits in any state, including self-employed workers (independent contractors, “gig” workers)
- Are otherwise able and available to work except that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to a COVID-19 qualifying reason, and
- Are able to demonstrate labor market attachment, through earnings or an official work offer.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation: provided up to 49 of benefits to recipients of regular Unemployment Insurance benefits, on top of the typical maximum of 26 weeks, for a maximum total of 79 weeks of benefits.
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation: provided an additional $300 per week to all PUA and regular Unemployment Insurance recipients from January 2, 2021 through September 4, 2021. You may also have been eligible for $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, retroactive to the week ending April 4, 2020 through July 25, 2020.
Please note that you will still be able to receive benefits for weeks prior to September 4, if you are found eligible for a claim filed before September 4, 2021.
The Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, available from the U.S. Department of Labor, provides an additional payment of $100 per week to eligible claimants for each week they received an unemployment or PEUC payment between the weeks-ending January 2, 2021 and September 4, 2021.
“Mixed earners” are those workers whose income comes from both W2 wages and self-employment earnings.
To be considered eligible, you must:
- Have received a regular or extended unemployment benefit payment (either UI or PEUC, but not PUA) between week-ending January 2, 2021 and September 4, 2021, and
- Be able to show at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment (non W2)* in the tax year immediately prior to filing your unemployment claim. (If date of claim is in 2020, you need to have netted at least $5,000 in 2019; if your date of claim is in 2021, you need to have netted at least $5,000 in 2020.)
If you are eligible, here's how to qualify for this supplemental payment:
- Sign in to the claimant Self-Service page and check the opt-in box for the MEUC application.
- Look for an email within a week from the Division of Unemployment Insurance, which will seek to verify your eligibility.
- Click on the link in the email, sign in, and complete the eligibility questionnaire.
- Attach your tax return showing at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment during the prior tax year.
Any payments will be issued weekly within 1 to 2 weeks after you are determined eligible. You do not need to contact us to request payment.
*Net income from self-employment is the gross income from a trade or business, minus allowable deductions for that trade or business. Allowable deductions are any deductions that are permitted by the Internal Revenue Service, including depreciation. Net income from self-employment also includes any profit or loss in a partnership.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
The American Rescue Plan Act, signed March 11, 2021, extended the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which provides an additional $300 to workers for weeks of unemployment ending on March 11, 2021 through September 4, 2021.
The CARES Act, signed March 27, 2020, created FPUC, which provides an additional $600 to workers for weeks ending on April 4, 2020 through July 25, 2020.
NJDOL distributed the payments weekly to those currently claiming regular unemployment benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits.
Lost Wages Assistance Payments
Lost Wages Assistance (LWA), also referred to as “FEMA payments,” was a limited-time federal program that paid a $300 weekly supplemental benefit to most workers unemployed for a COVID-19 related reason during the weeks ending August 1, 2020 through September 5, 2020. The maximum benefit was for six weeks, for a total of $1,800. Lost wages supplemental payments ended on December 27, 2020.
The LWA payments were for claimants who certified that they:
- were unemployed for all or part of the six-week period from August 1 through September 5, 2020;
- were eligible for at least $100 in unemployment benefits; and were unemployed for a COVID-19 related reason.